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Illnesses, culture shock, insecurity, the unknown… Frankly I’m surprised anyone signs up for our summer internship. And yet, every year we have to choose between a host of incredible applicants for our team!
Maybe it has something to do with the powerfully life-changing experience we offer, or the deep relationships formed with indigenous host ministries, or the adventure… Who knows?
Whatever the case, this year is no exception. We have some awesome interns this time around.
If you can believe it, the sixth annual summer internship of World Next Door is already underway. We’re in Nairobi, Kenya for two months covering the work of three incredible ministries advancing God’s kingdom in the lives of the poor and marginalized.
Each of our interns will be living with a Kenyan host family, working with one of these local ministries, writing for this blog, and producing content for WND Magazine. In fact, they will be the sole creators of the entire September issue!
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the interns you’ll be journeying alongside this summer.
Julie just wrapped up her junior year as a business student at Cedarville University. She brings a lot of intelligence, creativity, and drive to our team. After knowing her for just a little while, I am so impressed with her entrepreneurial spirit. I’m eager to see how her business perspective will inform the things she experiences here in Kenya.
Julie will be working with Zana Africa, one of World Next Door’s earliest partner ministries. Zana focuses on the empowerment of women and girls, primarily by creating and distributing low cost, hygienic, and eco-friendly sanitary pads. It’s an issue people don’t often talk about, but one I’m learning is foundational when discussing the education of girls.
Joe is a student at Indiana University studying non-profit management. He has a great sense of humor and a “just say yes” attitude that make him a perfect fit for the WND team. One example of this: within 36 hours of landing in Kenya, Joe was already on a bus headed to Western Kenya to experience a Luo funeral. Talk about jumping in head first!
This summer, Joe will be embedded with a ministry I’ve spent significant time partnering with myself, Tumaini Church. Located in Kibera Slum, one of the largest slums in East Africa, Tumaini is a source of hope and life to a unique and ever-changing community. I can’t wait to see what Joe learns from these selfless and faithful leaders.
Laura is a Media, Rhetoric, and Culture major at Butler University. She just finished her junior year. I am excited to have her on the team for her kind spirit and great sense of compassion. I imagine she’ll leave Kenya with a huge list of new lifelong friends!
Laura’s host ministry will be Tumaini kwa Watoto (Hope for Children), a ministry to street kids. The organization is dedicated not just to removing homeless children from the streets, but to reuniting them with their families and working to restore the broken situations that led them to the streets in the first place. Laura’s stories will undoubtedly be amazing.
Clayton has a unique role this summer. For the first time in WND history, we have an intern dedicated to creating video content for the magazine. As a recent digital media graduate of Lee University, Clayton is in a great position to help us produce some phenomenal videos to enhance our storytelling.
Instead of working with a single ministry this summer, Clayton will be “floating” between the other interns to capture highlights of each of their ministries on video. I can’t wait to see the amazing stuff he’s going to produce!
So that’s the team! As you can see, we’re bringing a lot of talent and creativity to the table.
About the Author: Barry is the founder and Executive Director of World Next Door. A storyteller, traveller and giant nerd, he lives to compel suburban Americans to get engaged with social justice and find their place in God's kingdom revolution. His ultimate dream is to adopt a pet monkey named Kevin.