DSC_7201The other day I sent an email to all of World Next Door’s current and former summer interns and year-long fellows. There were 19 people in the subject line. I was so amazed I had to count again. Yep, I thought, 19. Wow.

I shook my head thinking back to 2009, when World Next Door was nothing more than an idea – a brand new non-profit with absolutely no evidence that our concept would even work. I vividly remember standing in the Indianapolis airport with our first batch of summer interns, Jess, Scott and Christine, and thinking, Gee, I sure hope I know what I’m doing.

Four years later, we’re at the end of our fifth summer internship. Today I can say with confidence that the concept does work. We’ve seen hundreds of people get more involved with the poor and marginalized because of our ministry.

But that’s not the only thing I can say with confidence these days. As I look back over the past four years, one thing is abundantly clear: our interns ROCK! Brave, creative, funny, compassionate, talented… it’s an honor to have walked alongside them all.

And now I get to introduce you to the work of our latest batch of tremendous interns. In this issue, they are the authors of our three feature articles. Get ready as Hannah takes us inside the Green Mango with her lovable self-deprecating charm, as Sarah describes her experience with the Imprint Project using her brutal honesty and humor, and as Anna gives us an intimate look at the everyday lives of the byTavi women with her talented eye for detail.

They’re wonderful articles and I’m excited to see how these young leaders use their stories to get you into the game. So dive in. Start flipping pages. And be prepared. You never know just what God has in store!

Barry Rodriguez