Thursday, August 21, 2014

Invest: The UMVIM Internship Program

by: Susan Kim

A Gradual Call
As 24-year-old Laura Kigweba begins her final year at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., she reflects on her call to ministry: “It wasn't one moment in which I was suddenly called,” she said, “rather, it was a gradual call.”

This summer Laura served as the intern for UMVIM, SEJ, where she put her energies into mission and working with other young people. She ended her summer more determined than ever to pursue social justice, through the local church and other mission opportunities.

“I want to communicate, and at the same time, be compassionate. I want to desire justice, and at the same time, give mercy,” she said. “I think, in my call, I recognize that it is truly about the journey rather than the destination. Even after being ordained, there is still the journey that needs to be encountered.”

Lasting Commitment to UMVIM
As part of her UMVIM internship, Laura worked in downtown Birmingham, Alabama with Community Church Without Walls and Urban Ministry, where she helped implement tutoring programs and summer camps for kids, as well as assist in providing other community services. She also spent eight days in the Philippines at the Global Young People's Convocation and Legislative Assembly. There, she and her peers tackled issues, celebrated oneness in Christ, learned from each other and experienced the United Methodist Church and its connectional system.

Laura is just one of an entire generation of young people who believe UMVIM's work will continue to have a significant impact in the world and believes in the organization’s holistic approach to justice. “I see an organization that is committed to making change in the world,” she said. “UMVIM provides a ready outlet for both information and action that engages local churches in global development and leadership.”

“This has been a phenomenal summer of learning,” she added in closing. “After this, I see myself entering into the local church to cultivate that environment of social justice. I have a vision of myself being an advocate for justice in all places.”

The UMVIM Summer Internship Program
UMVIM, SEJ recognizes the importance of developing today’s young people to be the leaders and justice-seekers of tomorrow. Your generous donation to the UMVIM Internship Program gives a young person the opportunity to spend their summer understanding mission at its core, and engaging in outreach from a holistic, educational perspective. For more information regarding this program, please contact Paulette West, Executive Director, or visit the Youth and Young Adults page on the UMVIM website. To make a donation specifically to the internship program, please contact Landon Taylor, Church Relations or visit the Donate page.

Check out the this post for a more in-depth look into Laura’s summer.

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