As an International Affairs student at Kennesaw State University with absolutely no interest in diplomacy, many may have wondered if Blake chose the right major. However, Blake explains that he selected the major because of his desire to be involved globally, even if it was not through the typical career path. Believing that God would show him how to best use the degree, he continued in his studies and began to seek opportunities that might provide some direction.
|Blake (OM USA Intern)|
Through both prayer and networking, he was able to connect with a friend who was involved in Operation Mobilization. This interaction opened the door for a meeting with OM executives and eventually an internship, an opportunity that he had never originally expected.
As a part of Operation Mobilization’s pilot internship program, Blake was able to obtain approval through his university for nine hours of related studies college credit. Working in the Global Connections office, his days involved a variety of unique tasks with the central focus being on research. He explained that since missionaries are increasingly required to possess specific trades or skills, his research focused on finding marketplace opportunities for their involvement around the world. Throughout the duration of his internship, he was also heavily involved with his university, raising awareness and excitement for missions.
As the final component of his internship, Blake agreed to participate in a summer mission trip. The goal was that this cultural immersion would solidify everything he had learned and provide him with an opportunity to experience OM’s impact firsthand. The location of his trip was originally kept a secret so that he would focus on the “why”, not necessarily the “where.” By going to an unknown location, his supervisors believed that he would be able to focus on what the Lord truly wanted him to do and not become distracted by the practical aspects of the trip.
However, through a series of circumstances, the information was accidentally leaked, informing him that his destination was Southeast Asia. “The Lord must have wanted me to know,” he laughed, “[Southeast Asia] is a hard place to be, but OM has been very successful there.”
Although not certain about the specifics, he explained that he would meet up with a church planting team in the area. In addition to planting new churches, he hopes to participate in urban ministry, street evangelism, and hiking to remote villages to share the gospel.
“It’s really relational ministry – to discuss with them how they are, who they are, the desires of their heart, and to be a good impression for Christians and Americans.”
Spending a summer abroad will be a truly life changing experience, and he believes that his time interning at Operation Mobilization has prepared him for any challenges he might face.
He explained that his time spent in the office environment gave him a glimpse into how a healthy workplace community should function. Combined with OM’s strong collective vision, this well-rounded experience could be applied later to both Christian and secular organizations. Blake shared that the balance of both vocational and spiritual emphasis was perhaps the most unique aspect of the internship.
“Learning scripture and theology in addition to the office work that I do has just grown me so much in my faith. The more I know about Christ, the more confident I am to do things for Him,” he explained. “I have appreciated hearing the stories and interacting with the diverse group of people working here. You have an opportunity to serve the Lord in a fun environment where you can delight in what you are doing and know that the work is directly correlated with kingdom visions overseas.”
Although his time at the office may have drawn to a close, he says that his experience at OM has set him on a journey that will lead him to places he could have never imagined. As he embarks on his newest mission, Blake is confident that the Lord will guide and direct his steps, both for the upcoming summer and adventures in the future.