Post written by Bethany Sullivan.
“…And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
This summer did not go according to plan.
I had been given some other opportunities before the pandemic began, but the Lord pressed on my heart the importance of coming home, being invested in my community, and serving with The Hartford Project as an intern. I have been gone for college and summer plans three years in a row and this was my last time to come home before becoming a senior. Even before the internship started, God had placed me right where he wanted me.
We started preparing, praying, and planning for the weeks of THP.
One of the things on my to-do list for THP was to prepare a sermon for Tuesday night of our service weeks. With the theme of the whole week being UNHINDERED, it was fitting to speak about God’s work in the book of Esther. While studying to preach, I learned about how God placed Esther in the right place at the right time, and she decided to do the right thing. This preparation convicted me because I knew God had placed me where He had me too, but maybe I wasn’t having the right attitude. Maybe I wasn’t trusting Him with the plans He had. Maybe I had my own agenda that I had to give up.
So, I resolved to give the summer to God – to give my efforts, attitudes, and emotions to Christ. Guess what? After making this choice, I started seeing God use the efforts the intern team and I were making. We saw God work in incredible ways despite a global pandemic happening. The intern team became tight. Youth groups were able to become more intimate in their relationships. Deeper conversations happened because there were smaller groups. Every night, students got to bring home what they had learned during the day; instead of being immersed in THP and leaving it behind at the end of the week, their THP lives and their “regular” lives existed together. All these things encouraged my heart and reminded me that God really is UNHINDERED.
So what did I learn during this summer? Well, here are three things I can tell you:
Post written by Rachel Cook.
This summer I became an intern at THP, and I am so glad I did! My name is Rachel and I am one of the Worksites interns. Originally, I was planning on spending my summer with friends at the beach and preparing for college, but God had other plans. He led me to The Hartford Project internship and said that he was going to use this to bring me closer to him.
After the first two meetings with all the interns, I had only one thought in my mind - why did God choose me for this internship? This thought ran through my mind each day as our intern team put in all our energy, time, and effort to prepare for the first week of THP, adjusting to all the updates regarding Covid-19.
The last night of the first outreach week, I asked God why he wanted me to do this internship because I was tired; I put in all my effort and energy to get things done and help in any way I could, but I didn’t see how it was helping Hartford or helping me grow closer to God. That night he told me that each morning and night I prayed for him to give me the strength and motivation to do what needed to be done and to keep me calm when things shifted. He also reminded me that in the quiet time I spent sitting and reading his word, he took the burdens that were on my heart and showed me that while there are a lot of uncertainties, he is constant and knows that everything will work according to his plan.
Throughout this internship I have made friends with the other interns, developed communication and time management skills, and more importantly grown closer with God. During this internship, God has already reminded me that he loves me and that he has great plans for me.
Whenever I was stressed during the internship or feeling like I could not do anything else late at night, I would put on worship songs and they would motivate me to keep going. A song that I often listened to throughout THP was Even Me by I AM THEY. The chorus says-
Yes, Jesus loves me
Even me, even me
I stand forgiven and free
Even me, even me
Even me, Yes, even me
Another song I listened to was Here’s My Heart by I AM THEY. The chorus is-
Here's my heart Lord
Here's my heart Lord
Here's my heart Lord
Speak what is true
Both these songs reminded me that Jesus loves me and that I don’t have to be perfect because he has forgiven me. Each song also reminded me that even though things are rough and uncertain, God has me in the palm of his hand. By remembering these things, my future in general and the rest of the internship don’t seem so scary and I can’t wait to see what God does!
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!!
Today I will be introducing Eliana Echtenkamp, The Hartford Project’s Community Partners and Life in the City intern for this summer! This role will include coordinating Home Dinners, where students at THP get the opportunity to eat a meal in the home of someone who lives in and loves Hartford. She will also prepare Life in the City talks and activities, and work with our various Worksite partners. Eliana grew up living, worshipping, and learning in Hartford. She shares her experience of her home church, Glory Chapel International Cathedral:
One of Eliana’s favorite things about being a part of The Hartford Project for the past three years has been the unity between different church communities around Connecticut.
She also loves the main sessions, filled with worship and speakers. Everyone from all the churches come together in unity. On the main sessions she says, “I love hearing about and listening to what people have to say about the word of God.”
Eliana is excited about reaching the people of Hartford through this internship, and providing opportunities for youth around the state to reach out to others as well.
Fun Fact // Eliana loves writing music lyrics, rapping, and playing sports.
Favorite Verse // Philippians 4:6-7 // “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Post written by Jenna Adendorff.
Written by the many voices of The Hartford Project!