Acts Projects takes interns around the world
June 01, 2009
Hands-on experience and a growing partnership between Bryan College and mission communities around the world are complementary goals of Bryan’s innovative Acts Project and its summer internship program
Matt Benson, dean of spiritual formation, said eight students will be working with missionaries from India to Southeast Asia to Europe this summer, applying vocational skills they have learned in school to life in missions settings.
“These are professional internships,” Mr. Benson said. “We have asked the host agencies to plug the interns in to their ongoing efforts around their core initiatives and strategies, not to simply create tangential projects for them, as might be the case with a short-term mission trip. We want our internships to be field-driven, to be helpful to the mission.”
To this end, Bryan has developed partnerships with a number of organizations that have used students in their operations, providing assistance to the host and an expanded educational opportunity for the intern.
This summer, students with majors from business to communication studies to biblical studies will be working in fields ranging from education to film-making to business to church-planting.
One student, who is working in a sensitive area in Asia, said he chose to participate because “I have always wanted to pursue the idea of using my business degree to serve God. This chance was really exciting to get to work with a man who is already doing this in his own life. Also because I had never left the country this was a great chance to experience a completely different part of the world.” Another student, a biblical studies major, is planning a missions career after she graduates and wants to have an experience in a non-Western context.
Cassie-Marie Bundy, a communication studies: film and technology major, will be producing promotional videos for three ministries in Latvia. Also in Latvia, Lauren Hostetler will work in a summer children’s camp. Kirsten Meberg, a 2009 communication studies graduate, will work in the Operation Mobilization communications department. John Moore and Caleb Beasley are working in India with Word for the World among socially marginalized peoples. Diana Webster is in Spain with a church planting team with AMG ministries.
Mr. Benson said because students work at tasks crucial to the daily operation of the ministries they come away with a view of life on the missions field that is “less romanticized,” and the missionaries often are encouraged as well. “Augustine Asir of Word for the World mission in India said our students ‘enrich’ the lives of his missionaries.”
One of the goals of the program is to extend the reach of the college to aid in ministry around the world.
“About midway through their assignment one of our spiritual formation staff will visit them to see how they’re doing and to see how they can maximize the second half of their term,” he said. “That also lets us ask how Bryan can leverage our assets to help the host organization. We’re thinking beyond internships to how we can help them in kingdom work.”