USA (MNN) — For U.S. college students looking toward graduation, a floundering economy and thinning job market don’t give much hope.
According to Friday’s report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The unemployment rate was little changed at 6.7%,” despite a slight increase in hires last month. New college graduates face a tougher job market, a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds, resulting in high unemployment and underemployment among this demographic.
However, internships are a good way for students to improve their chances of finding a job. Mark Smith* of PIONEERS USA says the New York City Immerse internship, now in its fourth year, is for students with a heart for ministry.
“This program is designed for people where God is stirring their heart toward cross-cultural ministry. And that could be working cross-culturally with people in the United States, or anywhere in the world,” Smith explains.
Immerse interns spend ten months in Manhattan under the guidance and direction of experienced church planters.
“People are able to take what they’ve learned in the classroom on Monday, and apply that to working with real people in a community on Tuesday,” says Smith.
“The main components of the Immerse program are church planting [and] evangelism–specifically looking at different methods and principles and skills to really try to apply and see a church-planting movement happen.”
Home to roughly 8 million people and 800 different languages, New York City is a microcosm of the global community and perfect testing ground for cross-cultural ministry.
“New York City Immerse is just a great foundational stepping-stone for people thinking about cross-cultural ministry,” states Smith.
After ten months of training stateside, interns are placed with an existing ministry team in one of 25 locations. PIONEERS calls this two-month portion of their internship program The Edge.
“It’s a great preparation for people that are going to do longer-term cross-cultural work,” Smith explains.
After choosing a country they feel God has placed on their heart, Immerse interns are then placed alongside an existing PIONEERS ministry team. Specific activities vary by location, but they generally focus on church planting and sharing the Gospel with people of a different culture.
“Be praying for a hedge of protection, praying that God would give them divine appointments and opportunity to share about Christ,” requests Smith.
Become a 2015 Immerse intern here. Sign up soon. The deadline for applications is April 1.
* = name changed for security reasons