A community garden is planted with area children.
The 3.0 Missional Internship program is currently in its fourth summer of work in Mobile's inner city communities. The interns are an incredible blessing to those they serve. For many interns themselves, it has been a truly life-changing experience. And for the churches and agencies involved, it has brought new life and helped reestablish and deepen relationships with the community. As a project of the Mobile District, 3.0 has been an opportunity to see our connectional system at its very best. Amanda Moore is one of this year's 3.0 interns and shares with us her experience this summer.
Name: Amanda Moore
Hometown/Church Affiliation: Foley United Methodist Church, Foley, AL
School Attending and Major: Auburn University, Social Work
What inspired you to apply to be a 3.0 missional intern?
My first summer, I knew that I wanted to spend my time focusing on others and serving the Lord. I heard about the internship from a friend who described her experience as life changing and challenging. She was right, but after my first summer, I fell in love with the community I had worked in and knew I had to come back.
What is the single most important thing you've learned during this experience?
During my first summer, the Lord opened my eyes to the filth of my own heart. That now serves as an essential reminder that I am not good and it is only through Christ in me that I am able to do good.
Has the program matched your expectations?
The program certainly exceeded my expectations. I expected to come in and work with kids but I learned so much about myself from being with them. I also didn't know I would build such lasting relationships with fellow interns. This summer I'm still constantly changing and growing with each day. The program never ceases to amaze me with its challenges, and as a result, I come out with more understanding and capability.
Where have you seen Christ in your internship?
There are 28 interns this year. I live with 15 of them. It can be easy to focus on other's shortcomings when you're living in such close quarters, yet I have seen Christ in our interactions. I can think of many times that I've seen Christ embodied in a fellow intern by the way they reached out to comfort or encourage another, or did something sacrificially for another.
Tell me a little bit about your favorite interaction with the community thus far?
My team visits a nursing home once a week. This can be a challenging time because many of the residents don't remember us, aren't completely aware of their surroundings, or are unresponsive. Nevertheless it's the best feeling to receive a genuine smile or to see the comfort given by just giving their hand a squeeze. It's almost as awesome as when you get a huge squeeze with a giant smile from one of our camp kids.
What has been the most eye-opening experience about 3.0?
At our kids camp, we noticed that a couple of our girls needed a new pair of shoes and some swimsuits. After a church member heard, her granddaughter quickly provided us with bags of her old clothes to go along with what we'd already bought them. We drove to their house thinking we were making a quick drop off. Instead, all of us ended up out of the car meeting the parents and some of their other kids. The mom and dad said that their girls talk about us and their time at camp. They kept thanking us for what we were doing with them. Their one-story, maybe three-bedroom house currently holds 12+ people. The father, who is the only one with a job, walks to work. It's moments like these that you feel disgusted with yourself and society for the way that you live. But it's also in these moments that you find purpose and strength to work for something better.
Tell me about your experiences with the Mobile United Methodist Churches?
I serve at the Whistler United Methodist Church. It's a very small church with a rich history. Its congregation is a loving family that quickly engulfs you into that family. They are striving to serve their neighbors and absolutely love 3.0's part in that, as well as us interns. They have been so supportive to the team and our camp this year.
How do you think you will apply what you've learned in your future ministry?
Through experiences with my team, I've learned the importance of communication and teamwork. Through being a returnee, I've strengthened my ability to lead. Through the book we're reading this summer, The Forgotten Ways Handbook, I've gained a lot of insight on focus and application. I've gained a lot of confidence for the ministry I want to do in my neighborhood alongside my friends in the Fall. I hope to be able to bring ideas and vision, as well as be a team player.
What would you tell someone interested in applying for the program next year?
Pray about it, and if the Lord calls you, GO! If you allow Him to, the Lord will change your heart and use you for the work of the His kingdom. It will be tough and you will be challenged, but you will learn and grow and be drawn closer to the Lord as he shows you His ways.
If you had to sum up your experience in one word, what would it be?
Oh goodness, that's ridiculously hard. The internship has so many different aspects to it. It's challenging but fun, you serve but are also poured into by others, and you learn and grow a ton. So in that case, “growth.” You leave changed because the Lord has been working on you. There are so many experiences and different kinds of people you interact with that affect what you know and why you do the things you do. You also are an instigator of growth. You impact those you come into contact with and the community you worked in.