Eight 2017 VillageU Graduates!
This week we celebrated eight VillageU graduates at our grad night! It was an awesome chance to look back on the crazy year we've had together and acknowledge the achievements and growth of these students. Just last week, they were settling home after an incredible VillageU impact trip in India. The trip marked the end of a year full of amazing moments of personal transformation and opportunities to profoundly support the mission of Village Church. Each VillageU intern owned their ministry roles and brought something unique to their department. Having walked with each of them individually, I saw them all face unique challenges throughout the year. Whether personal, academic, or the reoccurring pressures of ministry, all of them rose above those challenges. It was clear that Jesus was present in their time here.
It wasn’t solely their ability to do ministry that impressed, but their ongoing love for each other. Deep friendships were formed that became a great support for one another. I witnessed the group transform from strangers in September into a family. Over the course of a couple months, they began to selflessly give of themselves; providing late night rides home, spontaneous group encouragement, sharing financial support for the impact trip, and more.
In class after class, the interns engaged with scripture and theology. They wrestled, doubted, and questioned, but what came out of it was refined faith and deep-rooted convictions. Those who weren’t very familiar with the Bible at the beginning of the year fell in love with the pursuit of Jesus and his word.
All the hard work over the year came to life when the interns packed their bags and headed to India. We prepared the team months prior to the trip and encouraged them to be “the fragrance of Christ” wherever they went. It turned out that their attitudes could not have been described any better. When one of the schools in India asked us to paint a mural, the team decided to paint four instead and spent the whole day in 42-degree heat to get it done. When the team was initially told to do a twenty-minute program for some kids, and it quickly turned into a three-hour commitment, not one intern complained but instead had gratitude for the opportunity. When it took eleven hours of driving in traffic just to have two hours to visit the kids Village Church sponsors, the team was thrilled for the chance. This is a team that took a year to explore the love of Christ and found it so profound it compelled them to share it with others. They took the “fragrance of Christ” to slums and communities that were home to the outcasts and "untouchables" of India.
Looking back on the year is bittersweet. The office will be a bit quieter and emptier, but I know the staff of Village Church are excited to see these young people launched into what God has for them.
Director of VillageU
If you're interested in the VillageU Intern Program, click here to learn more. Applications for the September 2017 intake are now open.