Cohort 2023 Interns Reflect on Their Experience
As a JAARS intern in the summer 2023 cohort, I had the pleasure of getting to know the other interns with me for 10 fun and formative weeks. Coming to JAARS from a range of places, each of us brought different perspectives and life experiences. We came away with hearts for each other, JAARS, and global missions, as well as an awareness of the skills that God is developing in each of us for his Great Commission. Here are tidbits about us and our takeaways from the internship:
Isabelle grew up all over Virginia and studies speech communication at Liberty University. She served in Learning & Development here at JAARS. Her main project was building e-learning courses to help managers learn the processes and overviews of different JAARS departments to assist in training new employees.
She loved how this internship gave her the opportunity to be creative and work in a generationally diverse department. Spiritually, the routine of the internship allowed her to spend consistent time with God.
“It’s been such a restful experience relationally with the Lord,” she said. “I’ve felt like there’s so much space for me to spend time with the Lord in the environment that’s been fostered here at JAARS. I’ve been able to just sit in prayer a lot. I’ve gotten to sit and worship by myself with my guitar but also with the other interns.”
Daniel grew up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is a student at the University of Wisconsin—Madison studying computer science. He served on the FlightSpan™ team here at JAARS, helping to test the app’s user interface. FlightSpan has been an innovative tool in recent aviation to help mission pilots manage all logistics from the beginning of their flights to the end. Daniel enjoyed being part of the team that helps ease these burdens for pilots as they fly. He appreciated hearing the stories of how the members of his team joined JAARS and how God is using them and FlightSpan to further his mission.
Professionally, he felt challenged, as this kind of work differed from what he’s been learning at school. He enjoyed learning from his project manager and other people on the team. Having a weekly book discussion on Steve Richardson’s Is the Commission Still Great? with the other interns helped Daniel’s spiritual health, as he learned new perspectives about missions.
“I feel like this internship has opened my eyes to different opportunities of how God can use my skills for missions,” Daniel said. “My heart for missions has grown, to do something for God’s people. JAARS has been really instrumental in that, and I’m really excited to see where God leads me.”
Stephanie grew up in Austin, Texas, and goes to Liberty University. She’s majoring in visual media and journalism video production. Here at JAARS, she served in Communications, compiling footage into montages, translating videos into other languages, and transcribing videos.
Her favorite project was going to Mountain Week, where pilots who are attending Aviation’s Pre-Field Orientation training can familiarize themselves with difficult terrain similar to the conditions they will encounter in serving abroad. Stephanie went to the North Carolina mountains with her project manager and took videos of the takeoffs and landings. She even flew in one of the cockpits and got runway shots!
The community was her favorite part of the internship. She loved spending time with the other interns and developing personally, spiritually, and professionally alongside them.
“[This job] taught me how to tell people’s stories, reach people in interviews, find their heart and their passion, and capture it in a video,” Stephanie said. “Videography impacts the world of missions in the way that it allows us to tell stories that otherwise wouldn’t have been heard, and it also enables me to tell the most important story, which is the gospel.”
Nathaniel grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and studies information systems at Lee University. He served in Information Technology here at JAARS. His main project was increasing manageability and professionalism at JAARS by implementing standards for email addresses and usernames.
This internship was the first time he got hands-on experience with the work he plans to do for the rest of his life. He felt like he could see his job’s influence on the vital communication happening at JAARS.
Spiritual development was the most impactful part of the internship for him. Leaving home for the first time and finding a church helped him grow spiritually. Although living in community at the JAARS Base was a large adjustment, he described it as one of the best experiences of his life.
“Having grown up with parents with missionary backgrounds, I’ve been aware of missions,” Nathaniel said. “However, JAARS has opened my eyes to the profound impact missions has around the world, and it’s [made] me more ready to help support that work.”
Now a little about me! I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, and I study professional writing at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. I served as a social media intern, putting together a yearlong calendar of content to promote the JAARS Fellowships and Internships.
I enjoyed being a part of such a friendly work environment and working on practical projects that will be used throughout the year, whether that be social media content, newsletters, or blog posts.
Spiritually, the internship gave me the opportunity to develop healthy habits in prayer and discuss Scripture with a mentor. It introduced me to the great impact of missions, and I loved getting to be part of missions in a small way by getting the name of JAARS out there via social media to future candidates for the fellowship and internship programs.
JAARS has taught me that there are innumerable ways to get involved with missions, even if you’re not on the field yourself. I’ve learned that God has a place for everyone and every skill set. It’s an exciting movement to be a part of.
Our interns would appreciate prayer as we move into our last years of college. And if you or someone you know is interested in being part of next summer’s interns cohort, learn more here!
Watch this fun short video produced by Stephanie: