This internship experience is like the first time a toddler is learning how to swim. The father simply leads his son to the edge of the pool, and pushes him in. The father is there to jump in and save his son if he needs it, but the father is teaching his son by letting him try and fail.
Most everything here is new. The food, languages, climate, culture, economics, so much. So far, the closest thing I have found to “home” is a nice cold glass of Coke-a-Cola. The first four weeks have been stretching at best and overwhelming at worst. However, nothing is “bad”. Of course there are some things I have seen in Zambia which cause my heart to break, my mind to spin and my stomach to churn, but, what other response is there to injustice?
The fourteen interns were christened on this journey for God to do a mission, in us. What I didn’t realize until the second week was the purpose of this experience and this “mission work” would be for God to do His “mission work” in our hearts. So far, God has left no place in my heart untouched. Really this experience is God spinning His potter’s wheel faster and shaping me deeper. That’s also something, not a moment here goes by that the Lord does not call me deeper and deeper into His embrace. What is it like to continually walk towards God and who He is and what He is doing?
The most notable challenges I have encountered are in line with the differences I have experienced. A surprising difference is the different elements of Christianity I have encountered. Those who believe in Jesus Christ are truly one family no matter where they reside. I have had the privilege to attend Zambian church services which have lasted three hours and prayers filled with “with the mighty name of Jesus Christ” and “Halleluiah!” I have learned more of what it means to be a believer by interacting with Christianity in an entirely different setting.
I have seen a difference in the prosperity of a nation. America is vastly different than Zambia. It breaks my heart to see systematic injustice impacting the lives of my friends and those in the community. There are many more challenges I have faced, however, I do not have the time to explain them all
Growing is a direct effect of being challenged and I have grown to accept different things easier. I have grown in empathy, love, selflessness, appreciation for the things I have, and so so much more. Its hard to explain four weeks of intense spiritual, mental, and emotional growth with words. In summary, there is a work being done, and it is no where close from being completed.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Will Kauffman • 2016 International Immersion Intern