Saturday, April 5, 2014

More than interns!

One of the parts of eMi's ministry that continues to amaze me is its internship program. Three times a year, our offices all over the world welcome in newly-minted design professionals and construction managers from the Western world, and more recently, our own local areas. Each intern travels on a project trip, is assigned a project that they hope to finish within the term, volunteers for a ministry outside of eMi as well, and is coupled with a mentor from our office.

Our office, the largest field office, has increased its capacity to about nine interns a term. Our kids typically adore them, horsing around with them during eMi lunch, jumping on the trampoline with them when they're over for dinner or strategy games, or telling them no-doubt fascinating stories about their daily lives. I am so impressed with the caliber of young people that arrive here in Kampala. It gives me great hope for the next generation of Christ's Bride, and for the compassionate vision and ministry with which they kick off their new careers. It's even more encouraging to see them return now and then--on project trips, brief stints in a slow season in their jobs, or for our latest Kilimanjaro fundraising climb.

John mentors an intern nearly every term! And this is his first term mentoring an East African intern. Faraja is an easy-going Tanzanian architect who we've loved getting to know. He, like Valerie (below), volunteers at the local refugee center, and delves into fascinating conversations with John about faith and life. You'll meet him next week in a post from John.
Valerie and Janel
This term, I (Janel) took on my first mentee: Valerie Rubombora, a Ugandan architect. Valerie's been educated here as well as in Kenya and South Africa, where she acquired her degree. Wednesdays find us curled around steaming mugs of tea on my back porch, when we eventually meander into the kitchen to finish concocting dinner and usually on to a strategy game. Her wide, easy smile and spiritually hungry, creative, intelligent discussion ("Valerie, I love that you just used the word 'idyllic' in conversation!") always excite me. Valerie's willingness to share her life with me, and our family, is an unbelievable privilege. I am so excited about the plans God has for this young woman! The time for John and I to invest in some of East Africa's brightest and Christ-centered new professionals is humbling, energizing, and just plain fun.
Because so many have poured into me, it's cool to be on both sides of things. Just like Paul, we all need a Timothy and a Barnabas, right? Who knows?! Maybe there's a mentee waiting for you.
P.S. Shameless plug: If you're interested in mentoring, be sure to check out FamilyLife's e-Mentoring program.

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