The following was written by Savannah, CWE365's Mentoring intern, regarding her internship experience.
My adventures with the CWE Mentoring Program started three years ago. A dear friend of mine – before I was even walking with Jesus – told me about Camp War Eagle and its awesome mentoring program! At first, I didn’t give it much thought. I hadn’t really given a lot of weight to Jesus or kids for that fact. However, things soon changed that summer after my freshman year of college. Jesus changed my heart and directed it towards Him. He showed me that kids are AWESOME and gave me a passion for sharing Christ with kids through many different ministries. Realizing this fact, I decided I wanted to know more about this crazy-cool camp called Camp War Eagle and their mentoring program. So I did what any person would do; I called Hannah, one of the staff members of the mentoring program. Then she called me. Then I called her back. It was a bit of phone tag, but in the end, Hannah interviewed me and decided I would mentor Olivia.
The next year was spent hanging out each week with Olivia. We participated in fun activities like going to get frozen yogurt, eating yummy food at Rick’s bakery, slurping down Sonic drinks, or swinging at Wilson Park. It was so incredible to get to know Olivia and her mom, Joy, better! My adventures with the CWE Mentoring Program didn’t stop there though. My first summer working at Camp War Eagle I was approached by Hannah Hiemstra and asked to work as an intern for the mentoring program. I told her I would pray about it because I already had a job lined up. Driving back from camp after orientation, I called my grandma and asked her about her thoughts on the situation. She knew my heart and my prayers. My grandma is so wise! She said I’d be crazy not to follow the path Jesus had obviously opened. I called Hannah that night and told her I’d love to be the intern for the mentoring program.
During my time as an intern, I have witnessed the excitement of so many children – like Mateo, or McKayln, and others – in receiving a mentor to walk with them through life. I have witnessed the joy of kids when they get to participate in fun events like the program’s annual Fall Festival. I have also cried because of the brokenness I have witnessed due to the fact that unhappy things sometimes happen in the lives of the children. However, there is hope and I praise Jesus that they have the opportunity to be loved and supported by an incredible mentor.
Throughout my now two years as an intern, I have continued to meet with Olivia (or Liv) each week. I have enjoyed the many moments that we have laughed like when we went through the drive through at McDonalds and I drove off without the food. I have enjoyed our competitive spirits each time we play the card game “Speed” together. I have enjoyed becoming part of her family and spending many moments watching her use her talents as an actress to impress so many! However, my favorite moment of ours is when Liv and her mom went to Honduras with a bunch of college girls and I through our church. It was such a sweet week of pointing each other towards Jesus through serving together and reading 1 Peter together. I was also so encouraged because I didn’t really know the impact I had on Liv’s life until her mother wrote me the sweetest note and shared how thankful she was that I was a part of Liv’s life and hers. I won’t ever forget that trip. I’m so thankful the Lord showed me that He is good and knew from the beginning how beautiful it is to be able to love on Liv and her mom through mentorship.
Looking back, I had no idea of the journey I’d encounter, but Jesus knew the blessing that would come serving him consistently and His desire to give children the opportunity to know Him through Christ-centered mentors. Through this internship, I also have learned so much. I have seen the power of Jesus in the lives of students through mentors. I have seen the beauty of community through going into the office each week. I have learned that loving Jesus changes our hearts for others to be more like his . I have learned what it looks like to be encouraged and supported by an incredible boss (a.k.a Hannah Hiemstra). I have cultivated a passion for mentorship as I have seen it transform my life and the lives of many others. I have seen the love of Jesus through so many. It has been such an incredible journey and I am so thankful that Jesus showed me that his ways were and are so much better than anything of mine.