CBM Intern – Looking Back, Looking Forward

By CBM National intern,  Stephanie Schwan –

Well, here we are. We made it, folks. The year is almost over and Christmas and the New Year is upon us! Where did the time go? For many of us, myself included, it flew by. 2016 has been a whirlwind of controversy, change, loss, and upheaval worldwide, but also of learning, growth, building, and hope.  We know who is in control of it all, whether it feels like a time of unprecedented hope with a bright future gleaming ahead, or the brink of certain disaster with doom and despair looming on every side. Whether things seem worse than ever or better than ever, we know the One who reigns forever. We know the sure and steadfast hope (Hebrews 6:19-20). He supplies for us will never fail. He cannot break His promises.

As we look back over the year and all that has transpired, we remember that God’s Word is filled with commands to His people, Israel, to set up memorials, feasts, rituals, holy days, and physical symbols to remind them of all God had done for them, all He had brought them through. Why did they need to be reminded? Because they forgot… over and over and over. We do the same thing. We throw the confetti, sing Auld Lang Syne, and crawl into bed in the wee hours of January 1st, starting a fresh new year without taking time to reflect on what God has been doing all year long, and without reminding ourselves of who He is. This blog post is my time to do that.

In January of this past year, I arrived at Tuckaleechee for my 4 months of training for the CBM National Internship, having no idea what to expect. During that time I took Bible classes, did fundraising projects, bonded with my roommate (if you’re reading this, hey Roomie!), traveled to help with events, and got poured into spiritually. Before I even applied, God had been orchestrating and organizing to get me there.

During the summer, I was assigned to New Life Camp in Raleigh, NC, where I was able to work with and learn from some awesome staff members and make some sweet friends for three months. It was such a cool experience. God put me there, too, for His purposes.

At the end of the summer, God sent the CBM team on a mission trip to Moldova to work alongside local believers to reach the youth of their nation for Christ. It was so cool to see what God is doing around the world and bond with other Christians all seeking a common goal. And He raised every dollar it took!

As summer was over and the craziness was winding down, God sent me to Camp Grace in Fairmont, NC for my next rotation, to learn ever more about the daily work of ministry and what missionary life is really like. The staff there was awesome to help me and check in on me often. We had a quite the adventure when hurricane Matthew came through, but God took care of us and made us able to help others also affected by the storm.

Now I’m finishing my time at my last rotation at Camp Ta-Pa-Win-Go, where God let me see Released Time Bible classes and the hospitality ministry, as well as community outreach. The hardworking staff here has made it such a cool experience.

Now, I’m getting ready to head back to CBM National HQ one last time to debrief, celebrate, graduate from the internship, and look forward to the future. I still don’t know whether God would have me go into full-time ministry at this point in my life or not, but I do know that for the past year His desire has been for me to go through this awesome program and learn from the people He has surrounded me with. Everywhere I’ve been this year has taught me about the ministry, who God is, His mission for the world, and what He wants from me.

So what’s next for me? I have no idea. Following God is one big adventure, made of many tiny adventures one after the other, with a creamy adventure filling, all dipped in chocolate. Where He’ll lead me from here, I don’t know. But there are some things I do know. God is good. He is faithful. He takes care of His people. He is at work all the time all over the world. And He is in control. I look forward to seeing where He’ll take me next, and I praise Him for everything.

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