Summer Intern ProgramDo you know a young adult who is looking for a challenge? Wants to “do more?” Has a passion for the Lord? Has a servant’s heart? Is that person you?
The Words To Works Ministries summer intern program is unique opportunity for high school and college students to experience a broad spectrum of mission activities, responsibilities and leadership training.
Each summer hundreds of people come alongside Words To Works Ministries on mission trips. They come from around the country; they come from outside the country. They come for a day; they come for a week. They are young; they are old. They are obedient servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, shining the Light of the Good News!
The success of these mission trips is largely dependent upon a special group of people, our summer interns. These young people give ten weeks of their summer, working long hours in various jobs, ensuring that all the little details needed to keep things operating are handled. They are one of our greatest treasures.
Where do we find such people? We don’t. God does. In that wonderful way that only He can do, He points them toward us. They come from near and far. Some have been to Words To Works before as part of a mission group. Many have not; they learn about us and prayerfully stepped out on faith to serve as interns.
Summer interns are given a great deal of responsibility. They rotate through jobs on a weekly basis. These include facilitating mission groups, office administration, kitchen duty, and grounds upkeep. The job is fully explained and then they have it. This isn’t one of those hold-my-hand-and-watch-while-I-do-it gigs! Nope, the interns do the jobs themselves. For many, this is the first time they have been given such responsibility. And they are happy to rise to the challenge.
Pastor Nick has a passion for growing young people, and designs his intern program to do so. Throughout the summer he teaches a leadership and development class for them, mentoring them along the way. It is no wonder that 25% return the next summer to serve again and most of them stay in contact with him for years afterwards.
Indeed, the relationships that are formed during the summer intern program are truly life-time friendships. Mini-reunions are held as they come together years later for weddings and other significant events. Where else do you get to have such a chance, to grow, to lead, to mature, all while serving the Lord?
Could you be a summer intern?
Usually 16 to 21 years old, summer interns must be believing Christ-followers with a team spirit and can-do attitude. They are resourceful, love a challenge, and want to make a difference. They are looking to do more and to have an impact.
Interns raise their own support: $1,000 for their room and board, plus at least $250 for spending money. However, Pastor Nick challenges them to raise $3,000. After their teeth fall out of their head, they ask “Why?” Because, as a summer intern, they are foregoing the income they would have made in a summer job, money that would have most likely gone to college expenses. As an intern, they are truly missionaries and are worthy of support.
If you’ve never raised support, don’t let this immobilize you; Pastor Nick will help you raise the money from friends, family and church groups with letters, power points and more. And if you come up short, call him; he doesn’t believe that finances should prevent someone from being obedient to a call from our Lord.
Learn more about being a summer intern by looking at the Summer Intern Photo Gallery, reading the Summer Intern blog and evaluations, or by contacting our Summer Intern Coordinator through our Ministries Inquiries page. We look foward to talking to you soon!
How many shirts do I need to bring?
We provide a different colored t-shirt for each day except Friday and Saturday. On Friday you can wear whatever you want, keeping in mind that this is our "fun day," with activities like the beach, minature golf, bowling, etc. This is also laundry day, so you'll need a shirt to wear while doing wash. Saturday is our cleaning day when we prepare for the incoming mission group,so you'll want to bring an old t-shirt to wear. So, the answer is, four shirts should do the trick!
How about shorts, jeans, skirts, swimsuits, whatever?
You'll want long jeans or capris for Saturday night's orientation and Thursday night's praise and worship.
Khaki pants, or shirt if you prefer, for Sunday morning.
Shorts will do for the rest of the week. Girls should be fingertip length at least; guys, no saggy pants please. Bring at least one pair of shorts that you don't mind getting dirty ~ remember that Saturday is clean-up day!
Dresses and tops should have straps and be wider than spaghetti straps. If you want to layer over spaghetti straps, that's fine.
Bathing suits should be modest one-pieces or tankinies, not too low in the front, not too high on the sides.
So, overall, two pair of jeans/capris, one pair of khakis, and eight pairs of shorts.
What do I wear for Sunday church services?
We provide a polo shirt for you to wear to church services. You will need to bring a pair of khakis or dressy jeans to wear with them. Sunday shoes should be nice, a simple sandel or men's dress shoe, but no cheesey shower shoes. That being said, please do not buy something specifically for this. Whatever you wear for your regular church services will be just fine.
Shoes. What do I pack for shoes?
I love flip flops and you may too. However, you can't wear them during the week when we are working. They're alright for Friday's free time, but not while we're doing ministry.
Plan on wearing tennis shoes Saturday through Thursday. And bring at least two pairs of them: Jacksonville is hot in the summer, your feet will stink and your shoes will rot if they don't get to air out every other day. Okay, they might not rot, but they'll smell like they are! I recommend bringing shoe spray, too.
Shower shoes are a good idea.
Sunday morning service is dressier shoes, sandals for ladies, dress shoes for guys.
In summary, two pairs of tennis shoes, one pair of sandals/dress shoes, a pair of shower shoes, and an optional pair of comfortable shoes for Friday's fun day.
Linens? Towels? Blankets?
Words To Works will provide you with a fitted sheet, pillow case and summer weight blanket. That being said, you may want to bring your own. You'll notice that a top sheet was not included in that list. When you wash your sheets every week (and you will wash your sheets every hot, sweaty week, right?), it is a pain to wash a blanket instead of a sheet. A lot of people like to bring their own pillow, too. It can be so hard to train a new pillow to fit your head!
You'll want to bring both a bath towel and a beach towel. You don't want to use your bath towel at the beach.
Tell me again about the living arrangements.
It may help if you realize that the Missionary Training Center used to be a standard two-story Sunday school building. The guys stay downstairs, adjacent to the fellowship hall. The ladies are upstairs, adjacent to the church offices. The individual rooms are linked together in a pattern of one large interior room with two smaller rooms off of each end. Each room has several bunk beds , allowing us to sleep up to 170 people. Interns are assigned a room separate from the weekly mission groups. Under each bed are large plastic totes in which you can stow your personal items. You will have two, but one will end up being where you put your dirty clothes. Trust me, when the weather is hot and sticky, you'll want an airtight container in which to put your dirty clothes! Air freshners are not a bad idea. The totes are plenty big enough for your clean clothes if you do not over pack.
Upstairs, the ladies have two shower rooms with three individual showers each. They are connected to a large room we call the vanity room, with multiple mirrors and plenty of counter space to get ready for the day. Another space has a bank of five sinks, with two powder rooms off of it.
Downstairs, the guys have two shower rooms with two individual showers each. There are five sinks spread out through the rooms. Sorry guys, no vanity room!
Tell me again why I can't have my cell phone during the week.
Cell phones are a major distraction. Even if you only use it in your down time, it will constantly pull your mind away from the task at hand, serving the Lord, and back to all the things that are going on back home. It will make you much more homesick. It will keep you in turmoil with all the drama of your friends, their breakups and make ups. It will keep you from committing yourself 100% to this summer endeavor.
We do make exceptions for birthdays, parent's anniversaries, etc. We are not trying to sever all ties with friends and family at home, but we expect that constant cell phone communications are a sacrifice that our interns will make. If your family needs to get in touch with you, they will be able to call the staff and we should have you on the phone with you within an hour.
This is how one summer intern looked back on the cell phone issue: "It was really hard for me, but it really teaches you to rely on God for EVERYTHING. I am very close to my family, especially both of my parents, and you have no idea how much of a leap of faith it was for me to even go somewhere without them for an entire summer, let alone not talk to them every day. But it was actually a blessing in disguise. Also, in order to be an effective missionary, you need to be in Jacksonville, not just physically, but mentally too, and if you are calling/texting every day you are not really allowing God to use you to His full extent and you are nto forming the bonds with the people you are ministering with and to. I know it sounds strict and annoying and incredibly difficult, but it makes for a much more amazing summer."
Any other tips?
One of the most useful things I brought was a mesh tote bag (I got it for like 3 dollars at Wal-Mart). It was good because we have to walk a little ways to the showers so I was able to put my towel, change of clothes, and whatever else I needed to shower in the bag and it wasn't a big deal if the bag got wet. ~ Maggie Bertram
Rather than use a full-size bath towel, I found a large hand towel worked better since it hangs over the foot of the bunk bed without overlapping someone else's towel (yuck!). Also, it uses less room in your suitcase and laundry. Being smaller, I could bring two, so if one smelled a bit sour half way through the week, I could switch it out. ~ Caitlin Ryerson
I found it was easier to handle my money with a debit card rather than cash. ~ Seth Scarborough
I brought a journal. It was nice to write my daily thoughts in it. And when I got home I let a few people read it so I wouldn't have to keep explaining what I went through! ~ Hannah Calvert
The environment is probably a lot differrent than home. Not scarey, just different. The opportunity is there to mold yourself in a way that will allow you to grow. ~ John Yount
Shoe spray. Did I mention that your shoes may really start to stink? And air freshner. Just firing a shot into your dirty clothes tote can make a difference.