“Hey Daniel, Dorinda just texted me asking if you would be interested in interning with her at LINC Houston this summer. What do you think?” My dad mentioned this to me at the beginning of April this year. I hadn’t planned on doing anything except for stay at home and relax over the summer. But, I figured I’d go ahead and talk with Dorinda about what this might entail. As I began to email Dorinda back and forth, I learned that I would be helping her plan and lead local mission trips in Houston. When I interviewed with Dorinda, Pastor Junkans, and Mr. Schultz, internship sounded amazing, but I was also really nervous. How was I, an 18-year-old, supposed to help lead mission trips alongside adults who have been doing this for years? God had a plan, though, and a part of that plan was me interning with LINC, learning and being mentored by Dorinda along the way.
I have now helped lead two local mission trips with LINC, working with Fishers of Men, St. Timothy Lutheran, Epiphany Lutheran and Family of Faith. Cumulatively, we have done yard work, served the homeless, served at the food bank, learned about other religions, heard testimonies, led a Vacation Bible School, organized a garage, thrown a baby shower, helped serve Comunidad de Gracia, and more. Within each of those broad service projects I mentioned, we did so much more than I could even describe. Not to mention all the relationship building back at Our Redeemer, the host facility that LINC’s mission groups stay in.
As I write this, I am just getting home from the second of the two local mission trips. I am taken aback as I consider the servant hearts and Christ-like attitude I have seen in the youth who have come to serve with LINC. Not only that, but also the unity that Christ has provided for us to have. The congregations that come together for the mission trips have all grown very close to each other in a very short amount of time. It has been incredible to see youth from different churches, many who had never met each other, grow together to serve others. We also observed people that we are supposed to be serving turn around and serve us. I have loved getting to meet and talk with our LINC mission pastors and people in the community, as well as the mission teams.
I’ve thought for quite a long time that God had been calling me to be either a DCE or Youth Pastor. I still don’t know which of the two He is calling me to, but I do know this: He has given me a heart for youth, and He has given me a heart for outreach. My internship with LINC has allowed me to grow in both of those areas, as I learn what it looks like to be a DCE or a Pastor! I have gotten to stay with youth groups at Our Redeemer, and I have gotten to do outreach alongside them. And to think, I thought I’d be staying at home all summer.
God had a different plan - a better plan - indeed!