USA (MNN) — As the economy continues to go sour, it's easy to forget about the 143 million orphans worldwide who literally have nothing. Yet Jesus beckons us to care for "orphans and widows in distress."
Buckner International connects caring Christians with orphans in need through their summer internship program. Interns are sent worldwide with the intent of ministering to orphan children, sharing the love of Jesus, and building relationships. Buckner announced that the deadline for internship applications is January 31.
"This was a spiritual journey that I will never forget," said Amy Duncan, speaking about her internship in Guatemala last summer. Grant says she gained important spiritual insight from her group's trip to the local dump.
"As I walked through the alleys of the dump, I realized that these are the people that Jesus walked with, talked with, dined with, and hung out with. He loved 'the least of these' unconditionally."
Interns spend a summer month ministering to orphans and short-term mission groups, as well as sharing Jesus' love and building relationships with the children they meet. Experiences have varied each summer, and Buckner has sent interns to Kenya, Honduras, Peru, Romania, Russia and Latvia, as well as Guatemala. Most ministry is held within the orphanages, and interns have the chance to experience everything from leading Bible lessons to orphanage improvement projects. Interns are expected to provide leadership in recreational games, crafts, Scripture memorization, and other areas.
Most days include early mornings and late nights, and interns travel to and from the orphanage/ministry locations every day. Time is allotted for reflection and relaxation. Interns also enjoy cultural experiences in their time spent overseas.
"Being away from American culture was so refreshing," said Duncan. "As Americans, we tend to focus on ourselves, our busy schedules and how we can climb up the ladder in society. I loved being completely immersed in Guatemalan culture."
If you'd like to apply or learn more about Buckner's summer internship program, please click here.