International (MNN) – Apprenticeship is a system of training
a new generation of skilled crafts practitioners. The apprentice often was treated to a full immersion
experience in his craft, moving away from family in order to devote his full
attention to learning his vocation. Apprentices often built their careers
from their apprenticeships.
Today, Buckner International is
helping college students in much the same way. Their internship program has young people serving in Peru, Guatemala,
Romania, Latvia, Ethiopia and Kenya, immersed in practical experience.
Buckner's Vice President for
Mission Resource Victor Upton says they have seminary students, social workers,
teachers, and many other young people from different walks of life.
He explains: "The
interns are really helpers, or they're doing something toward their course credit or
doing something toward their work experience. They're doing something toward their life call, as opposed to just an
'exposure trip.' The interns may lead
Vacation Bible Schools, they may host churches when they come for a short-term
trip, or they may work in the orphanages."
Some are unpaid short-term
volunteers who commit to a couple months in an area. Others are working toward course credit at
Baylor University. While Baylor is the
only school offering course credit toward a degree with this internship, Upton
says they are open to other schools pursuing similar options.
What's the difference between a
standard two-week mission trip and a Buckner internship? Time.
Buckner encourages the longer-term
relationship-building because "the interns are ambassadors for Buckner.
They're ambassadors for the Gospel. They are truly missionaries, short-term
missionaries, not there for a specific project but they are there to spread
the Gospel. They're to share the love of
Christ with the children that they encounter and with the adults that they
encounter in whatever country that they may be assigned to."
Upton says the program is always
growing and changing. Work is not
limited to the field. In fact, he says, "I'd
really like to have an intern look at intern programs, to improve our intern
programs, to create a website for interns. I
think the possibilities are unlimited at Buckner."
They're currently taking
applications for the Fall of '08 internships. Students can apply for the summer
internship in early spring. More
information and application details can be found at www.itsyourmission.com/signup.shtml
or by calling 1-877-7ORPHAN.