Trusting the Lord with My Summer
Jul 26, 2023 | 7 min read | Jules Peterson
Have you ever had to trust God with a seemingly wild decision? Back in December, my friend Hannah Hartman told me about the Communications Team (C-Team) internship she did last summer, how it impacted her, and how God used her in his plan. Now this summer, I’m a Social Media C-Team Intern with Josiah Venture’s International Team. I felt the Lord calling me abroad to Europe for a while, but I was unsure of any details. Through prayer and counsel, I continued to step forward into each new door God opened. After every Zoom call with my new team, I felt peace and an eagerness to get started.
On June 1st, I hopped on a plane from Virginia, USA, to Krakow, Poland. I finally met my team in person. We had to transition quickly, though. If you know anything about a Josiah Venture summer internship, you know about the Amazing Race. The race pushed my limits, and I had to rely on God to help me love my team. After this, intern training was a beautiful way to start our summer. We had discussions about the importance of praising the Lord, the characteristics of God, how to serve students well this summer, and how to navigate a diverse cultural atmosphere. Walking out of intern training, I felt the Lord’s freedom and my teams’ exciting new bond.
After training, I, along with my fellow interns, got settled in Ostrava, Czech Republic. We did a C-Team training which focused on each of our respective areas. Two interns working on graphic design (Ethan and Nia), two interns with videography (Nick and Sára), and Erin and I working with Social Media/Podcast/Blog. I am studying strategic communications at Liberty University, and it felt so good getting back into the groove of social media management. The first two weeks in the office meant a lot of learning about the Josiah Venture brand, the mission behind why we communicate, and how to work and live as a team. I’m so blessed to have five fellow interns whom I trust. Four out of the six of us interns got the opportunity to travel with Káťa, our intern director, to the Baltic states.
The first place we road-tripped to capture content was an Edge soccer camp in Estonia. Adding together that I don’t know much about soccer, I’m an amateur photographer, and I don’t speak Estonian, I was half expecting to walk in and walk out the same person. God had a greater plan here. In connecting with leaders, students, and Mission Team members, I quickly remembered the call to live on mission wherever I am at. But I needed to rely on God and be sustained by him.
This was in one of my prayer journals during camp: “My Lord! My Heavenly Father, who loves me so dearly, break my heart for what breaks yours. Help me to see the work you are doing! My God, who is above all others, let my soul rejoice as you do with your children. Let my singing and dancing and laughter bring you glory. That in my weakness, others see your presence”. It was beautiful to see God move in the students and leaders in Estonia. It impacted me deeply, and I was so ready to do it again at the next camp.
Our team spent a week in Riga, Latvia, with the mission teams for their training before camp. It was so encouraging to get to know them and to hear their stories of how they had to trust God with their travel plans. Then we went to Liepāja, Latvia, and set up for Fusion, a music-oriented camp. Getting to be a part of this Fusion camp has been a test to see how much caffeine I can drink to make up for the sleep deprivation. In all seriousness, music is a great connector, and it’s beautiful to hear students worshiping every day. It’s been really inspiring to see the relationship between the church in Liepāja and the mission team from Arizona. They’ve known some of these students for years, and they keep coming back to share the love of Jesus with them.
Along the lines of worship, I’m learning how to worship the Lord in my work. Yes, anything I communicate through Josiah Venture has a gospel focus. During the regular hours in the office or the long days at camp, I have to ask myself where my intentions lie. Is it to glorify myself and get recognition for my work? Is it to prove to my peers that I’m competent? Or is it even to distract myself from the hard things in life? Or am I truly working every minute for the Lord? This has been something that I’ve wrestled with throughout this internship and in general as I’m learning about God’s will for my life.
Since I was a girl, my mom always sang us Proverbs 3:5-6 with a catchy melody. The words ring so true this summer, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (NLT). At Fusion camp, we also sang a worship song called “Nothing I Hold Onto” based on this Bible verse; and it’s been so freeing to sing the lyric “My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven.” Wherever God sends me after this internship, after graduating from university, I want to go to serve him. If he sends me to suburban America or rural central Europe, I want to live missionally, and to do this, I must rely on God.
However, this isn’t natural, and it requires a lot of time in prayer with Jesus. As we come before him, let us pray that he would make us more like him, humble in heart. Will you pray that Jesus would place the desire for us to trust him with our whole hearts? That we would give him everything.
Also, please pray for Josiah Venture missionaries this summer as they continue to do the work Christ has set before them. Please pray for summer interns that we would lean on God and not our own understanding. Please pray for camps that God would continue to reveal his glory to students, leaders, and the local church across Central and Eastern Europe.
I hope this blog serves as a reminder to trust the Lord in all areas of life; it’s a part of God’s wonderful plan.
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