How the Internship equipped me to better serve others
Written by Caitlyn Windham
Dear Future Intern,
Hello. It’s me again. Caitlyn Windham, an intern from Team 13. It’s been six months since the last time I wrote to y’all. A lot has happened for y’all, I’m sure. I only have three months left of my Internship and I’m excited to see where God will take me next.
I’m thankful for everything God has taught me since we last spoke. Before the Internship, I knew how to do most things, like how to clean, serve meals, or how to look after kids. I thought that was all that I needed to know, and others could do the rest. Boy, was I wrong. So many skills others are needed to do things. Sometimes you don’t even need any skills at all. If you’re a warm body, they’ll put you to work. It’s good but exhausting work. Now, of course, I can’t do everything (neither can you for that matter). For example, my building skills are sort of lacking, so I couldn’t help work on a roof (I also don’t like heights).
My first rotation was at Camp Ta-Pa-Win-Go. I was sent there to learn my niche. While at HQ, I just did what I was told, so at the time I didn’t care how I helped as long as I did. Ta-Pa-Win-Go didn’t have very many different jobs, so I mainly cycled between helping in the office, organizing the garage sale, and cleaning. I learned quickly that I do not like cleaning. The organization of the garage wasn’t so bad, but my favorite job was working in the office. It almost surprised me. We are constantly surrounded by people and the media that drudge office work as an incredibly boring job and that you should do more fun things like being a pilot or a singer. While I’m sure that’s true for some people, so many things rely on office work. When I was at Camp Victory for my second rotation, I spent some time cleaning, but then I was placed in the office, and I adored every second of it. I was able to help Mrs. Jan prepare for the CITs this summer. It was really fun, but also sad that I couldn’t put a face to all the names. I was also stretched and taught other tasks. I was taught how to prune azaleas, to almost place stamps perfectly on envelopes, and to answer the phone professionally. By learning these things, God (and the Internship) has shown me how I might better serve others.
1 Peter 4:10 says, “Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others as good managers of the varied grace of God.” (HCBS). While I may not be able to help build a roof, I sure can help organize the supplies needed for it. By doing that, I can help the job go a little easier and quicker. Mary Slessor was a missionary in Nigeria. She served as a Bible teacher in her home country of Scotland and was able to use the skills she had to help in Nigeria. While there, she became an incredible negotiator, settling the many fights between native tribes. Even though the village she was living in provided a hut for her, she needed a house for the growing number of children she adopted. But she did not have the skills needed to do so. So, God sent someone who did. A man from Scotland heard about her need in a newsletter that she sent to a church. He came all the way, to the middle of the jungle, to build her a house. This man didn’t know God was going to use his skill set to help Mary, he just knew he had the ability. Was Mary the perfect negotiator when she first arrived? Of course not! She learned it to better serve others. When I was younger, I saw how happy my parents were when they served and, in my child-like mind, I thought, if serving others makes them happy, maybe it’ll make me happy too. And it does! When we work for man’s approval, we are sometimes left empty and frustrated for no one noticing us. But as Christians, the Bible tells us we are not trying to please people, otherwise we’re not serving Christ as Galatians 1:10 tells us.
As I close, I pray that God will help you grow in learning how to serve others. Just continue to grow in Him, in His will for you, and His word. Follow Paul’s instructions in his letter to the Galatians saying “So we must not get tired of doing good for we will reap at the proper time. Therefore, as we have the opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.” (HCBS). Even though I’m finishing the Internship, I pray to see you next time!
Caitlyn is a part of the CBM Internship program, which exists to encourage young people to experience missions! To learn more about the CBM Internship program click HERE