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.
Israel Pereyda (Izzy), a civil engineering major at the University of Texas at El Paso, came back to Boothe Campus for his second summer. The kids loved him and his playful spirit. One staff member described him as, “A great empathizer which makes him awesome at building relationships because he’s able to feel for our students and share in their emotions.”
A few of the interns shared their experience at HFC and what they learned about themselves and God as they served. This is Izzy’s story, in his own words:
I have a calling to vocational ministry. I have felt a loud voice saying, “That’s cool. You’re going to finish that (civil engineering degree), but I’m going to call you for something different.” I do not know yet what that will look like. I would love to pastor a church, but after coming here and experiencing the ministry that happens in this place, maybe I will come back as a houseparent.
My relationship with DeRay Davis and Josh Parker, two boys I discipled last summer, brought me back to HFC this year. DeRay and Josh helped me to figure out how to be intentional in each moment – as a godly presence in their lives which allowed me to teach them. Beyond friendships with the kids, the focus of the summer meant increasing my skills to work with them. The Lord taught me to be flexible and rely on Him to give me exactly enough wisdom, energy and rest to make it through each day.
Every interaction with the kids showed me God’s love in a way that is unique to Boothe Campus. Though these kids have every reason to close themselves off and not let anyone in, they choose to love. Every single time, they showed me what the Bible means by “the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Experiencing the trust and love of a child daily was both overwhelming and restful. God showed me how much I lacked when it came to trusting in Him. I got nervous wondering if I was enough to meet the needs of these kids. Was I worthy to be at the mountain top with God? He showed me I will never be worthy by my own account but through Jesus’ sacrifice and the Holy Spirit in me, I saw Him work through me. The fact that I witnessed God’s hand so strongly this summer changed me. I learned to trust and rely on my faith more and the kids taught me how to love without being scared.
The houseparents were another big reason I wanted to be here again, they are some of the greatest examples of God-followers I have in my life. I saw God shine through each of them as an example of how His love is supposed to be. They handle kids from tough situations yet wake up every day and act in the same, consistent way loving these kids just like Jesus does.
The chance to talk with them or share a meal with them brought me joy and encouragement. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6:30, I joined Mr. Art and Mr. Jose, two of the housepops, to work out in the barn. These two Godly men showed me how to lift weights while sharing their wisdom with me at the same time. Between the kids and the houseparents, God showed me how much I had been slacking back home.
This year at school, I will continue as a student leader in the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM). I will also accept the honor of youth pastor at Mountain View Baptist Church in El Paso. I look forward to continuing my degree plan, spending time with my new youth group and the opportunity to lead young men to become genuine Christ-followers.
STCH Ministries holds a special place in my heart and in my walk with the Lord as I learned there to trust Him more and love as He does. As a youth pastor, I am prepared to show the love and compassion HFC children taught me to the kids in my backyard. My heart will forever long for those summer days where the Lord taught me so much within that campus.
If you are interested in serving as a summer intern, applications for summer 2020 will be accepted beginning January 2020. Please call our office at 367-375-2101 or send an email to email@example.com for more information.