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Commentary: Internship at Georgia Baptist Mission Board provides exposure to people with a plan and a purpose

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As I reflect on my summer as an intern with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and Mission Georgia, I can recount stories of both the miraculous and the mundane. Mission Georgia serves as a connection point to connect, collaborate with, and support churches as they seek to serve their community. The value and importance of connecting and networking were one of the very first things I learned during my time here. We are here to connect with churches and people so that we can encourage them in their endeavors while also showing them all opportunities where they can become involved throughout their community. We extend a hand to our churches and to organizations and ministries to help the two eventually join hands together.

Connecting often involves sending emails, picking up and dropping off donations, and stuffing envelopes. Therein lies some of the mundane, prosaic work an intern is bound to do! It was the person at the other end of the email or the envelope, and the people that they influence, that gave purpose and meaning to the mundane. Fortunately for me, and you if you are reading this, connecting also presents the opportunity to meet people from so many different worlds with so many different passions and purposes. I was able to be a part of a multitude of conversations where people shared their passion, their purpose, their vision, and their struggles.

One particular conversation that was had was during a luncheon celebrating the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade. One of the gentlemen at the table asked what my role with Mission Georgia consisted of. Many of you may be familiar with the nature of this type of question. After a while, you have a pretty routine script or description of what it is that you do. I explained to him Mission Georgia’s role in mobilizing our Georgia Baptist churches to serve within our five focus areas: childhood literacy, human trafficking, refugees and internationals, pre- and post-natal care, and foster care and adoption. His follow-up question, however, was one that I had not been presented with before. He said, “So which one is it that you are passionate about? What really tugs at your heartstrings?” It was this question that required more thought and authenticity, and it was this question that the Lord had already laid on my heart earlier that day.

After all the exposure I had to these five topics, what I felt most passion and excitement for this summer was hearing not necessarily about the topic itself, but the person’s passion for the specific mission the Lord had laid on their heart. The men and women that I was able to meet and talk with this summer all had unique callings and passions towards specific groups of people. As Jesus tells us we will in Matthew 10, they found their life as they gave it away to others for Christ’s sake. I told the gentlemen at the table that while I may not know exactly what the Lord has in store for me or what He will lay on my heart, I can trust that as I give my life away for His sake, He will plant seeds along the way so that I will eventually find my life in Him as those seeds begin to sprout.

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Mary McSwain, a junior at Samford University where she is majoring in psychology, spent the summer working as an intern at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

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