By Cacey Byrd, Community Engagement Intern
At the beginning of our internship, Brittany Vine, Community Engagement Manager, had all of us interns make goals for the summer – goals that would encapsulate what we wanted to get out of the internship experience.
Some of my goals included developing professional work habits, becoming more competent in making cold calls and networking, growing in my leadership abilities and growing to “own” the organization
While the first three goals were certainly practical, attainable, and even measurable, it was that last goal that I think really embodied the whole internship experience for me. Growing to “own” the organization – to be proud of the work we, interns did, proud of the team that we were and proud of the name that we bore.
Through the work I did here at The Mustard Seed, I gained a more holistic and Christ-centred view of homelessness and the people who are experiencing it. God used this internship to work on my own heart and to help me view people experiencing homelessness as He views them—real humans, real hearts, real stories, all made in the image of God—to help serve them not from a superiority complex, but out of a place of mutual brokenness.
We are all broken, just in different ways, and still God radically loves each one of us.
Serving at the shelter, sitting in on guest forums, and just interacting daily with guests, clients and residents, have all been opportunities to not only break my heart for what breaks God’s heart, but to then spur me to action. That’s the beauty of this organization; we can actually do something to support change for our vulnerable citizens.
Through the intentional leadership and mentorship from my supervisor, Brittany, my internship became so much more than just a “job”—more than grunt work. I’ve grown in both my faith and my work habits. I have been stretched to think more critically on key social issues, to lead and teach passionately, and to love deeply.
This internship has been an invaluable experience—from all the relationships that have been made, the serving opportunities, education and enlightenment—I have been greatly blessed and privileged to partner with The Mustard Seed in working towards fulfilling its mission.
I think I can safely say on behalf of all of us interns: Thank you all so much for this opportunity, for believing in my generation enough to partner with us, mentor us, and empower us to truly Build Community, Grow Hope, and Support Change—all through Jesus’ love.