Summer interns have assisted Homes for Children (HFC) on the Boothe Campus for nearly thirty years. Enabling others to join in the ministry of reaching hurting children and families with God’s love and truth is essential to the mission of STCH Ministries and the intern program is one way to achieve that. This year, five college students lived among our students at Boothe Campus from May to August. The staff feels interns make summers richer providing guidance and friendship to the students on campus.
College students provide unique friendships as they pour into the lives and hearts of the kids, friendships they probably do not have with their houseparents, their caseworkers or other staff.
Grace Skaggs, a nursing major at the University of Texas, was described by her peers as gentle, compassionate and hardworking. She stayed in tune with God’s heart, working to show love to every kid in the same way and help anywhere she could. Grace was incredible with the younger kids showing rare patience and compassion for the smallest of them.
A few of the interns shared their experience at HFC and what they learned about themselves and God as they served. This is Grace’s story, in her own words:
Working at HFC last summer was amazing. I enjoyed the unique place I got to have in the kids’ lives as an intern. The job description, to love the kids, allowed me to spend time every day playing games, swimming, listening and sharing their lives. In many ways, it was hard but in the end, I found myself to be so thankful for the opportunity.
My favorite part of the summer was spending time reading with one of the boys. My heart broke for the little third grader and I started to read with him daily. By the end of the summer, he recited the alphabet with confidence, knew a handful of sight-words and could sound out words. Every day before I left his cottage, I would give him a high five and say, “You did awesome today.” One day towards the end of the summer he responded, “Hey Grace, I bet I will do awesome tomorrow too.” He discovered he can learn the same as the others in his class.
I felt God gently and patiently reminding me that I need to trust Him. At the beginning of the summer, I held onto everything so tightly. I took all the pain and the brokenness I saw and let it completely overwhelm me. The stories I heard felt like an unbearable weight on me. As soon as I handed the burden to God, peace overwhelmed me; I stopped crying all the time, found I could sleep again and for the first time in weeks, believed I could serve Him the way I wanted to from the beginning.
God taught me that His plan is better than mine. This was not how I planned to spend my summer. I am going into my fourth year of nursing school and this is the summer I expected to do an internship. All of my friends applied for internships at hospitals and I conceded to doing a mission trip to do something medical. In my heart, I knew I could not ignore His voice calling me to HFC. When I started working with the kids, I immediately knew that this summer would be a gift more special than I could have imagined. I thank God all the time for how He blessed my life when He led me to HFC.
I think a lot about the special place HFC now holds in my heart, and I have peace in knowing God will bring everything together if I’m meant to come back one day. He did it before, and I trust He has the power to do it again.
I would tell anyone considering interning at HFC next year to listen first. If this is where He has called you then He has a reason. Trust Him and be obedient. He will bless you beyond imagination through the adults you will work with, the children you will serve and the time you will spend in His presence.
Applications for summer 2020 will be accepted beginning January 2020 for anyone interested. Please call our office at 367-375-2101 or send an email to email@example.com for more information.