ServeHere has two summer interns working with Mobile Loaves and Fishes (MLF), a ministry dedicated to lifting up our homeless brothers and sisters, while challenging communities to live a lifestyle of service to them.
Marc is a Concordia communications and psychology major who has worked for Genesis Gardens leaders Steven Hebbard and Heidi Sloan. Genesis Gardens is a sustainable agriculture program that enables Community First! residents to grow healthy food for the community while learning to lead others.
Tim is a UT finance major who works for MLF’s CFO Katie Zunker. Tim’s big project has been to analyze, model and suggest improvements for the ROADS micro-enterprise program. The ROADs program is designed to create an income source that is manageable, flexible and sufficient to live with dignity. Opportunities stem from a range of micro-enterprise activities like vending carts, art galleries and woodworking workshops.
We have all enjoyed learning about the innovative ministries of MLF from our cohort meetings with Tim and Marc – so we were especially pleased when Katie invited the whole ServeHere team their offices on Bee Cave road.
Katie brought along fellow staff leader Nate Schlueter and they spent half the morning talking to us about their ministry, their careers, and the choices and challenges they have faced along the way. It was a thoughtful and inspiring time for our team – and a great opportunity to learn from two very accomplished business executives who made the decision to leave their successful marketplace jobs behind for a career with an impactful non-profit.
We so appreciate the opportunities that Mobile Loaves and Fishes provide to our two ServeHere interns – and the chance we all had to learn something from Katie and Nate this week!
On a beautiful Sunday morning in Austin, what better way to start the day than serving and worshiping down at Church Under the Bridge (CUB)? After a full Saturday in a conference room, we were all glad that Day 2 of the ServeHere Summer Kickoff training weekend began in field!!
ServeHere ministry partner Mission Possible has several different ministries, but it’s original one is a vibrant Street Ministry that all started with CUB. When Mission Possible first started working with the homeless in Austin, they heard them say what they needed most was a place they felt comfortable worshipping and hearing the gospel. Years later, CUB continues to faithfully provide exactly that kind of welcoming environment under the overpass of I35 in the heart of downtown.
Serving at CUB gave each of us a chance to be productive helping with load-in and load-out. But more importantly, our students seized on the opportunity to personally connect with another group of God’s children who live very different lives. It was an eye opening and heartwarming experience for everyone.
After loading-out, we headed over to the Mission Possible campus at 12th and Chicon for the afternoon. Lunch was provided by a food truck that donated the proceeds to Mission Possible’s kids camp program. So, we chowed down while listening to Beau Hamner, director of MP’s Street Ministry, and our 2nd speaker in the series. It was inspiring to hear Beau’s personal journey — how God unexpectedly called him to minister to the homeless — and the obedient and sacrificial way Beau and his family have responded. It’s a journey that led the family from youth ministry in Charlotte, NC all the way to the streets of Austin, TX.
After a great Q&A with Beau, the afternoon training sessions were focused on preparing the students for success on the job. Tips, techniques and tools were shared to ensure that our students had the best chance of quickly fitting in and contributing as interns in their new environments.
Finally, each person wrapped up the day by carefully considering why they are spending the summer in this very unique way – and setting three goals that can be used to empirically judge whether our summer with ServeHere and our non-profit placement was a success.