You probably are curious about the Mosaic Summer Internship 2019. What was my day-to-day like? Why were my hands constantly covered in white paint? Why did you wake up at 6AM for an entire week?
I describe my Mosaic Summer Internship 2019 as “a mission trip but in a church”.
If you think about it, Mosaic welcomed a bunch of 19 strangers (aside from 3 already-churchgoers) into their close community for 8 weeks. I definitely was a stranger – I probably was the only intern who never listened to their full discography (and still haven’t).
After all, you aren’t just allowed to go on mission trip – you have to be invited, called to come.
All the interns came to Mosaic to serve the church, in whatever the church and its pastors needed. You go on a mission trip with a mission: to build houses, or dig wells, or give art classes, or perform basic medical procedures, whatever it is.
And the reality is that the expected mission is only 1% of your time, but the other 99% was spent doing whatever the community needed and learning with your fellow missionaries. Instead of teaching and showing the community how awesome you are, you ended up learning from the awesomeness that already existed within that community.
Overall, my time with Mosaic was good. Really good.
But I won’t sugarcoat my experience because there were many moments that I wanted to quit, or cry, or yell at someone, or beat something to a pulp, or all of the above in one breath. There were incredibly frustrating moments, plenty of defeated moments, and moments where I wished I wasn’t called to be kind, patient and loving. Honestly, most of the work felt like Sisyphus pushing that rock up the hill.
But all of it was absolutely worth the sweat, tears and so many paint stains.
All of it, including the not-so-fun moments. I remember thinking throughout the internship that I wouldn’t do it all again – but now that I’ve had some time and space to reflect and be apart from that world, I would do it all again.
I’ve become a better person, friend, Jesus-follower through these 2 months.
Above all, the friends, my tribe.
There is already a deep connection that I experience when I meet another person who has a growing relationship with Jesus. But with the fellow interns, the connection runs deeper because we grew through the trials together. I wouldn’t have learnt from all the wonderful people if not for this internship.
I am aware that I sound awfully dramatic. With hindsight, I do feel like I am exaggerating because we tend to forget the emotions of the moment.
But as I made a list of specific moments I wanted to write about in this blog, remembering the moments also brought back the strong emotions associated with it. I’ll be writing about them as they’ve happened past, but I’ll also honour the width and depth of emotions, thoughts and spirituality that is within my memories.
And to wrap up this summary of the entire Mosaic Summer Internship experience, I’ll share my biggest takeaway:
The church always needs people. There is always room to serve.
When a bunch of interns were reflecting on how we were going to share what we’ve learnt over the summer, one intern just said that’s so boring because we’re all going to talk about the same thing of how we should to serve more blah blah blah. I wish I was kidding about the blah blah blahs, but the intern actually said that.
There have been frustrating moments, but this was an anger moment. I got pissed and shut the intern down before they could say anything more. I snapped at them saying that it’s not true, we all come from incredibly different contexts and have had incredibly different journeys throughout this internship, so there is no way we could all come out with the ‘same takeaway’.
Maybe we did all learn to serve more, but we all learnt individually how ‘I’ can serve better.
The very first Sunday at Mosaic, all the interns were on the setup team, where we scrubbed walls and cleaned bathrooms. Then after a week, I was placed with the production team. However, on most Sundays, the production was too busy to train me and then deal with me standing around and waiting for instructions, and since I wasn’t going to be around in a few weeks so it was better if they invested in other long-term members, I asked other teams if they needed extra hands.
Every Sunday, I did something different from ushering baptised people back and forth, to serving coffee and drinks at a booth, to sorting out placement cards, to setting up broken popcorn machines, to cutting fruits, to standing at the parking lot tapping people in and out, to more.
There was always something to do. Sometimes it required specific giftings that only I could do; sometimes it was because I was available. There is always room to serve.
Jesus once said, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.’
I understood the verse my whole life, but now I feel that verse in my soul. There was always something to do, and I was only talking about the Sundays in the previous paragraph. If I went into all that the interns and I did on the non-Sundays, it would take more than just a few blog posts.
Serving is basically putting others’ needs ahead of your own. So perhaps the church thought my need was to learn how the production team did its thing (and I did learn, and I’m quite convinced I’ll never be Pastor Amy or Michael Schultz as much as I want to be them when I grow up).
But as I mentioned about mission trips – it’s about the people you came to serve, it’s about what they need. And what this church needed was not another producer.
But no matter which team I was on and whatever I was doing, God constantly put me in situations where I couldn’t perform. I had no choice but to be humble and learn through the people around me who were better servants than I could ever be.
At the end of this post, I challenge you to serve.
Especially if you call yourself a Christian, you are the church and you are called to serve.
Serving doesn’t have to look like an usher smiling as you welcome into church, or a worship leader – it could be also dedicating one or two hours a week to organise paperwork, or mopping the stage in between services, or going on hospital visits to pray for those that are mourning, or cutting fruits.
There is always room to serve with gifts, passions and capabilities that God has given you. There is more room in you than you know. And what’s more awesome is: Let God stretch you and grow you through putting others before yourself – you don’t know the limits to what you can do, God does!
After all, Jesus was never about what Jesus wanted, but what others needed.
God did call me to LA, and perhaps I went in obedience with the desire for my own growth and gain, but God doesn’t just care for me and only me – he cares for everyone. Perhaps, and more importantly, He called me to serve in LA to serve those who would be in LA the same time as me.
Check out all my posts relating to Mosaic / my summer in LA right here! Also, subscribe your email below to be the first to read the upcoming post!