Thoughts on Interning from Stephen Bell

Thank you.

1610949_920788927980047_7458493623875620468_nAs I drove home to Texas, floods of memories washed over me of my newly found friends and family in Cedarville. They are delightful memories, but to be honest, I tried not to think about them because it always hurts to say goodbye. I do try to remind myself, however, that with every painful goodbye that means that there was at one time a sweet hello, and I consider myself blessed to have been able to spend this past year with so many kind, generous, and welcoming families in Cedarville. Thank you to each and every one of you who took me in as I adjusted to life in the small northern village with which I have become so familiar and consider another home. I want to thank you all for the prayers you showered on me; I want to thank you for the warm meals you shared with me; I want to thank you for the movies you watched11207320_918411294884477_3704264275447972776_n with me, the cookies you baked with me; I want to thank you for the incessant laughs to be found in every conversation; I want to thank you for your care in times of need like when my grandfather passed away this year; but I want to thank you most of all for being the body of Christ to me.

I find riddled throughout the Scriptures, stories of Christ welcoming and including others who would otherwise have been either forgotten or forced out of any social company. Think of the Samaritan woman with whom Jesus was not to associate. Think of Zacchaeus high in his tree, but looked down upon for his misuse of other’s money. Or think of the woman with the issue of blood, who was to be kept at a distance for her uncleanliness. Each one of these Jesus turned to with his fierce eyes, and once He arrested their attention, He relieved their fears and included them. As I see Jesus’ love poured out on to so many in the Scriptures, I see this key characteristic of Him: He is an includer. And as we strive to become like Him it is with great joy that I commend so many of you for shining His reflection through your lives so clearly by the way you include others. As I came to learn, Cedarville is a very transient community, and there always seems to be an opportunity to include someone.

10623499_761715317220743_9170614223024029750_oI am grateful to my family at Grace Baptist Church that you reflected Christ’s very character by including me in so many ways. Continue doing so and never tire of doing good so that by your good works many will glorify our Father! I love you all. Thank you for your investment in me. I am sure to come back to Cedarville soon. With Gratefulness,

Stephen Bell


Thoughts on Interning at Grace from Melissa Labbadia

Hey there! My name is Melissa Labbadia and I just graduated in May from Cedarville with a degree in Applied Communication. I’m originally from Connecticut 0ac1e3band being a part of a church that I can get connected with has been a strong desire of mine; but for my first three years at Cedarville, I ended up just “church hopping”. Before my senior year started, I made up my mind to attend Grace for the purpose of getting plugged in and being able to serve in a ministry setting. At the beginning of the school year, I attended the meeting for students who were looking to get involved in some way. When I heard Barb say that she was looking for a Children’s ministry intern, I was automatically interested in working with her.

During my time working as an intern at Grace I was able to serve in many different capacities. For the first semester, I was able to take turns each Sunday helping with and observing each Sunday School class from Nursery through Fifth grade as well as a few Wednesdays during Awana. During the second semester, I had 11142915_771719856280388_2083215155_nthe opportunity to serve in Connect 34 with the 3rd and 4th Grade Girls. I had never worked with this age group before, but I loved every minute of it and wish I could’ve stayed longer! Throughout the week, I was able to work in the office near Barb. I focused mainly on helping her with a variety of projects, filing and organizing many things, and I was also able to plan a girl’s event.

The one thing that was the most impactful, and most unexpected, part of working at Grace were the people who I was able to meet and work with. I was blessed incredibly by the loving and welcoming environment that made me realize I did have a church family here at school (finally!). I found a great mentor in Barb and I was thankful for her guidance and desire to want me to be able to use my skill sets to serve Christ. I feel more equipped after working at Grace to be able to jump into different areas of Children’s ministry and serve effectively; all with keeping in mind the purpose of sharing the big picture of God’s word with every child.