Reflections from Former Summer Service Interns
A significant relationship that has developed during my time with Good Works as a Summer Intern has been with one of the kids from Kids Discovery Club. Her name is Joanna and she is seven years old. Joanna has been going to Discovery Club for a couple of years now. This year her cousin joined her too after hearing how much Joanna has enjoyed it. Joanna is such a joy and a light to Discovery Club.
The community is the entity that cultivates discipleship, and it is the community that serves as Christ in a very incarnational way.
Since submission is a spiritual discipline, submission to those who have authority can be used as an act of worship. More than submission, the Christian idea of delegation involves an actual trading of authority. When we give out tasks, we also give out some of our authority to the person doing the task. We are entrusting them to do what we are giving them.
When Good Works staff member Doug Schmaltz first met with Garrett Smith (a fellow Summer Intern) and me to discuss the incoming Teen Agricultural Interns, he told us that one of the teens, Mike, had identified himself as being on the autistic spectrum. Doug mentioned that we might encounter some difficulty in keeping Mike on task in the course of our work. In spite of this, I was thrilled. Some of the best people I’ve had in my life have struggled with autism, and so I was excited to have the opportunity to spend time with Mike in the weeks to come. Ultimately, my relationship with Mike was one of the most meaningful parts of my summer. He reminded me that it is good to be transfixed in wonder by the glory of God’s creation, to be unabashedly curious, and to be uninhibitedly passionate about loving people.
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” C.S. Lewis’ unique words highlight the position that we as humans all experience. These words also emphasize the need for guidance in each of our own lives in order to “hatch.”
One beautiful thing about the people here at Good Works is that each person is viewed as an important leader in one way or the other. It is understood that not one specific person has every single thing needed to lead alone. This emphasis is a humble reminder that each individual has at least one unique trait that is needed to strengthen the community as a whole. People are viewed with respect, and in listening to them we have this desire to learn something from their own experience and wisdom.
I saw God through each of the children, through their lenses. It was awesome to hear and see God moments in such a childlike ways. There are parts of each of the children that I will take away with me. Tom’s curiosity, Jack’s enthusiasm for absolutely everything, Jake’s and Allison’s humor and hugs, and Rick’s leadership. One girl in particular, though, stands out to me. Her name is Mary.
As Christians we are called to become leaders so that God can be glorified through us. I am thankful to Good Works for allowing me to participate and become a leader so that I can be mature and grow in my relationship with God and others. My hope for the summer was to grow in my leadership skills and to find God in that role. This essay is an attempt to explain my experiences as a leader and how God has used me in ways that I never thought possible.