Emilie Benefits From Being Mentored

Emilie’s summer internship in Orlando grows deeper through her mentoring times with Amanda.

By Emilie Vinson
image-emilie and Amanda starcher-465x280 Emilie (left) with friend, Laura Preston, and mentor, Amanda Starcher (right), after an afternoon of evangelism in the rain on July 4th. Photo courtesy of Emilie Vinson

“When you look at your life after college, and you think about our project theme of 'a lifetime of ministry,' what do you see your ministry looking like?” my mentor for the summer, Amanda Starcher, asks me from across our tall, round table.

I put my sandwich down and think for a moment before I answer.

A quarter of an hour ago, Amanda and I met at Subway for dinner.

While we waited in line for our sandwiches, we filled each other in on the events of our day, and then we sat down to talk about life.

Though my brain feels like it has been pulled in a million different directions today, this is still one of my favorite times of the week.

This is when, at least for a little while, life slows down. This is when I intentionally open up and talk with someone whose goal is to help me grow.

In my own mind, my response to her question feels a bit scattered. She listens to me ramble for a bit, picking up on the fact that the only thing connecting my disjointed thoughts on a lifetime of ministry is writing.

“You want writing to be your ministry,” she verbalizes for me.

It’s like a light bulb switches on in my mind. “That’s exactly what,” I say, with evident excitement. That’s what I’d been saying for the past 5 minutes without realizing it.

One of the things I love most about this internship is its emphasis on personal growth and development. I didn’t realize this when I applied and was accepted to be here this summer, but I’m so glad it’s the case.

While the internship is very focused on merging workplace skills and ministry as we serve at Campus Crusade for Christ’s world headquarters, personal development is just as much (and probably more) of a focus.

Mentorship is a large part of that process. When I arrived roughly 4 weeks ago, I, along with the rest of the interns, was assigned to a mentor. These mentors make up the staff team that has organized and directs our summer internship.

Mentors and their students do a lot of life together. They meet together on a weekly basis, often over lunch or dinner. They share their stories -- the things in life that have made them the person they are today. They process hopes, dreams, struggles, frustrations and successes together. They laugh together, and pray together. Along with meeting weekly, each mentor is also in a small-group Bible study with his or her student.

The atmosphere of Christian mentorship is a great place for students to glean wisdom and a biblical perspective on some of life’s tough situations. Sometimes mentors help verbalize and clarify thoughts, as Amanda did for me.

Oftentimes, they become good friends.

Our meeting at Subway wraps up as Amanda and I finish our chocolate chip cookies. “How can I pray specifically for you this week?” she asks. I answer with a few distinct requests, and as Subway’s constant stream of dinner customers file in and out, we bow our heads and pray together.

I’m already looking forward to next week’s meeting.

Read about other summer projects.