Are you considering an opportunity to serve? Looking to live somewhere new and meet new people? An internship with CrossRoads Missions can accomplish all of these goals. We’re now accepting applications for our 2020 internships.
Our website has all the information about our internship opportunities, but we thought you’d like to hear from someone who already has been through this experience. Noelle Mash has served as an intern with CrossRoads not just once but twice!
Noelle currently is a fifth-year senior at Ohio University, completing her degree in Visual Communications. We asked her to share her memories and advice about her time with CrossRoads.
Q: What led you to decide to apply for an internship with CrossRoads?
NOELLE: In the Spring of 2017, my college ministry, Reach Out on Campus, went on a mission trip to the NOLA CrossRoads field. This was my first mission trip ever and I absolutely fell in love with it. I grew up in a very little congregation and I never had opportunities to go on mission trips, so when this trip came up I knew I had to go. When I got home from that trip I considered signing up for an internship in the summer of 2017, but I decided not to. Then the summer of 2018 came around and something in me told me to take the leap and fill out the application. I was actually at work when I decided to do it! So last summer I was an intern in the Appalachia field. In January of this year I went on a mission trip with Allie and Alex (the leaders at the NOLA field) and while on that trip we talked about me maybe interning there this summer, so when I got home I applied and got the internship!
Q: What were some of the specific duties that you had?
NOELLE: My most recent internship in New Orleans began the last week of May and ended the first week of August. The majority of my time in New Orleans I took participants to a kids camp. I facilitated them in helping assist the counselors at the camp. Every day I told my groups that the camp would definitely be different than their culture at home and that it might be a little crazy and chaotic, but that we were there to help out and be a light in those kids’ lives because we don’t know what they’re dealing with at home. Along with that, I took pictures and video at the camp because I was a Storytellers intern. I gave Allie video clips to contribute to the group videos each week and I also uploaded pictures to our Facebook page for our participants to be able to share with others back home about their experience. My biggest project of the summer was creating a video for the camp that showed pictures and video from the entire summer. The video ended up being about 10 minutes long and we had a little party at the end of the summer where the parents got to see the video and the kids put on a talent show. I also got to help Walt and Malou clean Camp Hope (where we house our groups) and serve meals to our volunteers! Something else that each of us interns did was lead a small devotion weekly to get our volunteers ready for the day!
Q: Any particular memories, preferably good, that stand out from your time as an intern?
NOELLE: So when I took the New Orleans internship I was a little worried because I wasn’t expecting to work with a summer kids camp. I am not really a kid person, so I didn’t know what to expect and I was worried that I would hate it. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with it. I think the thing that most stands out to me from this year was that there was this little boy, Jaceon, that I became buddies with and I always tried to sit with during the Read Aloud story time. One of the last days of camp I didn’t sit with him during story time and he looked around for me and asked me to come sit by him. I didn’t realize he actually enjoyed me sitting beside him for those few minutes each day until he asked me to sit beside him that day. I also was worried about building relationships with the counselors at the camp, but I really enjoyed everyone who worked there and by the end of the summer we were all friends. One week I got to work a lot at Capstone Community Gardens because camp was closed. We were helping a lot there because the man who runs it, Dave Young, was having treatments for cancer. I loved my group that week because they were so willing to work and I enjoyed working alongside them and hearing their stories. I loved hearing Dave share his testimony with them, too. My friends from home came down and served for a week which was really awesome. I got to work alongside them and show them what I had been up to. I could go on and on about it, but what it comes down to is that God has blessed me with some great friends that I get to share the joy of the Lord with.
Q: What do you miss most about your internship?
NOELLE: What I miss most is working at the camp and seeing the joy that the kids bring to my participants. I also miss hearing the kids talk about my participants from past weeks. It was cool to see the impact that the participants had on the kids and how the kids impacted the participants! I also miss seeing the work getting done on the work sites. I also miss all the people that I got to meet and interact with.
Q: Looking back, what’s something you wish you knew about the internship program at CrossRoads before you started?
NOELLE: How hard it would be to leave in the end. When I left for New Orleans at the beginning of the summer, I almost didn’t go because I knew I’d miss everyone at home, but by the end of the summer, I was wishing I didn’t have to leave everyone in New Orleans. And not just everyone in New Orleans, but I wish I knew how much I would miss the participants that I got to know so well!
Would you recommend the internship program to others, and if so why?
NOELLE: I would ABSOLUTELY recommend the internship to others because it really shows you just how easy it is to show love in practical ways to a community. I have also learned so much about how to show compassion, empathy, and really all the fruits of the spirit to others through the internship. I have also learned valuable leadership skills from leading participants and working with my fellow interns. Probably the best part about the internship though is all the people you meet and the relationships built through working with each other for the glory of God.
Q: Based on your experience, what is the most important quality or qualities of being a good intern for CrossRoads?
NOELLE: I would say the most important qualities to be a good CrossRoads intern is being flexible and being a problem solver. With ministry comes many times where things don’t go to plan and you have to be flexible and ready to change whatever you’re doing to get things done or make things go as smoothly as possible. You also have to be a problem solver because like I just said, things don’t always go to plan and you always have to be thinking of new ways to help and get the task done. Also, always have a smile to give someone. No matter what’s going on, where you’re at, or what you’re doing something so small as a smile could change someone’s entire day and they’ll wonder why you’re so joyful. And the reason is that you serve a risen Savior!