Friday, March 1, 2013

Reflecting on the FOCUS Internship


Every year, we have a group of college graduates join us on staff as campus missionary interns.  They get professional fundraising experience as we raise our budget and then spend the next school year serving, giving, loving, studying, teaching, sharing their faith, and growing as men and women of God.  While FOCUS has had interns for a long time (my own internship started in the fall of 1998!), we launched our formal, part-time internship program three years ago.

In that time, the internship has become one of my absolute favorite things about this ministry.  First off, we are building on a foundation already laid.  Most of our interns have come to us after multiple years in our community.  We don't have to start from scratch--we have clear goals of how we want to see their knowledge, character, and heart for God grow in the coming year.  But more than that, we have the time with them to really work on those things.  One of the internship applicants for this year told me last week that he wanted to take a year to equip himself for ministry for the rest of his life.  For some of these young people, they are holding off launching careers for a year so that when they do get into the marketplace, they will have a greater impact for the kingdom of God.

Because of that time and intense focus, I see such amazing changes in the interns!  We're batting 1000 so far.  Every single one of them has had major breakthroughs in tough issues and has grown in significant, visible ways.  Some are on staff with FOCUS, leading campus ministries at Collin College, Richland College, and the University of North Texas.  Others are teachers, programmers, graduate students, and more, making differences in people's lives far beyond these campuses.

So many of you have contributed so much over the years in so many ways to make this all possible--laying the foundation of this ministry, sharing your faith with and mentoring students, praying for these campuses, contributing financially.  Thank you.  We are only beginning to see the fruit.

This year, we are making the internship full-time so we can make it even more intense and intentional.  We have 11 people in the application process.  11 GREAT people.  We'll be adding a lot to the internship's Biblical studies and on-campus outreach.  Pray for wisdom for our staff as we finish the selection process.  And pray that God will provide mightily for all our needs.  This could be a game-changing year!

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