This is what one can expect to take place working alongside the Penn family serving international students at the University of Illinois for a summer. The main tool the CMP will be learning and practicing is relationship building. Relationship building is such a central piece to an effective ministry practice.
The CMP will be connecting with international students who have remained on campus for the summer session. They will be connecting through English conversation groups organized by the Penn’s partnership with the registered student organization called English Corner. They will also be connecting through this organization in hosting a weekly American cultural event.
The CMP will then be asked to invite students into their daily lives. This will include invitations to meals, to hobbies, to holidays. It is through this invitation that relationships begin to truly be formed. The formation of friendships is what builds trust into the relationship for gospel-centered interactions to begin.
Creating opportunities of faith is the end goal of this internship. Providing opportunities where faith can be discussed and discovered in a safe environment for the students is the purpose. The CMP will be asked to create some pathways of faith through gospel conversations, invitations to church, and invitations to bible studies.
The CMP will most likely be housed in a sub-let apartment for the summer. They will spend much of their first few weeks working closely alongside the Penn’s in their operation of the summer English Corner. As the summer progresses more and more independence will be shifted over to the CMP as they take the lead in facilitating conversation groups, organizing events for students, and building their weekly schedule around what works best for their time with the students. The CMP will also spend a week teaching missions at a summer Church camp. The students that the CMP will work with will most likely primarily be Asian with several from South America, sprinkled in with students from other parts of the world
We understand that for many CMPs the cross-cultural experience is a big part of their internship. This internship although it does not provide a huge cross-culture environment it does provide interaction with people from many different nations, backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. The ability to make a Kingdom difference through relationships is a huge part of what this internship is about.