During June and July we have had seven interns from the US living and working alongside us. They came well prepared to be learners and servants; we have been so impressed with them. While here they have worked at the cafe, served in our house churches, built solar panels, covered library books, visited borrowers and more. Always ready to help, each one of them did their part and helped us out during a very busy time in our development ministry.
Each of the interns were encouraged, and required, to choose a specific facet of our work to dedicate themselves to during the summer. For Emily and Sean that project was the libraries. Almost every week they accompanied Megan to the different libraries to work with the classes on their reading projects. Sean was even asked to sponsor one of the classes during a recent celebration at one of the schools. In the boys class the students were divided up into groups and tasked with choosing a book, reading that book, and presenting the story to the whole class. Sean and Emily were in charge of planning the party that the kids earned from doing a great job on their projects. It was your classic kid party - snacks, ice cream, and soda - and they all had a great time.
Two other interns focused more on our micro-loan program. Taylor and Rebecca are both business majors studying at Harding University and decided to come to Peru to see what our loan program is all about. While here they were able to participate in forming a loan group from the very first interview to handing over the loan and signing the contract. As their major project they will lead two meetings of this group. In the meetings they will facilitate relationship and trust building, teaching on business principles, and receipt of the weekly payment. During our meetings this summer they have helped me refine some of our processes, solve problems with various borrower groups, and start forming a more comprehensive entrance and exit interview.
Extensively trained or not each year’s interns bring something unique to our team. Fresh perspectives, extra hands, willingness to serve, business acumen; whatever we are lacking God provides. Thank you Sean, Katie, Rebecca, Ann, Emily, Taylor and Jordan. The work in Arequipa, the Peruvians you came to know, and our families have all been blessed by your presence.