International (MNN) — Choosing to get involved with long-term missions is an enormous commitment. For those who are certain God has called them, it might be a little easier to get involved. But what if you aren't quite sure?
For a lot of college students and young adults, it can be hard to determine what comes next. Wycliffe Bible Translators has an opportunity to allow young adults to explore their calling and their options to help.
Summer internships with Wycliffe allow believers ages 18 to 35 to get a taste of the missions world before they commit long-term. Internship participants engage in service, receive direction, and inevitably experience growth.
The service is the basic ‘what' of the project. Interns can get involved on a domestic level at Wycliffe or JAARS headquarters, or they can serve overseas with Wycliffe missionaries. Both are service-oriented, and overseas, participants are actually able to help ease the load of hard-working missionaries.
"There are plenty of people who say, ‘Hey, I've got a great project for a college student. How many interns do you have? Can you send me one?'" explains Internship Coordinator Karen Snyder. "So they save up those projects that are kind of like an entry level position–for someone who's not fully a member of Wycliffe or hasn't had a lot of training, but can get a project done. It relieves the work of someone who's actually on the field."
What kind of positions does Wycliffe have available? Snyder says, "It's anything from administration, project management, finance, to aviation, to Bible translation, to literacy, Scripture use, and ethnomusicology–all sorts of projects, anything that our field members are doing."
In whatever capacity you end up serving, growth will undoubtedly take place. One young woman got to share Christ with her neighbors while on internship in Florida. One young man who joined a Wycliffe internship had planned to be a missions "sender" beforehand, but when he experienced a people group receiving the Gospel in their own language for the first time, his heart was changed. He had to go!
Interns grow in their faith and understanding of what it is God has for them throughout the summer. Snyder says it's Wycliffe's hope not that participants will necessarily stick with Wycliffe for life, but that they will determine whether or not the mission field is where God is calling them.
"The point of the internship, other than just doing an assignment, is to really evaluate: ‘Is this a good fit for me? Is this where God's calling me in the future?' And so by the end of the summer, we would hope that you would know through our debrief time: Is this something that you'd like to move forward with? Or, 'This a great experience, and wow! Now I know what Wycliffe does. But that's not where I'm called to go.'"
Anyone seriously considering joining a Wycliffe team for a summer probably has some questions. Check out Wycliffe's social networking site: Wycliffe NextGen to watch videos, see pictures, and learn more about a summer in mission.