During my last year of university, I only need to attend class part-time in order to finish my degree on time. Through a variety of God ordained circumstances, I was able to do a 14 month internship in from late 1989 through 1990 with Widows Harvest Ministries.
“The Widows Ministry”, as we called it, provides practical help to widows in need, especially with home repair and maintance along with spiritual encouragement through prayer and bible study meetings. Primarily, but not exclusively, the Widows Ministry reaches out to African-American widows living in the inner city of Chattanooga, TN. For 25 years, the Widows Ministry has been blessings widows under the direction of Andy Mendonsa.
As I look back on my life, I can honestly say that this was one of the most foundational years in my life. Talking to an elderly woman whose father was born a slave, driving the ladies around town, working with other men on a house – these were all formative experiences for me – a “suburban, white boy” of 22 years old.
Intern and apprentice programs over the years have bounced back and forth between the “Just do it!” philosophy and the “Read and watch” philosophy. Should young people who are exploring options for the future just jump in and work along side those who are older and more experienced? Or should they read about, talk to, and watch the old guys in action?
I think the answer is YES!
Working on the job with people who’ve been there before is critical. Learning about the work is critical as well. But there is a third aspect of development. Doing good works and learning how to do them with quality is important. But if our motivation behind our work is self-centered then the whole experience is almost a waste of time (not fully because those who receive the benefits of our labors still benefit).
This is why I think the MAP London intern and apprentice program is special. Summer interns and year-long apprentices are asked to work along side those in ministry, they are given head knowledge on how the ministry should be done but in addition, a significant amount of time is spent understanding our heart motivation for being involved in ministry.
As Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-10
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Did you catch that – we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works“. Saved by grace for good works. Grace in the heart leads to an understanding in the head which leads to work in the hands.
This is what we were made for. This is what MAP London is seeking to develop.
Check out the new MAP London website here.