“A magnificent land. A beautiful people. And someone who finds great joy in both of those. From the usual to the peculiar, the mundane to the spectacular, Indonesia has been mine to enjoy these past months.”
– Jason Horolings (more here http://jasoninjava.blogspot.ca/)
“Every day here in Cambodia am reminded of the way that King’s has shaped my future, who I am and what I am passionate about. Without King’s I would not be where I am now. And believe me, it is pretty incredible.”
-Stacey Brandsma (more here http://volunteerblog.worldrenew.net/staceybrandsma)
“ I used to think people needed food, participatory democracy, income generation – not more ‘Good News’. Yet God’s Good News is food, clothing for the naked, good government for the oppressed, and business cooperatives for the poor.”
-Jonathan de Koning, Haiti
“My time and experiences in East Africa allowed me to grasp many concepts and theories that I had only read about in class: the relationships between environmental issues and poverty, the complexities of development work in a rural setting, the cooperation between government and NGOs, and the inner-workings and strategies of poverty alleviation and empowerment. Yet, I have not simply returned with a better knowledge of these things, but I returned having built real relationships with the people I worked with and lived with each day who are determined to overcome the poverty in their village and create a better life for their community.”
-Geoff Brouwer (more here http://geoffintz.blogspot.ca/)
“My internship with Mikisew Cree First Nation Government Industry Relations gave me eyes to see the political world from the viewpoint of a minority group. I have witnessed how good intentions, when acted upon without understanding, can indeed pave a destructive path. I have also seen much hope in the resilience of a battered people. Being a in a minority group myself, my internship has inspired me to reclaim and celebrate my own roots.”
– Jeremiah D Bašurić
“Working at the Mustard Seed challenged me in many ways and helped me to grow in my understanding of myself and of the world around me more than any experience prior to it. I find that I am quite optimistic, and can find the silver lining in almost any situation, but while working at the Mustard Seed I was confronted by a world where often there was no silver lining, where my ability to optimistic was met by an unseen and unforgiving wall of pain and defeat in the stories and lives of the people that I met and worked with every day. In the beginning of the summer this experience terrified me and left me close to the grips of despair even though I was told that this might happen, even though I thought I was mentally prepared for it. I could not turn to my own optimism in order fight this despair, but instead I had to turn to God and discover the hope that springs from a hope of things both here and yet to come. This summer helped me to understand the hope brought by the life and death of Jesus Christ and forced me to place my trust in this hope rather than trust in the strength of my own optimism to stem the tide of darkness and pain in this world.”
Read more here: Will Gelderman’s Internship at the Mustard Seed
“The Mustard Seed internship through the Micah Centre gave me the opportunity to be immersed in an area of ministry which is now my life. Without it I would have never ventured into the inner-city, I would have never experienced the Kingdom of God and the work I am called to”.
-Jeremiah D Bašurić
“Brian Fikkert in When helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself proposes the participation of the population in need. In the inner city context, this means enabling the people to participate in their own rehabilitation, recovery, and even exercise of stewardship as a process of reconciling relationships. The people could be involved in every aspect of the programs: from planning a meal, to shopping or sourcing for food, to helping with serving and clean up. When they do this and when they eat together, they feel thrilled and wanted. Participation deals with the notion of paternalism, they don’t feel we are superior and they are inferior. For this to truly happen, we have to trust their capacities if given a chance. Don’t they know too well how to be in need? We may be surprised by the creativity they bring to our programs: they may know something we don’t.”
-Dan Muthui in Edmonton’s Inner City (More here http://danmuthui.blogspot.ca/)
“On this program we have been talking a lot about the definition of poverty. I feel in our North American stereotypical view, that these people I stayed with appeared to be impoverished. But in the way they take time for others, provide for others, and live these beautiful, simple, self sustainable lives, I feel as if I am the one who has been impoverished. I learned so much on this stay; about their education, agriculture, and traditions and I will perhaps share more when I return home.”
-Charissa Vandergrift (More on her Blog)
“All earth is crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God; but only they who see take off their shoes; the rest sit round it and pluck blackberries” – elizabeth barrett browning
-Sarah Nicolai in Uganda 2007 Read her Blog here.
“I saw corruption at its peak and today it’s hard to joyfully bring in the new year, knowing that people are being shot within a mile radius of where I lived and that the streets I walked and enjoyed everyday are now deserted only occupied and tightly controlled by riot police.”
-Justine Vandergrift in Kenya 2007 (Read more on her Blog)
“I love the world around me, especially the outdoors!- and want to experience so many things and places. I have a heart for those living in poverty/hunger and sickness. I hope that as a Christian I can learn to be a living example of the realization that God created this world to be enjoyed by all and to glorify Him… attempting to live in a way that is sustainable and joyful.
-Lindsay Vanderhoek in Tanzania 2006 (more on her Blog)