Reflections from a Vocational Intern

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Aug. 20, 2015
  • Cause 4 Life

Reflections from an Intern | Cause 4 Life Vocational Interns with Joni Eareckson Tadaby Danielle Ledoux

Last summer, I arrived at Joni and Friends as a Cause 4 Life vocational intern with one goal in mind: receive college credit for a two-week writing internship with Joni and Friends. But in four short weeks, God quickly revealed how shallow my expectations were. While I diligently worked with Cause 4 Life, He opened my eyes to a new ministry – disability ministry – and taught me to see my life and skills through His eyes. With new horizons unveiling before me, four weeks simply wasn't enough; I returned to the International Disability Center for a second summer in 2015, this time for two months.

I am just one of 14 vocational interns who used their skills to serve Joni and Friends this year, one of many who found their internship experience life-changing. While Cause 4 Life's Academy and Bootcamp interns enjoyed 6-8 weeks of intensive training in practical disability ministry at churches, Family Retreats, and around the world, the vocational interns went behind the scenes to work alongside Joni and Friends staff, helping to make worldwide ministry possible. And while at first the goal may have been college credit or experience to put on a resume, we quickly discovered more rewarding outcomes – a new heart for disability ministry, encouragement to use our skills for God's kingdom, and, of course, life-long friendships.

Following a Cause 4 Life internship, some interns return to college and continue on the career path that God has laid out, but with a heart now open to disability ministry. But others, like me, return to Joni and Friends for a second round and change their career path entirely. Whatever the outcome may be, vocational internships remain an integral part of Joni and Friends ministry, a life-changing experience for interns as well as for the people who are served.


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