On December 2016, three Global Internship teams arrived back home. For 16 months, they had been submerged into foreign cultures, leaving as students and coming back as missionaries.
Last week, I had the blessed opportunity to sit down with each returning team and take a deeper look into the uniqueness of each site and the lessons that each team brought back.
Cody, Kate, Cassie, and Rachel worked together as a team in Marseille, France. The four of them took on the role of peacemakers in a country overwhelmed with division.
“France is in dire need of missions. With the current issues in the nation, they have become tired of religion, and unaware of the reality of Jesus as a personal savior. This is a vast opportunity to bring the real Jesus into France, helping people see that Christianity is not just about rules and regulations.”—France Team
Marseille, is approximately 1/3 Muslim, has a large atheist population, and holds vast minority groups including gypsies and Jews.
Their team had the chance to:
- Minister and work in a local café in the art district of Marseille, France (Take a look at our Business Minor)
- Partake as interns in a church (worship, hospitality and event planning)
- Take part in youth ministry
- Kickoff a skate ministry
- Get involved with a human trafficking ministry (Check out our Social Justice Minor)
“Going on internship provides you with a unique opportunity for growth. It helps you grow in responsibility and integrity as you step into adulthood.”—France Team
The Thailand team of seniors consisted of Lizzy, Callie, Hannah, Savanah, Chelisa, Emily, and Autumn. In Thailand, the girls spent the first three months learning the language, meeting new friends, and studying how to present the gospel in Thailand.
“In internship, you learn the importance of respect. You learn to become a learner first and to appreciate the culture and language of where you are. The internship in Thailand provides you with the opportunity to learn about contextualization as you learn about presenting the gospel to individuals in a Buddhist worldview.” —Thailand Team
The ministry opportunities in Thailand were the following:
- Ministry with single moms and their children
- Nursery work
- Single teen mom’s ministry
- Special needs outreach
- Teaching English
- Human trafficking ministry in Red-light District
“It was a chance to encourage and speak life and truth into the lives of others, including the lives of other Christians.” —Thailand Team
East Asia Team
Autumn and Kristina where the first BGU students to head to new country in East Asia for their Global Internship. Being in East Asia, they had the opportunity to teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and share the gospel with those who had never heard it before. They were able to equip overseas believers with the tools to share the gospel and got to be the pilots of this internship site.
“Being in East Asia, we had the opportunity to equip students to become missionaries by taking part in the ‘Back to Jerusalem Movement’. Not only did we have opportunity to share the gospel with unreached peoples, but we were able to pour into other believers.” – East Asia Team
“In the beginning, we didn’t know what we were in for, but the Lord is always with you and we got to be part of something much bigger than we expected.” – East Asia Team
15 Reasons You Should Go
Below are quotes from the seniors that just got back from their 16 month global internships.
1. You learn the importance of ministry outside of ministry hours.
“Ministry is more than a set number of hours. It is the friendships you make and being able to break the boundaries of time for them. It is learning to love and appreciate the culture and language of where you are.” —Thailand Team member
“You realize that there is no time set for ministry.” —East Asia Team member
“Friendships and living life with people makes an impact.” —France Team member
2. You get to experience a new side of the Lord and a unique perspective.
“You step away from American culture and see the world without a filtering lens.” —France Team member.
“Being overseas, you experience a different side of the Lord and see the world through a new perspective. It can’t be explained until you experience it yourself.” —Thailand Team member.
“You become part of something much bigger.” —East Asia Team member.
3. You get a better understanding of what it feels like to be a minority
“You get a better understanding of what it is like to feel out of place.” —France Team member.
“Being there, we were the first foreigners people had met.” —East Asia Team member.
4. You can dive into a better understanding of the bible through a cultural context.
“We traveled to Morocco, and seeing the Muslims communities and how they lived helped us attain a better understanding of the bible through a cultural context.” —France Team member.
5. You learn to expect the unexpected.
“Plan and dream, but be ready to dive into the unexpected” —France Team member.
“Remember, in the end the Lord is the one who chooses what He does and where you go, and wherever you go, there is people who need to hear the gospel.” —Thailand Team member.
“We were ready to teach an English class, and when we were expecting to teach about 12 people, 40 showed up!”—East Asia Team member.
6. You develop responsibility and integrity.
“We had to do everything. Grocery shop, clean, cook, serve… It really develops your responsibility as you step into independence and adulthood.”—France Team member.
“Being the first ones in our country, we had to make a good impression. We got to experience what works and what doesn’t.” —East Asia Team member.
7. You discover the importance of being a learner first.
“Don’t be afraid to step into a new culture and language. Ask questions, and be ready to change how you live a bit to explore the new culture.”—Thailand Team member.
“You learn the language talking with the local people. You get to know new people, some who have never heard the gospel.”—East Asia Team member.
“We learned things about Islam we had been unable to back home.”—France Team member.
8. You find out that location is not the most important thing.
“You don’t always get your first choices. In the end, God makes the final decision. Wherever you end up going, there is people who need to hear the gospel.”—Thailand Team member.
9. You learn to ask the Lord for a heart for where you are going, and sometimes the Lord gives you a heart for unexpected places.
“Thailand was the opposite of what I wanted, but the Lord puts you in the team He desires you to be in regardless of what you want. Now, I hold a greater understanding and heart for Buddhist cultures.”—Thailand Team member.
10. You learn to be open with time.
“In Thailand, time doesn’t bind people. You need to be ready to invest time in them, listen to them, and be vulnerable with them. “ —Thailand Team member.
11. You learn to see an individual’s identity through God’s eyes.
“In Thailand, one of the ministries available is in the Red-light District. You minister to women involved in prostitution and human trafficking. You learn to look at them as women caught up in hard lives, trying to make a living, and need God’s hope.” —Thailand Team member.
12. You realize that you are in good hands with Bethany International leadership.
“They have the best in mind and know what they are doing. The Bethany International community spends time praying over internship and the Holy Spirit is there to guide them on the decisions they make.” —Thailand Team member.
13. You find that even if you don’t get your first choice, it should not be a reason for you not to go.
“Global Internship is a great experience not just for future missionaries, but for your personal walk with the Lord.” —Thailand Team member.
14. You learn to live without fear.
“You learn to lean on the Lord and on your team. You learn to hold onto God’s truth. Before going, remember: the Lord is always with you.”—East Asia Team member.
15. You remember the ultimate reason for Global Internship should not be forgotten: to be faithful to the Lord and bring Him glory.
“Don’t forget to make staying connected with the Lord your number one priority. Always have an ear to hear what He is saying” —East Asia Team member.
“Continue to fight the enemy, pray, and trust the Lord.” —Thailand Team member
“You are there to show His love and bring His hope.” —France Team Member