Convoy of Hope Interns Update
Thank you for your interest in the Convoy of Hope Intern program. We wanted to share the latest…
2013 was a special year at Convoy of Hope. We launched a short-term missions teams initiative called “Convoy of Hope Compassion Teams.” Also, we launched a new endeavor called “FeedOne” to engage young adults with helping the world’s poorest people.
In light of both of these major endeavors, the intern program is now on an indefinite hiatus. Thank you for your interest in being a part of the army of compassion! While the intern program is not an avenue for helping around the world at this time, there are certainly many things that you can do to be a part of what He is doing. 
We will use this page and the Convoy of Hope website, Facebook page & Twitter feed to share when the next version of our intern program launches.
We’re grateful for the opportunity to serve for 6 years throughout 17 countries alongside 163 wonderful team members, dozens of fabulous hosts and countless national leaders who have impacted our lives forever.  We believe the best is yet to come! We’ll be planning and praying towards all He has in store for the future.
Please visit Convoy of Hope’s website to learn more about the ongoing work of compassion around the world.
With anticipation,
Matt Wilkie
Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope Interns Update

Thank you for your interest in the Convoy of Hope Intern program. We wanted to share the latest…

2013 was a special year at Convoy of Hope. We launched a short-term missions teams initiative called “Convoy of Hope Compassion Teams.” Also, we launched a new endeavor called “FeedOne” to engage young adults with helping the world’s poorest people.

In light of both of these major endeavors, the intern program is now on an indefinite hiatus. Thank you for your interest in being a part of the army of compassion! While the intern program is not an avenue for helping around the world at this time, there are certainly many things that you can do to be a part of what He is doing. 

We will use this page and the Convoy of Hope website, Facebook page & Twitter feed to share when the next version of our intern program launches.

We’re grateful for the opportunity to serve for 6 years throughout 17 countries alongside 163 wonderful team members, dozens of fabulous hosts and countless national leaders who have impacted our lives forever.  We believe the best is yet to come! We’ll be planning and praying towards all He has in store for the future.

Please visit Convoy of Hope’s website to learn more about the ongoing work of compassion around the world.

With anticipation,

Matt Wilkie

Convoy of Hope

I Freed the Birds…some thoughts from Mary Beth

Adapted from team leader, Mary Beth King’s blog. She’s currently leading our Convoy of Hope Interns in Thailand.

I Freed the Birds

Outside the ornate temples we’ve found ladies selling flowers & trinkets & renting shawls (wouldn’t want to be scantily clad when you go in to worship the idols).  In our time here we’ve seen dozens of Wats (Buddhist temples); Sara thinks she’s pretty funny with her new favorite phrase, “If you’ve seen Wat you’ve seen’em all!”

At each wat we see worshippers purchase these things & drop money into the baskets of the many monks in an effort to earn merit.  
However, today as I exited the wat and went about putting my shoes back on, a woman approached me with a different offer.  At her feet were several enclosed baskets filled with tiny, chirping birds.

She began to use the universal language of “human video” to let me know that for 100 baht (about $3.25) I could untie the cords holding the basket together and free the birds.  While her human video of the birds flying away lacked the necessary lustur & allure I’d have hoped for, she does get bonus points for her English attempt, “You have good luck!”  In other words, if I gave her 100 baht I could free the birds and “I have good luck.” DONE! Who passes up that kind of deal?! 
Before I proceed, I must tell you:
#1)  I do not believe freeing these birds would give me any good luck, but possibly bird flu. 
#2)  I realize 100 baht is highway robbery as my team just had lunch for 185 baht (about $1.05 per person) 
#3)  I’ve seen Brokedown Palace & I know that when Claire Daines freed those birds that they flew right back to the hand that fed them until the next Farang (foreigner) pays their ransom! 

So why release the birds you ask?

Same reason my brother and SIL give to & serving with F.R.E.E. International- a really cool anti-human trafficking organization to FREE women & children. Check out FREE International 

Same reason your mama paid the bail bondsman!

Same reason we honor our military men & women & why they’re willing to go!

Same reason my therapy friends help addicted clients get FREE!

Same reasons kids bolt out of their desks at the final bell of the day!

Same reason Dave Ramsey created Financial Peace University.  So we can call in and scream, “I’m debt FREE!”

Same reason you take your kid to Sunday school & pray for the prodigal son!

Same reason you adopted those children!

Same reason you give to missionaries & why we missionaries GO!

Freedom is our heart’s cry because it’s in our DNA, we have our Father’s heart.  It is for FREEDOM that He set us FREE! Much more than 100 baht was paid for my freedom & it is my mission that other’s will know that freedom as well! So, I freed the birds!

Our team first heard this song together shortly after meeting each other…the lyrics went through our minds many times as we saw the beautiful children of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Also…we’re thankful that He hasn’t forgotten us. 

Here is a short glimpse of each summer team member, photos from our work in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Joplin and Kansas City. 

"Not Forgotten" by Israel 

Samantha writes about our time at School to the Nations…the ropes course, the fear, the zip-line, the teamwork, and more…
"I went into this thinking that we knew each other well enough and the more we did these activities I realized that hanging out with each other and practicing ministry together are completely different." Katie said this the evening the interns returned home from School to the Nations, about 30 minutes from the Convoy of Hope World Distribution Center. 
The days the Intern Team spent in this African Village living amongst not only each other, but also goats and chickens, brought the group of 16 to 36 year-olds together even closer than they already were. During these two days of intense training, the group went through numerous amounts of activities, including a high ropes course, low ropes course, and living together with no electricity. 
Through it all, the interns learned many lessons. Lessons including teamwork, trust, and learning how to take things slow and focus on those tasks. Ashley gave her input, saying, “I learned to put my trust in my teammates and not to feel like I have to do things on my own.” Through these activities the group became much closer. After praying with their prayer partners they were connected not only physically, but also spiritually. Paige commented, “I feel like now we’re not as nervous around each other, and that the prayer circles helped us break down the barriers.” 

The exercise focusing mainly on the high ropes and zip-lining brought many of the interns out of their comfort zones. The group was not only stretched physically, but also emotionally. Many of the interns, including Nick and Samantha, were extremely terrified of heights. Nick powered through the course, and Samantha conquered her fear by making it halfway up the pole before her fear caught up with her. “I think today that I was able to go way past the superficial. There were no more comfort zones,” said Jamilla. 

The past two days were a life changing experience and a team-bonding moment that the whole intern team will remember for years to come. Whether it be the actual team activities or just sitting on a log listening to the stories of engagements. Oh…and of course the “Where’s Nick?” question that was asked repeatedly. In the meantime, closing with one last quote from Madeline: “I experienced the whole team working together for the first time. It was the first time we had to accomplish a common goal together.” The goal was right in front of them: Become a group of people that knows each other’s talents and fears, and use those to accomplish what was put in front of you. Their choice was to accept that goal and complete it efficiently without losing the spirit of encouragement within them.

The group is now much closer because of these two days, and every member is very grateful for this experience and full of gratitude towards the staff of School to the Nations. 

The photo is of Aaron enjoying the zip-line…

Samantha writes about our time at School to the Nations…the ropes course, the fear, the zip-line, the teamwork, and more…

"I went into this thinking that we knew each other well enough and the more we did these activities I realized that hanging out with each other and practicing ministry together are completely different." Katie said this the evening the interns returned home from School to the Nations, about 30 minutes from the Convoy of Hope World Distribution Center.

The days the Intern Team spent in this African Village living amongst not only each other, but also goats and chickens, brought the group of 16 to 36 year-olds together even closer than they already were. During these two days of intense training, the group went through numerous amounts of activities, including a high ropes course, low ropes course, and living together with no electricity. 

Through it all, the interns learned many lessons. Lessons including teamwork, trust, and learning how to take things slow and focus on those tasks. Ashley gave her input, saying, “I learned to put my trust in my teammates and not to feel like I have to do things on my own.” Through these activities the group became much closer. After praying with their prayer partners they were connected not only physically, but also spiritually. Paige commented, “I feel like now we’re not as nervous around each other, and that the prayer circles helped us break down the barriers.” 
The exercise focusing mainly on the high ropes and zip-lining brought many of the interns out of their comfort zones. The group was not only stretched physically, but also emotionally. Many of the interns, including Nick and Samantha, were extremely terrified of heights. Nick powered through the course, and Samantha conquered her fear by making it halfway up the pole before her fear caught up with her. “I think today that I was able to go way past the superficial. There were no more comfort zones,” said Jamilla. 
The past two days were a life changing experience and a team-bonding moment that the whole intern team will remember for years to come. Whether it be the actual team activities or just sitting on a log listening to the stories of engagements. Oh…and of course the “Where’s Nick?” question that was asked repeatedly. In the meantime, closing with one last quote from Madeline: “I experienced the whole team working together for the first time. It was the first time we had to accomplish a common goal together.” The goal was right in front of them: Become a group of people that knows each other’s talents and fears, and use those to accomplish what was put in front of you. Their choice was to accept that goal and complete it efficiently without losing the spirit of encouragement within them.
The group is now much closer because of these two days, and every member is very grateful for this experience and full of gratitude towards the staff of School to the Nations. 
The photo is of Aaron enjoying the zip-line…

Debby shares about the people of Lipa City, and a briquette press. 

Our first stop in the Philippines was to Lipa City. We partnered with Pastor Romeo and his family and were able to minister to a squatter village that is inside their community.  Matthew 22:39 commands us to “love your neighbor as yourself,” and this pastor is truly doing just that.

We worked alongside the Filipinos to build a briquette press. The briquette is made out of paper, straw, sawdust and dry grass. They are used as an alternative cooking fuel decreasing the amount of smoke buildup in the home. Many especially the children had coughs due to smoke, because most cook inside the 10x10 one room dwelling.

One afternoon the team along with members of the local church showed a demonstration of the briquette press. One of the ladies in the community stepped up to help make one of the first briquettes. When it was finished, her face lit up. For me personally that moment was so humbling that it brought tears to my eyes. These women took pride in their work. Something as simple as this can change an entire family’s way of life. Convoy of Hope is truly making a difference in this community.

Throughout this journey as an Intern for Convoy of Hope, I have learned more about my Father’s heart. His love for the poor, the fatherless, the broken, the children…everyone. And I have fallen in love, in love with my Savior all over again and in love with the hospitable Filipinos. I have met some incredible people along this journey within my team and even in everyday conversations. They have changed me more than words or pictures could ever describe.

My prayer is that I continue to view people just as my God does: treasured and beloved; and may I never forget the simplicity of making an impact on just one person’s life. 

Post blog note: We’ve been in touch with Pastor Romeo. The people of Lipa aren’t only using the briquette press to make this fuel alternative for their homes, they’re making them all day in shifts and selling them…raising funds for their homes, and to build other briquette presses for neighboring villages. It’s working exactly as we hoped, and is making a difference in the community.

Karen shares a bit from the spring 2012 interns and the work in the Philippines: 
The Intern Staff was excited to return to Bataan, Philippines. We had worked there last year, at Kings Garden Children’s Home. After initiating a gardening and composting project, we anticipated great things would come from the potential we saw the Lord had given there. This year, the missionaries with whom we had worked reported that the garden had been expanded and was producing enough vegetables for the home, leaving excess to offer the staff at a reduced rate, and even more to sell at the market!  
This year, we helped install an irrigation system that will use excess run-off water from the well, which was otherwise unused. We also had time to paint the playground equipment. One of the greatest times, though, was the time we spent with the precious children. We were thrilled to share morning devotions, a tie dye activity, playing sports, and other activities. I think there were a few of the kids that beat the Americans in a game of Scrabble!  
The time we spent in worship, skits, and getting into the Word were powerful. There is no doubt that the Lord has His hand on the young people there and has  ordered their steps for a hopeful future!

Karen shares a bit from the spring 2012 interns and the work in the Philippines:

The Intern Staff was excited to return to Bataan, Philippines. We had worked there last year, at Kings Garden Children’s Home. After initiating a gardening and composting project, we anticipated great things would come from the potential we saw the Lord had given there. This year, the missionaries with whom we had worked reported that the garden had been expanded and was producing enough vegetables for the home, leaving excess to offer the staff at a reduced rate, and even more to sell at the market!  

This year, we helped install an irrigation system that will use excess run-off water from the well, which was otherwise unused. We also had time to paint the playground equipment. One of the greatest times, though, was the time we spent with the precious children. We were thrilled to share morning devotions, a tie dye activity, playing sports, and other activities. I think there were a few of the kids that beat the Americans in a game of Scrabble!  

The time we spent in worship, skits, and getting into the Word were powerful. There is no doubt that the Lord has His hand on the young people there and has  ordered their steps for a hopeful future!