In 2012, UMVIM, SEJ rolled out an internship program for college students who display strong leadership skills and value the importance of mission work. We believe that empowering the next generation of the UMC is one of the best ways to keep our mission going strong for years to come. We were so fortunate to welcome Rives Worsham as our intern for 2016. Continue reading below to learn the valuable roles Rives played across the UMC connection, and how this experience has helped shape him as a leader.
UMVIM, SEJ HQ in Birmingham, Alabama
All of our interns kick off their summer at our office in Birmingham. They get to know our staff, our structure, and our mission, while also going through UMVIM team leader training and ERT Disaster Response training.
"It was interesting to learn about the structure of the entire United Methodist Church. I knew very little about the structure of the church when I got there, but by the time I left, I felt capable of having legitimate conversations about it. I also loved receiving all of the UMVIM and ERT training. It made me feel like I would be able to help others whenever and wherever I am needed."
Domestic Placement: Obion County, Tennessee
Our interns spend the next couple weeks of their summer in their domestic placements, usually within the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Rives served alongside ReelFoot Rural Ministries in Obion, Tennessee.
"I was really surprised by how much I fell in love with the small community. One of the biggest things I learned there was that there is plenty of work to be done here at home, you don’t have to travel abroad to find people in need. Obion County seemed to be overlooked and forgotten by the rest of the county, but they were such a welcoming community and they just needed a little help. RRM was awesome because they are involved in so much. I was able to work with elderly citizens, do construction in the community, supply food to those in need, pick up furniture for the thrift shop, do manual labor around the property, and work some with youth groups who volunteered there. I saw God in the staff who worked constantly to help those who seemed to have been forgotten by everyone else, and I hope that I can work with them again in the future."
International Placement: San Isidro, Costa Rica
Rives' final stop saw his return to Costa Rica to work again with Costa Rica Mission Projects. Rives traveled there in 2013 with his youth group, and enjoyed getting his hands dirty once again!
"This was an amazing experience for me. A big thing I took away from this part of the internship is that the body of Christ doesn’t just live in America. We have brothers and sisters in Christ taking communion with us and worshiping with us all over the world. Short-term mission teams are meant to connect us with our Christian family, they aren’t just about the work. It is important for Christians to send out mission teams not just to do labor but to live out what it means to be part of an international body of Christ. I really enjoyed the work I did there, from making sidewalks to building bathrooms, but what I enjoyed the most was the lasting friendships I made with the people down there."
Rives just began his sophomore year at Virginia Military Institute, and continues to play soccer for them. He has already been able to take his experiences from the summer and have meaningful conversations with people back home, and has plans to be an UMVIM team leader in the future, and possibly even more.
"My new knowledge about the church also opens up a variety of paths from long term missionary to pastor. I feel like a lot of doors were opened for me and I look forward to exploring a lot of different paths over the next few years. It was definitely a life changing experience."
Please join our staff as we continue to pray for Rives, that the Lord will continue to make his path straight and clear. We know this young man has an incredibly bright future serving Christ and the world around him.