Some were there to reinforce the call they feel to ministry.
Others wanted to learn how they could make a difference in the world.
And others were ready to find out about the different ways they could serve the church.
Those differing paths brought all of them to the Great Plains Conference, beginning May 29, as summer interns.
Dozens of them gathered at Camp Chippewa, near Ottawa, Kansas, for orientation before spreading out across the two-state area beginning the first week of June.
Micah Corps, the social justice arm of the internships, is celebrating its 10th year this summer. Pastoral leadership and youth leadership internships are in their fourth year this summer. New this year are network internships, where six young people will each serve a region of five to 10 churches.
“They’re seeing how they can be of help to the network, with churches and helping the networks reach their mission fields,” said the Rev. Nicole Conard, young adult leadership coordinator.
Brennan Cummings, a native of Baxter Springs and a junior this fall at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, is a certified candidate for elder and looks at this summer as a way to discern his call.
“I think it’s going to be a valuable experience for all of the interns to look a little deeper inside about what God’s call is on their lives,” Cummings said.
Rachel Shepherd, who is majoring in psychology and religious studies at Hendrix College in Arkansas, hopes to attend Garrett Evangelical Seminary, which offers a master’s degree in Christian counseling and a doctorate in pastoral theology culture.
“Whatever I do, I want to be doing it through the church,” said Shepherd, a native of Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Stephanie Carson is majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and minoring in political science at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, with a goal of being a professional journalist or broadcaster, bringing “the truth and everything objective.” That’s why she wants to learn about the world around her through Micah Corps.
“I want to learn how I can actively serve and bring social justice wherever I am, whether it be my home town or wherever I end up in life,” said Carson, a Clarksville native.
After serving in Micah Corps last year, Nabii Gatobu is a pastoral leadership intern this summer.
“I’m looking forward to getting a bigger picture of what it means to be a minister. I’ve been hearing God calling me that way, and I definitely want to get a taste of it,” said Gatobu, a senior this fall at Nebraska Wesleyan University majoring in business administration and double-minoring in political science and Japanese.
Gatobu is the son of the Rev. Dr. Anne Gatobu, who will begin as Kansas City District superintendent in July, and the Rev. Haron Gatobu. Nabii said his parents have been encouraging him to consider ministry.
“They said to try it out and see what it’s like,” he said.
Conard said the internships help local churches, while helping shape the church’s future leaders.
“We want to encourage everyone to develop as young leaders,” she said.
Micah Corps interns: Stephanie Carson, Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee; Annabelle Kanyi, Accra, Ghana; Allyson Drummond, Kansas City, Missouri; Nick Detter, Andover, Kansas; Kailene Hamilton, Hesston, Kansas; Bernard Hangi, Stone Mountain, Georgia, and Republic of the Congo; Mandi Hawthorne, Wilburton, Oklahoma; and Tasho Mataswa.
Network interns: Spenser Johnson, Topeka; Jason Kuehl, Independence, Kansas; Sandra Nyembo, Republic of the Congo; Jacques Kambol, Republic of the Congo; Daniel Agbaji, Nigeria; Natalie Soukup, Ellsworth, Kansas.
Youth ministry intern: Tanner Bowles, Cawker City, Kansas.
Pastoral leadership interns: Nabii Gatobu, Eagle, Nebraska; Rachel Shepherd, Fort Smith, Arkansas; Rebecca Borgman, Platte Center, Nebraska; Mikayla McClure, Lafayette, Louisiana.