Advance Magazine
Winter 2022

FirstLook at Missions

With fewer travel complications this year, our FirstLook college internships moved forward as more students explored missions firsthand. And explore they did. Baptist Mid-Missions coordinated FirstLook trips in nine countries: Chad, France, Germany, Mexico, Peru, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The reasons for their trips were as varied as their countries. In France, Jewel Schuurmans interviewed her host missionaries, made videos of their activities, and created ministry update videos for them. By putting her journalism & mass communications studies to work, Jewel was pretty excited to discover how her degree can be used in missions.

Take a look at missions:

Isaiah Hitz was in his summer between high school and college. He wasn’t sure if God wanted him to be a missionary, but he knew it was a worthy thing to consider. We tailored a dual trip to Germany and Peru, where Isaiah explored how missions takes place in multiple cultures. By getting this firsthand look, Isaiah enters college far better informed about his future.

Our Boston ministries saw two interns, Seth Stevens and Emma Rowe, who worked alongside Toby and Susan Stevens as they reach Boston’s international population. Seth was the first to receive BMM’s new North America interns scholarship, a program challenging college students to reach the mission fields of North America.

Grant Hague’s circumstances were wonderfully exceptional. Saved last September, he was so on fire to serve God that he enrolled in Bible college for spring 2022. When he learned about Bible translation as a missions major, his professor connected him with BMM’s Bible society, Bibles International (BI). This summer, he and another intern, Hannah Taylor, participated in BI’s online Haitian Creole translation workshop conducted at BI’s office in Michigan.

Out of any BMM field, Bibles International had the most interns: nine in all. For BI,
FirstLook and short-term ministry are essential steps to prepare people for the highly skilled tasks of Bible translation consulting and the specializations of literacy and Scripture engagement.

Grant and Hannah stayed at the BI office in Michigan while the other seven interns divided their efforts in Mexico and Chad. Not all interns are college students. Abigail Hedges is a teacher, but missions has stayed in her mind because of her BI missionary parents, Joshua and Barb Hedges. To get a better idea of God’s leading, Abigail and two other interns, Julie Aguilar and Kaylee Keck, conducted linguistic training among the Tenek speakers of Mexico. The three weren’t content to just sit at their computers; they were eager to get involved with the Tenek church as well.

Bibles International does not typically send interns to Chad, Africa, because it’s a remote village ministry with limited conveniences and supplies. But Adrianna Teachout, Daniel Hudson, and Grace Welsh each sensed that God might have a place for them in a French-speaking African country. A fourth intern, Bethany Hathcock, had already served in Peru and was willing to try a new field. 

Adrianna spent her early childhood in Africa, where three generations of her family had served. She was curious to learn more about Africa missions and to see how God could use her biblical counseling and business administration majors in missions. With her fluency in French, Adrianna was an invaluable translator for Barb Perrine, who conducted an office training seminar for Chadian BI office personnel. Daniel’s and Grace’s knowledge of French likewise helped them engage deeply with the people. 

A surprising outcome of a linguistic workshop the interns participated in was that the Chadian church leaders caught the excitement and urgency for teaching their people to read so they can understand the Bible—even though BI has been encouraging them toward literacy for years. Their excitement made a deep impression on the interns as well. 

God is still using missionary internships

Missionary internships make a lasting impact because they take people out of their normal routine and cultural noise and force them to ask, “What is essential to following Christ and what do I need to be pursuing?”

For some, these trips are a gateway to missions, but for all, the experience is life changing. Our Chad interns readily took opportunities to witness to our missionaries’ Muslim contacts, who were eager to learn more about Jesus. God is still using missions internships because, with His help and humility, anyone can make an eternal difference on a mission trip.

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