Intern Reflection Series // Post written by Lydia Yu
Interning for THP again this summer has been filled with unexpected blessings and lessons, and the experience was completely different from last year in the best way. There are always new things to learn about God and serving, and God certainly did not disappoint in showing how He moves this summer!
During THP Week One, I was a participant with Chinese Baptist Church of Greater Hartford in addition to being an intern. It was such a joy to serve alongside the members of my youth group, become closer with them, and watch all of us grow in our relationships with God. That week, I didn’t realize how much shame I had carried beforehand and the constricting boxes I had put around God’s love until I fully experienced the depths of His love during Week One. I was weighed down by sin and the way I had pushed God to the background during my senior year of high school, and I felt as if I was not worthy of all of God’s love. However, as we sang “You Are Good” on Monday night, I could feel God emphasizing to me that his love is boundless and infinite; it doesn’t matter how much we’ve sinned or how far away we feel from Him because He still wants us and loves us.
As the Life in the City and Love Wins intern, there was a lot of work to do, and it was especially stressful during the June Outreach Week when I was a participant in addition to being an intern. Combined with the anxieties of beginning college in a setting that was very new to me and the work I had to do in preparation for that, I became overwhelmed with stress at times and would doubt my decision in becoming an intern. The Enemy discouraged me as I grew frustrated with myself because I knew that I had been able to handle higher workloads throughout high school, and I felt very incapable of serving God. But God is faithful; throughout the summer I learned to surrender all of my worries and stresses to Him, and I discovered a peace and joy that can only come from God. He reminded me that I didn’t have to be perfect to serve Him and that He could give me strength for anything as long as I depended faithfully on Him.
THP has been such an immense blessing in my life, and the internship has helped me build a strong foundation in my faith that will be crucial to college life and beyond. This life is one that I live with the sole purpose of bringing glory to God through the gifts that He has given me, and though it may be difficult and filled with trials, I have confidence that God is with me through everything and He will never leave me.
Intern Reflection Series // Post written by Alexa Carlson, Assistant Internship Supervisor
Hey everyone, it’s Alexa! You may remember me as the Internship Supervisor and you can see me in the picture below, the last one on the right in the blue tank top! For me, this summer has been one of great growth in a short amount of time - that is why I named this post “The Greenhouse Summer.” The Lord has changed me a lot this summer and THP played a huge part in it!
Wow, how is it already September? This summer has flown by but has been such a blessing!
Little did I know that answering the call in March for this position would be one of the best decisions I have ever made!
This job has brought me so much joy and the Lord has worked so much. It is evident that He united our team and brought us into deeper relationships with Him and one another. We have seen the Lord move mightily through the students and leaders. We have heard testimonies of what He has done in Hartford and are encouraged by what He will continue to do.
Jacquelyn and I have been gifted with this intern team. They have been some of the hardest working colleagues I have ever known! They are so respectful and willing to do anything that needs to be done - and at any time of the day. It has been awesome getting to know them personally and understand their personalities and giftings. The Lord has grown them all this summer and I am excited to see where he takes each of them this next year.
Over the course of this summer the Lord has taught me to be intentional in every moment - to seek him and be present where he has me. This was sometimes hard since at THP there's a lot happening all at once and it can feel chaotic, but trusting the Lord and being intentional was always worth it. He allowed me to see different situations with new eyes and a pure heart. Everything has purpose, and when we choose to see with Kingdom eyes we will not miss what the Lord is doing all around us.
Shout out to all the coffee sellers in the Connecticut area for fueling every moment of THP! We could not have done it without your delicious coffee and support!
Intern Reflection Series // Poem written by Natsalla Rios
In the summer 2018 I interned here at THP!
I know amazing right... ME... being in this incredible ministry.
Hello, allow me to introduce myself, I’m Natsalla - the worksites and discipleship intern.
Ugh, I know it is a super long title, I understand you. Here’s me...
Don’t I look so happy?
I was - believe me I had a blast.
During this internship I was able to see the work that goes into THP!
Yes, I know what you’re thinking -
What is this girl talking about? How much work can it be planning a WEEK?
... but let me tell you... A LOT!
If it’s not planning where the participants are going for worksites and showers
It's making sure we got you handled with a great worship team to get you worshipping.
Incredible, right? I know!
That’s only my job - imagine the other interns.
We all worked super hard to make this all possible for you.
Not only did our team help make your summers so much better,
but our summer was made better too.
For example, I was quiet...
HAHA I know you wouldn’t tell by reading this,
but I was the shy one
and by the support of my team and supervisors
I was able to be pushed out of my comfort zone,
meet new people,
and make amazing connections.
During the course of this internship,
not only was I able to just meet people
and learn to get out of my comfort zone
but I was able to build in my relationship with God
and learn new ways to better myself in Christ,
because you can always become better : )
In my time in building my relationship with God
I began a Bible project with my intern supervisor
and found a new mentor
in my amazing church community
to help keep me on the right track.
I just pray that God continues to bless me moving forward
as I begin to search for my calling in the ministry and in college.
That’s all for now folks!
God bless you all!!
Intern Reflection Series // Post written by Gabe Sullivan
Hey everyone, Gabe here!
I’m so excited to be able to share with everyone how the Lord has worked and what He has taught me over this absolutely amazing summer He’s blessed me with.
First, this entire summer has been one of the best that I've ever had the pleasure of living. The Lord blessed me with so many new experiences and the opportunity to meet so many new people this summer. I can never praise Him enough for it! This internship as a whole kind of came on unexpectedly in the spring; when my youth pastor asked me if I would consider being an intern it surprised me very much. I prayed for a little bit on the subject but quickly jumped into it and decided to apply, even if I was somewhat skeptical. I felt the Lord calling and was ready to see where it went. Praise Him that I was able to hear the call!
From day one, the Lord began to teach me many things. I learned how to be part of true Christian community.
So much has happened with them: dance parties at 1 AM, the South Church basement flooding, the “Internmission” talent show, many late nights of work or Anomia, failing at laser tag, trying and LIKING coffee for the first time ever. So many great stories and that’s not even talking about Team D yet.
On the second outreach week, I had the pleasure of being a participant while still being an intern. The huge amount of work aside, I was blessed to be part of the best team ever - shoutout to Team D!
As soon as the week started, my team and I bonded instantly, and every experience made us grow even closer. From volunteering at Youth Challenge and Kinsella to dinner at the Torres-Serranos’ home to eating out at Banana Brazil Grill to Love Wins to worship every night - a family formed that week - and still to this day we keep in touch. Before this summer I had 3 or 4 friends I kept in contact with, but now I keep in touch with over 20 and it’s awesome!
Being a part of both the Interns and Team D has brought me into new places of wonder and awe of God. God desires for us to be in community and He has brought me into that this summer. As it says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12,
Another thing that the Lord has taught me this summer has been to live my life by prayer, one day at a time.
Up front, this seems like something so obvious, but how many of us actually do it? No, we freak out and forget that the God of the universe is with us and is always there to lead, help, and protect us. All we have to do is humble ourselves and ask Him for help. He will always answer. As it says in Matthew 7:7-8,
The Lord taught me so much over this summer. But perhaps the biggest thing he did was cause my faith to come alive for the first time.
I’ve had faith for a while and the Lord has been at work within me, but this summer my faith came alive fully for the first time. With that came so many new opportunities to do work for His kingdom - opportunities that I never would have had before. Just in these past couple weeks, I’ve had numerous chances to serve and pray with others, whether people I knew or complete strangers! And the chances to pray with others only continues to grow as time goes on! The Lord fulfilled His promise as He says in Ezekiel 37:5,
A life in Christ is fully realized when we let the Lord do His work, when we are in community with each other, constantly seeking Him in prayer, and being ready to obey His calling upon our lives.
I can happily say that this summer all these things happened because the Lord allowed them to, and I pray that it continues onward.
Praise Him for everything! Lord, continue to guide us as we go about the next year into the entire future! Let your spirit fall upon us and hold back attacks of the enemy at all points.
In Jesus name, Amen.
Thanks everyone for reading!
Have a great year!!!
Intern Reflection Series // Post written by Gabrielle Ger
Hey, I’m Gabby. A lot of you might not know me, since I wasn’t originally part of the internship team here at The Hartford Project, but that’s honestly just a testament to God’s great power and His awesome, unexpected plans.
Anyway, here’s a quick rundown of who I am:
My name is Gabrielle Ger, or Gabby, and I’m from Chinese Baptist Church of Greater Hartford (CBCGH) in Bloomfield, CT. This summer, I participated as a leader for CBCGH during the first outreach week, and then subsequently - and surprisingly - became the kitchen intern for The Hartford Project! I’m currently studying music and psychology at UConn, and I love making music and baked goods (sometimes at the same time).
Now that intros are over, let me tell you about how God has done amazing things this summer to bring me back to The Hartford Project over and over again.
First, I volunteered as one of the four leaders that went with my church, and that was a really cool experience. However, it all really started when I signed up to help in the kitchen during THP’s second outreach week, right after getting back from the first outreach week, because I wanted to do more with The Hartford Project.
Then God just took my action and desire to help and absolutely ran away with it. Before I knew it, I had dedicated the rest of my summer to doing what I could to help the THP staff, and I’ve honestly loved every second of it!
During the outreach week, God just poured incredible amounts of strength and peace on me, and I got to experience the joy of the Lord all week. Despite the sparse hours of rest I got during the week, I was energetic and ready to serve all week. I found an amazing, loving community in the kitchen team - full of genuine conversation and witty banter alike. It felt like I belonged exactly there and there was a sense of rightness that I hadn’t really felt elsewhere with such intensity.
This summer, God has shown me how intentional and unexpected His plans are, and how powerfully He can work in anyone who is willing to answer His call and act in faith for His glory.
God has been bringing up this particular verse to me:
This verse has been a great reminder all summer that I should not only learn about God and His place in my life, but also act on His directions and follow wherever He leads me.
Even more so, God encouraged and spoke to me through some of the people I met during the week, both in and out of the kitchen. For example, He’s shown me how much a person can do when they take action for the Lord and His kingdom. During the second outreach week, the interns had the opportunity to have dinner in the home of a woman who lives in Hartford and attends House of Praise and Worship for church. Through this woman’s testimony, I learned how God has done incredible things in her life and the lives of her children and grandchildren as a result of her acts of faith and way of living in accordance to His doctrine. In this way, God showed me how much a person can impact the lives of the people around them when they take action for God’s sake.
Finally, I want to end with a verse to encourage you all. It served as another great reminder for me throughout the outreach week and most of this summer:
Jonathan is the last member of our intern team I will be introducing you to. He is serving as our Admin and Discipleship Intern this summer.
He participated in The Hartford Project for the first time in 2016 with Poquonock Community Church. During this summer's July outreach week, Jonathan will also be participating as a student as well as working as an intern.
Jonathan enjoys hanging out with friends in his free time and playing lacrosse.
During our June summer outreach week, Jonathan enjoyed working with THP staff and participants and singing along during worship. He can’t wait for another week!
When you see him at THP you can address him as: Jonathan, Jonny, Jon, or J J Ron.
We hope you loved meeting all of our incredible 2018 interns!
Written by Christina Perreault
Next I will be introducing you to Natsalla!
Natsalla is the discipleship and worksites intern for summer 2018. She graduated from New Britain High School in 2017 and is now studying Special Education at Southern Connecticut State University.
Natsalla first participated in The Hartford Project in 2015 with her church, Glory Chapel International Cathedral. Natsalla always loved serving at worksites and interacting with the people of Hartford.
Natsalla's favorite color is yellow. When she has free time she enjoys singing with friends and family. She even helps lead worship with her church.
Natsalla is a hard-worker and joyous person. We love having her on our team!
She loved visiting worksites on week one and she cannot wait to meet more of you during our second summer outreach week!
Written by Christina Perreault
Gabe is serving this summer as the Worksites and Life in the City intern. He has been participating in The Hartford Project since 2013. “I’ve been able to meet new people in the city and new brothers and sisters in Christ."
Gabe (back row, second from the right) with his team after their restaurant dinner // 2016
His favorite verse is Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.”
A couple fun facts about Gabe are that he loves anime and creating new stories.
“Any new experience that THP brings is an exciting one to have. Meeting new people, going to new places, eating new foods, doing new jobs.” Gabe is looking forward to participating again and serving in his new intern position.
Gabe (far left) at THP during Love Wins // 2017
Wave to Gabe if you see him during the week!
Written by Christina Perreault
Lydia is back! This year she will be serving as the Love Wins and Life in the City intern! She attended THP for the first time in 2014, and this is her second year interning. We are so excited to have her back and cant wait for you to learn more about her!
Lydia (far left) on THP // 2014
Lydia is about to graduate from Southington High School as valedictorian and will be attending MIT in the fall.
Lydia // 2017
She loves worship jam sessions with her friends and baking yummy treats to share and eat.
Lydia baking with her friend
Lydia loved being able to intern last year while still participating with her team and is excited to do the same thing this summer!
Lydia (holding umbrella) with her team at Love Wins last year // 2017
Say “hi” to Lydia if you see her during the outreach weeks!
Written by Christina Perreault
Next I will be introducing myself!
My name is Christina Perreault, and as this summer’s communications intern, I have the chance to introduce you to all our interns through this blog series! This is my second year interning with The Hartford Project and my seventh year involved with the summer outreach weeks.
Christina advertising a free car wash during her first year of THP // 2012
I just graduated from The Master’s School this year and will be attending the University of Connecticut in the fall. I am excited to see what God has planned for my future.
Christina // 2017
I cannot wait to see what this summer entails!
Written by Christina Perreault
Written by the many voices of The Hartford Project!