JEFFERSON CITY – An opportunity for college and university students to serve as a disaster relief intern will be available during the summer of 2023.
Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief (MODR) officials announced that the internship is a ten-week, paid opportunity to be trained and serve as a MODR volunteer throughout the months of June and July. They will be traveling and responding to disasters and rebuilding opportunities across Missouri and perhaps across the nation.
Aaron Werner, the MODR collegiate coordinator said applications are being accepted now and they are encouraging the students to apply no later than April 1, 2023. Decisions on employment will be made by April 17th.
He said “This internship allows you to travel to disaster sites and use disaster relief to share the love of Christ. You will be trained in the five areas of disaster relief: childcare; flood recovery; chainsaw; mass care; and shower and laundry.”
He said this is an amazing opportunity for students to “gain experience, mentorship and do life together among other twenty-somethings.” The MODR credentials that they will received will remain active for five years and they may have opportunities to respond to other disaster relief callouts in their college and university communities as well as across the state and nation.
Werner serves as the leader of the Baptist Student Union (BSU) ministry at Crowder College through Shoal Creek Baptist Association, Neosho. He also serves MODR as the collegiate specialist.
He reported that this past summer there were nine college students in the internship program. As he said, “We ate, learned, lived, played, trained and worked together.” The student interns put their training to practical use. They were able to respond to four DR callouts in Missouri.
Those were in: Sedalia, Buckner, Tipton, and St. Louis. Then they were also able to participate in hurricane relief rebuild projects in North Carolina, and Louisiana.
When they are not traveling, they stay and work at the MODR Readiness Center located just outside Jefferson City. When not working he said they try to do fun and team-building activities with one another. Some of these will be leadership-centered events.
Werner stated: “Students will learn more about the ins and outs of leadership because one of our goals is to develop leaders. We want to pass the baton to those who are coming up behind us. One of the ways we do this is by giving them the opportunity to lead, and to fail. By being a ‘Blue Hat’ (team leader) for a day they will learn what it means to lead a group.”
He added, “Another significant part of this experience is that the students will not only have all their expenses paid for, but they will get a weekly stipend as well. This is a wonderful bonus for students whose majors require an internship like this.” MODR interns received housing, meals, travel and uniforms as a part of their compensation.
As he continued to reflect on the importance of college students, Werner said he attends church on Sunday mornings and counts the number of college students and college age adults. He said adults are always talking in Sunday school about “passing the baton” to the younger generation. He believes college ministry is vital to the church and he believes strongly that is what God is allowing him to do.
He hopes there will be plenty of applicants for the summer 2023 collegiate internships. Interested college and university students may apply at modr.org and click on the Opportunities menu and then the DR Internships link.