Why the Interns Are Here
Amy Nickerson | June 2017
It is a Friday afternoon. The Amazing Race, our intern competition inspired by the popular TV show, has recently ended with an epic slow and steady egg on a spoon challenge. Now the teams, comprised of a hundred and five college-aged Josiah Venture interns from both North America and Europe, are sprawled out on a train, tired but buzzing with anticipation of what is to come.
“I had to keep reminding myself that the Race isn’t why we are here.” I overheard one of those interns say.
The Amazing Race
He had a valid point. Running around Prague for three days, visiting a castle, bonding as teams, and learning about some of the history and culture of this part of the world is a trip worth taking in and of itself. Plenty of tourists would readily agree.
For JV though, the Race is merely a starting point to a summer we hope these young leaders will never forget. After all, the competition is intentionally designed to prepare the teams for what God is going to do in and through them as they serve at summer camps and are involved in evangelistic music, English, and sports ministries in 13 countries across Central and Eastern Europe.
When the interns navigated their way around Prague’s old town square looking for items on a scavenger hunt list and interacting with locals, they were learning the importance of taking in their foreign surroundings and how to confidently ask for help when needed. The communication skills they developed when trying to build a tent while blindfolded or the unity they cultivated when jet-lagged, hungry, sometimes hurt, and lugging around backpacks will hopefully keep them bonded as a team throughout the next few months. The discussions they had while hiking through a forest, the weaknesses and strengths that were revealed when experiencing a win or loss, and the information about JV’s core values and ministries they learned for memory challenges, are all significant tools meant to equip the interns well.
Fast forward a few days and the next phase of intern training is in full-swing at Malenovice, our facility in the Moravian hills of the Czech Republic. Here the interns are playing Minute to Win It games, learning this year’s camp dance, and enjoying meals and worship times together. While packed with fun, the program is again crafted to propel the interns forward into ministry.
So, when in the evening sessions JV staff members led talks on the serious topic of idolatry - the gods of things like control, comfort, pleasure, and fear that can get in the way of following the one, true God - it was clearly to ready the workers for a summer of harvest.
Now it’s a week later, the Amazing Race and Intern Training are over, but the summer is just beginning. The interns have been commissioned and sent out across the region to help us make disciples who make disciples by investing in the local church and partnering with them to share Christ with the next generation of European young people. While the past couple of weeks have been an adventure, the following months and their impact on eternity is why these interns are really here.
This summer, we are praying that our interns would let go of anything that could get in the way of them being free to serve like Jesus, replacing the worship of idols with the genuine submission to Christ and a bold faith to live each moment for Him. We’re also praying that as we head into camp season, every non-believing young person attending our 130 camps this summer would hear the gospel and that at least 850 of them would make a decision to put their faith in Christ. Please pray with us.
For more photos from the Amazing Race and Intern Training, visit our Facebook page.