I cannot believe that this internship has come to an end! What an incredible summer of learning, being stretched, and growing!
It’s hard to put into words what exactly the Lord has taught me, or what I have experienced here. From living in a cross-cultural community, to traveling across southern Africa, or practicing 12 spiritual disciplines to draw us closer to the living God, every experience has taught me something I hope to bring home with me.
From the very beginning, I was so excited to live cross-culturally in a community of believers. We all got to know each other in depth by founding our relationship on a common desire to glorify Christ in all that we do. Little did I know the amount of challenges that come from living with 15 other people. But it was in these moments of uncomfortableness and frustrations that we learned to address conflict in a loving godly way together as we continued to strive for unity.
I loved all the teachings we had this summer! We dove into so many topics in depth that challenged the way we viewed the world and God’s mission. My perceptions of justice and mission has been radically shifted, and God has planted a passion in me for seeing his people come back to him. God wants to be with his people! He longs to restore and bring justice to brokenness and poverty around the world. And if we have truly encountered the living God and believe that this is his mission, it shapes the way we see everything else in the world.
I feel like my heart has been on a roller coaster. There have been days and experiences where I have felt like I was on the mountaintop, and other days where I’ve felt like I was in the desert. I have felt so joyful and on fire for God, but he has also brought me through periods of silence and confusion. The amazing thing is that either way, I have learned something. God has used every single emotion and situation to teach me something. And it hasn’t been easy. But it has taught me to trust God at ALL times, and to surrender my heart to him. I want to be the one to control my own spiritual journey, and I want to be the one who knows what’s going on in my heart. I’ve learned that there is so much more rest and freedom in releasing that control to the Father. There is so much rest in smiling back at him and trusting that he holds my heart.
I am so thankful for every experience this internship has brought. I am thankful for the amazing people I’ve met, and precious moments spent with the Lord. I am thankful for my Heavenly Father who has loved me unconditionally through every moment and doubt. Going back home will be hard. But it’s comforting to know that it will just be another season that God brings me through to deepen my roots in Him.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily Proude • 2016 International Immersion Intern