Post written by Autumn White.
Hey Everyone!!! My name is Autumn. I’m a rising senior in high school and originally from New Britain, CT. This summer was not at all what I expected. It was filled with so many fun, strange, and new eye-opening experiences. This was my very first year EVER doing THP, and I had no clue what to expect. There’s always been this passion inside of me to work specifically with urban cities since they offer a demographic of diverse people from all different ages, backgrounds, talents but also a boat load of issues that need to be tackled. THP allowed me the experience to help in a more hands-on way while also allowing me the opportunity to grow in relationships with others from these communities.
My friends and family would constantly judge and question why I would spend half my summer doing an internship that’s volunteer and “so much Jesus”. I could’ve been doing what everyone around my age was doing this summer, and some part of me did by lifeguarding at Lake Compounce. However, the smile I had when I got paid was nowhere near compared to the smile I had when I handed out food kits to families in need at Love Wins. I noticed how my small act of kindness affected their day, and that’s when I learned it didn’t matter what others thought about what I was doing because I knew that I had never felt so much joy.
Before THP, I was craving a new change, an experience to grow as an individual since my old self was nowhere near the “perfect Christian” and constantly depended on others' validation. It was here that I learned two very important things about myself.
The first thing I learned was confidence! I never had an issue speaking aloud and making connections, but being vulnerable and intentional while doing it was something different. Giving announcements and leading groups at worksites was a fairly easy thing, but when I was asked to go pray over a stranger or share a testimony, I just wanted to hide, but week by week that barrier slowly started to open. I always feared people would view me as less capable of leadership or commitment if I was vulnerable, but I learned that’s the best way to effectively communicate with others - by being honest and intentional. By the end of the summer, I found myself talking more, dressing like myself, and building my relationship with God.
The second thing was patience. My first thought going into this was: “What have I gotten myself into?” We were asked to lug around hundreds of boxes and do numerous tasks each day, and I was so confused as to what this had to do with the mission of THP, but in the end God showed me how it all came together. The boxes filled with food kits would later go to a family of five in need, and the daily worksites would help organizations like World Vision, Gardner's House, Church Army, and more carry out their mission. God was revealing to me that sometimes I need to trust the process of things instead of always being in a constant rush. Patience is truly a difficult thing to practice, especially when it feels like everything is falling apart and you need answers. God revealed to me through THP that in the midst of the storm, if it’s going to help others and bring glory to you and him, then it’s definitely possible. If he can use me amongst hundreds of other youth and adults from different ages, races, communities, and backgrounds to unite together and show love to each other and people in Hartford, then he can use anyone!
Post written by Gabe Sullivan.
This was my third year doing The Hartford Project internship. I was called by the Lord to first do it back in 2018 and have loved every minute of it over these past three summers. I have no shortage of fond memories from summers working with other interns and experiencing the Lord moving in incredible ways.
Here’s a little bit of context to this reflection: I was a freshman in college when COVID hit. Mostly everything before spring break was relatively normal. However, around spring break, COVID really started showing up in America. As a result, I went home for the second half of my spring semester and had to complete it online. It was a rough experience, but we ended up making it through finals and finished off the academic year. It was at that point that THP was starting up and, if I’m honest, I didn’t know how to feel about it. I was definitely a bit pumped to be doing the internship again, but part of me wasn’t.
I heard that, with COVID, it was unknown what would be happening with THP. It might be abridged, pushed back, or cancelled altogether. I wouldn’t be lying if I said part of me hoped that THP would be cancelled. The quarantine portion of the school year had worn me out and with that, combined with having my entire family home for an extended period of time, I was hoping to have a summer to just enjoy myself and work. No school, no THP, really nothing happening. However, THP’s leaders made the decision to move forward in an abridged state.
I am very glad they did.
Looking at the summer now, I realize that I was in a lazy mode for a great deal of it. I wasn’t on top of my game for much of it and struggled to get tasks done, for both THP and life in general. I know many people felt a lack of motivation at some point during this pandemic, whether that
was due to online school, working from home, or due to the stress and isolation. However, at least for me, I can’t help but imagine how much worse it would’ve been had THP not happened.
Now, I’m not saying that THP saved the summer or anything like that. It was the Lord’s grace at work that saved it and, as I said previously, I still had many struggles this summer. However, the Lord used THP to help me grow this summer. He put me in a position to serve and to go beyond myself in a summer when I wasn’t feeling up to it. He allowed me to be there for people when they needed someone to listen and offer advice. He even opened my eyes to greater understanding of social interactions and issues, on a personal and societal level.
The Lord used THP. He used this summer. I am not the same as I was before this summer.
I guess that’s the great irony of it all. I wanted this summer for myself: to chill, relax, and work at my leisure. While I still got that some, this summer showed me the Lord’s sovereignty and that He has a plan that goes beyond what we want. Sometimes He leads us to abundant streams, other times He leads us to dry wastelands. But, whatever happens, He is sovereign over it all.
As the Teacher says in Ecclesiastes 11:5,
And so, as I look back on this summer, I can’t help but be thankful for it. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it still was as the Lord willed it to be. He took control in a way that was far beyond what I could imagine and, if He didn’t, I would definitely be regretting this season. I pray we all learn from this. That God is in control. Even in a crazy season. Even in an amazing season. Even when we don’t like it. He reigns and nothing under the sun is beyond His control. We may not like that, and it will be scary at times, but we can have faith that God’s got this. We know that it will turn out alright, even good, in the end.
As Paul says in Romans 8:28,
Amen, Lord. Help us to trust you.
Post written by Lizy Beaulieu.
Hi everyone! My name is Lizy Beaulieu. I am 17 years old, from Southington, and I interned this year at The Hartford Project. My focus areas were Admin and Community Events.
This summer was so amazing with THP. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience considering the crazy circumstances this year. THP gave me a home for the summer and a new family to explore my faith and grow with. This family supported me, lifted me up, encouraged me to pursue God, and helped me get out of my comfort zone.
In all honesty, I was so nervous coming into this internship; I knew that my relationship with God wasn’t where it should be and I wasn’t the best Christian I could be. I was worried that I would be judged and looked down on because I didn’t know Scripture off the top of my head, I couldn’t write my own devo, and I wasn’t confident in my ability to pray out loud or in front of a group. But that was not the case by any means. Everyone was at different stages in their walk with God and everyone only wanted to help build each other up. I learned something from each intern and I hope they got to learn something from me.
I truly connected with the most incredible people. It’s sad to think that this chapter is coming to an end, but I’m glad I have so many great memories and experiences to look back on.
All in all, interning with THP was such an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to carry what I’ve learned here into my everyday life.
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.
Everyone ran for shelter (the interns found shelter under the tables) while it rained. When it started pouring a number of people rushed into the church, while others crowded under tents. And then, it started hailing, and just about everyone ran into the church! We all were in there drying off and bonding over our soaking, squishing sneakers, when outside, the hail cleared up, and a beautiful double rainbow appeared.
running for shelter, and since we were stuck inside, we all got to talk and meet new people.
Isn’t it true that when we go through “storms” in our own lives, God uses them to bring us closer to those around us? God can use the “storms” in our lives to bring people to us that we can lean on. We can quickly bond with those around us when we are going through something difficult. It helps us recognize our need for each other. That’s what happened that night in the storm.
The coolest part, was that when all was said and done, God had placed a double rainbow in the sky. Everybody loves a rainbow, but isn’t it amazing that as Christians we can look at rainbows as a promise from God? After the storm, there’s a rainbow. A promise. How beautiful is that?
So maybe our block party was rained out, but God still used it to move in incredible ways! We got to make new relationships, bless others, and be blessed, all the same. And even in the storm, we got to see a beautiful double rainbow afterwards, and it made for some pretty good stories!
Post written by Jenna Adendorff.
The host family was extremely welcoming and conversation flowed naturally, so naturally in fact, that we got caught up in discussing life in Hartford and were late back to the general meeting! I had the opportunity to learn more about the day-to-day life in Hartford, and to get to know some of the people that lived there. I came to realize that people in Hartford are just like me, they have the same hopes and dreams as I do, and I developed a deeper love for the city and its people.
She is excited to serve as an intern this year because she will be able to experience even more of THP and Hartford than in prior years.
Being able to serve in the city that I love has always been something I look forward to every year, and as an intern I believe I can take it a step further than I have in past years and really get to spend time in the city helping others. I hope to gain a deeper love and knowledge of the city. Every year I have gone, I have been blessed to meet amazing people, hear stories, and be pushed far outside my comfort zone. I hope that I will be able to serve and bless the people of Hartford through this internship.
Being the Community Events Intern will be perfect for Jaymee! She will be able to impact those around her as she spends the summer preparing for Love Wins in a city that she is so passionate about.
I love getting immersed in the city life, through living in South Church, working at work sites, helping at Love Wins . . . It is incredibly exciting for me to fully engage in serving Hartford for a week.
Fun Fact // Jaymee is bilingual - she can speak Afrikaans fluently.
Favorite Verse // Isaiah 40:28-31 // “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Post written by Jenna Adendorff.
Jacquelyn here, Program Director for The Hartford Project!
I'm excited to introduce you to THP's new blog! Here you can receive updates about THP, find fun things to do in Hartford, and hear from the many people who make THP possible!
For this first post I'd like to share an exciting *sneak peek* at this year's WINNING design from THP's T-Shirt Design Competition. You ready??
Artwork by THP Participant, Emily.
Congratulations to the artist, Emily of Chinese Baptist Church of Greater Hartford!
You'll have to wait till THP to see the finalized design on our Love Wins shirts!
Next Up: Meet Our Interns!
Post written by Jacquelyn Perreault.
Written by the many voices of The Hartford Project!