Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Impact Intern Spotlight: Samuel Kinnin

Samuel Kinnin is a 20 year old, sophomore at the University of Mary Hardin-
Baylor. He is a first year intern with Impact. Samuel is a coffee enthusiast,
loves to travel, and has a passion for missions.

Piece by Piece
Everyone has a story to tell. It is what makes us unique. This summer, I’ve had the opportunity to listen and share these stories and it has been the greatest pleasure. With every moment, every person, every story each crafted by God a piece of my own came into place. Piece by piece my story has come together.
The smile of a child who has just accepted Christ, a woman moved to tears through the laying on of hands, a suicidal teen realizing he has a friend in Jesus. This is why we do what we do. The Impact team is much more than just a camp speaker. Each of us have to make the choice to surrender before the Lord and present ourselves as living vessels. Surrendering is not something that comes naturally. Before this internship, I thought I had surrendered everything in my life to God, but I quickly realized that was not the case. I had surrendered a majority of my life, but God wanted total surrender. There are countless scriptures on dying to yourself, but one of my favorite is Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives within me.” In order to totally surrender, I had to push myself outside of my comfort zone every day, truly die to myself daily and have the mindset of Christ, I had to have God as my first thought of the day. This internship taught me what dying to myself looked like and I will always be grateful for this lesson.
It is crazy to think that this internship has just come to an end… In the beginning, I questioned why I was there, but now I couldn’t imagine my life without this experience. God has done so much throughout this month and a half or should I say year. One adventure always leads to another… I had prepared for a missions internship in Central America and the day had finally come. I hopped off the plane to find the missionaries and saw someone I hadn’t seen in years, NYD Randy Lawrence. I was thrilled to see him in a place I least expected. As we began to talk about Impact, the thought of coming on this internship for public relations popped into my head. I began the process of praying over this for the next four months and felt immense peace about this opportunity. Although I was excited for the internship, I almost had to quit because the funds were not coming in. I couldn’t see the funds coming in, but Fiona and Randy agreed with me in prayer and I went into the internship by faith believing they would come in. Thanks to the help of my local pastor and several others, I was able to finish out the internship funded. If you are thinking about this internship I encourage you to never give up on God and to walk by faith. He will meet your every need.
I cannot express enough gratitude for the memories and experiences I had on this internship. I became more confident in both public relations and ministry. The Impact team works with you to make sure you have the best experience possible. From praying over others, to leading games and activities, to being a social media manager, to being a camp counselor, I was always given new ways to serve and grow outside of my comfort zone. It has been an incredible summer and I cannot wait to see what God does through this internship in the lives of others for years to come.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Impact Intern Spotlight: Keaton Row

Keaton is a 17 year old from Indiana. He is a
first year intern with Impact Ministries.
Keaton's nickname is "Gingersnap", he loves
jazz music, and loves playing with babies.
From David to Enoch
David. He was a king of Israel, a warrior, a musician, and a man after God's own heart. At a young age, I was prayed over to have the spirit of David. A man who pursues God and is a leader.

I always struggled with this call. I would hang out with my friends often feeling like the "dad" of the friend group. I started to put fitting in as my main priority over God and walking in the Spirit. Camp was always my lifesaver. I would go to camp and get close with God. It was my yearly transformation but my camp experience didn't satisfy my spiritual walk for the entire year. Therefore, I quickly realized the importance of walking with the Spirit daily.

Church camp has made a huge impact on my life and the moment I had the opportunity to serve at my kids camp I took it. The Impact Team came to my church camp and at first I was skeptical. However, I quickly became close friends with the interns and admired their servant heartedness. After camp, I knew I wanted to do the internship myself. What made it even better was that my close friends from Indiana wanted to join as well.

I have to admit I was far out of my comfort zone this summer. We had to learn dances for kids and let's just say I can't dance like David did... I had to be a kids counselor which tested my patience, and I even had to dress up like Superman. It was hard to step away from my comfort zone in those aspects, but I did it and it was the best feeling ever.

During teen camp, I was able to play bass guitar on the worship team. It is an indescribable feeling to lead in worship. You are able to witness youth's lives being changed by the power of God. This summer, I believe confirmed a call I have to ministry, specifically Youth ministry. I would love to be a District Youth Director one day and continue to be a leader for the glory of God.

I have gone outside of my comfort zone in ways and grown as a leader throughout the course of this internship. Being called to be a leader like David is an honor: he was a king, warrior, a legend… But I have also come to realize the importance of being in the background of ministry. The story of Enoch has really touched me this summer. The Bible doesn’t talk about Enoch a lot except that he walked with God. I am thankful for these two biblical examples of Godly men and I hope to follow in their footsteps in ministry.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Impact Intern Spotlight: Jesika Ward

Jesika is a 19 year old, sophomore at Messenger College.
She loves to sing, meet new people, and loves dogs with a

The Journey of Obedience

You often hear about people's lives getting flipped upside down, but in my story my life was flipped upside right.

Last summer, I served as an intern at River Pointe Camp in Missouri. I loved getting to know the youth who attended camp and the guest speakers for each camp. However, one speaker stuck out above the rest... the Impact team. I would watch them teach lessons and invest in the kids. I was amazed to say the least. People my age from all over the country were sacrificing an entire summer to serve and advance the kingdom of God. I got to know many of the interns and had the idea to become an Impact Intern the next year.

Little did I know my life would be changed in a kid's service... I was at the altar to pray over the kids but something odd occurred... The kids would pass me left and right, I thought I was doing something wrong... Then a woman came up to me and said it was my night to get poured into. I had a plan for my life. I was blessed with two years of free community college in Missouri, a nice job, and the comforts of home, but the Lord wanted something else for my life. That night, God spoke through this woman and said I would be going to Messenger College in the fall. I was stunned! As I continued to pray, I just knew Messenger College was where the Lord wanted me to be.

Messenger College was the best and hardest decision I ever made. I knew the Lord wanted me there, but I struggled financially and logistically as I only had a few weeks before I started. My obedience paid off as the Lord constantly blessed me throughout the year.

When it came time to sign up for the internship, I already knew I wanted to be a part of something so amazing, and the Lord blessed me even further. The Impact interns travel around the country for children's camps, but we also get the opportunity to serve at a few teen camps as well. This year, I had the incredible opportunity to be on the praise and worship team for teen camp, while also serving on the kid's team. It was amazing to see how both of my passions were combined through this internship.

This internship has been more than I could have imagined. I have learned so much about leadership and teamwork. Throughout this internship, it is easy to get caught up in the ministry aspect and forget to give God the full glory. It is important for us to take a moment, pause, and remember why we are here. We are here to serve. We do not do this for the glory of who we are or the title. We do it to save those who might never know who God is otherwise.

As we end the internship, I am thankful for the lessons the Lord has taught me and the leadership skills I have gained through this experience. I hope my life will always reflect the Lord's will. It is important to obey the calling of God no matter what and I hope my story reflects just that.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Impact Intern Spotlight: Emily Coleman

Emily Coleman is a 17 year old from Fort Worth, Texas.
She enjoys photography, ice cream, and spending time with
friends. Emily loves her parents and family dearly.
Hills and Valleys
This is my second year participating in this internship, and if I'm being completely honest, I couldn't give you a specific reason on why I returned. While I had so much fun on the internship last year, it was also full of difficulties. It was the longest I had ever been away from home, there were a lot of new struggles that I encountered, and spiritually I was running dry because of how much I was constantly pouring into others. Although I struggled with those things, doing this internship got me completely out of my previous comfort zone, and I deeply appreciate that.
This year on the internship surely hasn't been what I expected, but I have learned a lot. I have learned that you are there to serve no matter what and I have learned to solely rely on the strength of God each and every day. There will be expectations put on you, but the faster you come to realize that your ultimate purpose on this earth, no matter what job or career you have, is to glorify God and serve His people. You might have to be up at midnight cleaning bathrooms while everyone else is sleeping, you will encounter people you don't agree with, and you will have times where you don't know if you can keep going, physically, mentally, and spiritually. But it is in those times that I have come to the throne and relied on God's strength to get me through every day. At the end of the day you have to remember why you do what you do (1 Corinthians 10:31). No matter who fails you  or who lets you down, God is steadfast in his love and grace, and he will never fail you. You have to remember the whole picture— that this is a team and you are here to lead people to Christ in whatever capacity that is. If that means smelling like canteen for a week straight, then so be it. Service is about filling needs, not doing what you like.

My experience has for sure has its ups and downs. I have learned the differences between myself and others, and I've seen firsthand that not everyone will get along, and that's okay! I have fallen in love with the ministry aspect of this internship— seeing the smiles on the kids' faces after you pray with them, leading them in crazy dances, and ultimately being their role model. Thinking about the amount of children that I have helped bring to Christ this summer amazes me and is incredibly humbling.
Had Christ not radically changed me the past few years I would be so comfortable, but I would not be in His will for my life. When I moved to Texas I could not imagine what was in store for me. The past two and a half years have brought two trips to Brazil, a trip to Guatemala, and two summers spent serving children and leaders. God has put me in a position to be able to experience so much more than some people get to experience in their whole life— and I'm only seventeen! If I hadn't moved to Texas I would be so comfortable in what I knew that I would be missing out on what God has for my life, and it's extremely humbling that He trusts me enough to serve His people.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Impact Intern Spotlight: Seth Westmoreland

Seth is a 16 year old pastor's kid from Indiana and a first year
intern with Impact Ministries. Seth is addicted to McDonalds,
loves baseball, and has discovered how wonderful pedicures are.

God Answers

There is one question I have pondered my entire life... One question that society puts so much pressure on… A question everyone must answer for themselves with the help of God...

What is my calling in life?

Calling. It is crazy to think how much power this one word has. As a 16 year old in today's society, you have a lot of pressure put on you to decide what college you want to attend, what job you should have, and ultimately what your calling is. Friends my age would have their entire lives figured out and I was just there... waiting for God to answer my prayer.

Little did I know the answer to this question would be revealed when I least expected it.

I first encountered the Impact team when they came to my church camp in Indiana. I will admit I was skeptical of them at first. A group of 10 strangers entering your camp is hard to say the least. However, as I got to know all the interns, I developed many new friendships and memories. After camp, I was sold! I knew I wanted to become an Impact Intern.

I loved what this internship stood for and the people in it. An added bonus was that I was able to spend an entire summer with my close friends (the Rows) and my brother, Eli. Going into this internship, I expected a summer of ministering to kids and developing friendships, but I got so much more...

In the beginning of this internship, Jesika felt the Lord leading her to tell me that I would discover my calling this summer. I was shocked and anxiously waited for the Lord to speak. I thought God would answer this question through one life changing encounter, but it was different. As we ministered to kids and teens from camp to camp, I slowly began to feel a calling to ministry. I had a strong feeling about ministry, but I still wasn't sure. At the end of a random service, Fiona (our leader) prayed over me and began to affirm the call I felt to ministry but specifically to become a pastor. It was amazing! She had no idea the Lord was leading me in this direction. She simply obeyed God and he ministered to me.

This summer has been incredible to say the least. Aside from finding my calling, I have made friends at every camp we have visited. I have loved getting to know new people and discovering more about God. Overall, I'm thankful for this experience and the opportunity to lead as a 16 year old.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Impact Intern Spotlight: Emily Archer

Emily is a 16 year old from Missouri. Emily 
is a first year intern with Impact. She
loves to model, sing, shop, and
loves Smoothie King. 

Never Too Young
The impact internship has been something I've seen people around me do, and it peaked my interest from the moment I heard about it. My brother did the internship when he was sixteen, and I very distinctly remember being so jealous that I couldn't join them on their adventures. It felt like an eternity before I would get to experience that for myself!

I wanted to do the internship because I saw the transformation in my brother's life, spiritually and mentally. I knew that I needed to sign up for it as soon as possible! As I patiently waited for four— yes, FOUR!— years, I watched my friends around me grow and develop into who Christ called them to be. Yet, I felt stagnant in my purpose, as if God couldn't use me because of how young I am. 

I love what 1 Timothy 4:11-12 says, "Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don't let anyone put you down because you're young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity." I had heard this verse before at church camp, but being on the internship and with the team has taught me the truth in those verses. I truly realized this summer that it doesn't matter what you do, who you are, or how old you are. If you are living in the word, love, faith, integrity, and good demeanor, God will bring His favor on your life, and He will use you for amazing things. 

Everyone on this team has learned what it's like to serve behind the scenes, and I couldn't be more proud to be part of a team that serves others wholeheartedly. For anyone who is considering joining the team, this is my personal disclaimer. The entire seven weeks or so that you're gone will not be all rainbows and sunshine. There will be times, for some people more than others, where you need to take a minute to yourself and gain strength from God, but at the end of the day it is worth it. Your memories, what you learn, and the people you meet will be worth more than your frustrations or hardships. You're spending your summer showing others the love of Christ, and that is more important than any self-centered problem you might face. 

I have grown up with family in ministry, but this summer has shown me the true ups and downs of it. I am still not exactly sure what God has in store for my life, and I have learned to know that that is perfectly okay, normal even! I know without a doubt that with continuous faith, persistence, and unconditional love for Christ, everything will work itself out for my benefit. 

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:26-28 MSG

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Impact Intern Spotlight: Lance Fussell

Fuss is a second year intern with Impact Ministries. He is a worship major at
Messenger College. Fuss loves to play the drums, drink Dr. Pepper, and
serve others.
“Serving is the most important thing in ministry, whether it is the bottom or the top, cleaning toilets or pastoring a church.”

This motto is something my dad taught me and what I now live by. Growing up, I was always involved in the Georgia District. I loved to serve at church camp and different youth events. As a minister’s son I had many roles, but media and worship were always my passion.

Summerfest was always one of my favorite Impact events. It was incredible to watch talented students from all over the country glorify God. I first saw the Impact interns through Summerfest. Every year I would watch the interns serve in many different ways. I admired their servant leadership and the program intrigued me. Little did I know I would serve as an Impact intern not once but twice.

In 2015, I began my journey as an Impact intern. I had just graduated high school and was enrolled at Messenger College. It was hard to give up my last summer at home, but I knew the Lord would grow me throughout that summer. In the beginning, I was very shy, but God began to bring me out of my comfort zone and meet many new friends I still have today. The two biggest things God taught me was how to be uncomfortable and how to be patient. I served as a dancer for kid’s worship which was completely out of my comfort zone. I also served with nine individuals for an entire summer. Patience was definitely key as we all had different personalities, pet peeves, and roles.  As I look back, I think of that summer as a time of great growth in my life both personally and spiritually.  

This year, I was so excited to be able to serve Impact once again. I wanted to travel to more places and connect with more people. The Lord has definitely stretched me once again. This year, I am more outgoing and social with others. I have also been able to serve in a media and worship capacity. As a worship major, I have loved getting to gain more experience as a drummer and worship team member. This summer, God has taught me to not be afraid and to continue to push myself further outside of my comfort zone.

Overall, this internship has made a huge impact on my life and I will forever be grateful for this experience.