Can you imagine fleeing from your country? Or arriving to a foreign land not speaking the language or knowing what to do with the dishwasher? It’s not easy, and I know that today because I’m an intern at Denver Rescue Mission’s Refugee Services Department. A big part of my job is coordinating the refugee mentoring program in partnership with Lutheran Family Services.
As an intern, I don’t just sit back behind my desk, but I help mentor refugee families. Currently I am mentoring an Iraqi refugee family with the help from others including Nepali teenagers who are also refugees. One of the highlights of this relationship between the mentors and the refugee family is that we are all from different cultures, but we come together to support each other. That’s especially meaningful to me.
My internship at the Mission allows me to travel the world without stepping onto a plane. I am able to sit in their apartments, experience their cultures and give them guidance as they try to start a new life here in Denver – heck, I think that’s better than visiting museums overseas!
When I decided to pursue a full-time internship at the Mission, I knew that I would be giving up a few things: a paying position, cooking my own food and living in a nice apartment. However, these are small sacrifices in comparison to what I am gaining – learning more about God through different cultures, and making friendships with refugees and other interns. I’ve even found joy in sharing a meal with people who speak another language. To say the least, I am getting pretty good at talking with my hands!
>>To learn more about internships at Denver Rescue Mission, visit www.denverrescuemission.org/internship.>>
-Post written by, Michael Josten. Michael has been a Refugee Services Intern with Denver Rescue Mission since August 2012. He is from Ventura, Iowa and graduated from Taylor University in May of this year.