“Summer Stories”: Testimonies from former Peace Interns

Applications are now open for the Disciples Peace Fellowship summer Peace Internship. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing stories from former interns about the life changing, transformational time they had serving their church. If you know someone between the age of 21 and 30, make sure to send them to our application page: http://www.dpfweb.org/apply-to-be-an-intern/

Our second entry comes from Katie Russel, who served as a Peace Intern in 2010. Katie currently serves as the Minister of Faith and Family at First Christian Church, Falls Church, Va.

When I was a Peace Intern in the summer of 2010, I was relatively new to the Disciples of Christ tradition.  I had never been to a Disciples camp, I was mostly unfamiliar with Disciples Peace Fellowship, and I certainly had no idea what a Peace Intern was.  But a mentor of mine encouraged me to apply for the program and I have forever been grateful for the experience.
 
During my Peace Intern summer, I traveled the country and met incredible young people.  I endured physical exhaustion and benefited from spiritual growth and development.  I had fascinating conversations about topics like war, hunger, and environmental harm and I discovered how our faith requires believers to live engaged lives in the world—lives that are compassionate, inclusive, and just.
 
When the summer was over, I entered seminary and am now a pastor in a Disciples of Christ congregation.  I can clearly see how my Peace Intern experience influenced my path, but I’ve also seen how Disciples Peace Fellowship has influenced others.  Campers and staff members that I encountered that summer have since addressed human trafficking around the world, offered hospitality to immigrants by teaching English classes, identified racial privilege in their own lives, and shown the love of Jesus in other incredible ways.  I believe that the Peace Intern program is one of the strongest ministries of the church for equipping believers to sow peace and justice in our world.  That I was given the opportunity to play a small part in that ministry is one of the greatest blessings of my life

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