So right now I'm sitting in a room browsing the Internet for the first time in a few days and thought I'd update you guys about the past couple days which have been awesome!!!
So Thursday was my travel day and I hoped on a train in Richmond to ride up to Phili. The train ride was around 4 hours and I was able to finish this awesome book that my awesome sister lent me called "Heaven is for Real" which is an amazing true story about a little boy that gets to go to heaven and slowly tells his parents about it. You should read it, cause it will change the way you look at heaven, promise... Anyway, got to the Phili train station and was just itching to get a cheesesteak, but I didn't have time which was a major bummer because I LOVE cheesesteaks and have never had an authentic Philadelphia one. I jumped off my train and quickly got on a local train to get over to the airport where I was getting picked up by an HR rep from the company named Ray, who is a really funny guy from Malaysia.
After connecting with Ray and the other intern that was getting picked up we drove the 2 hours to Lancaster and got to the house we were staying at for the week of training. That night we walked over to the conference center and ate some dinner while the other 15 or so interns slowly trickled in. After a ton of eating, laughing, and talking with my fellow co-workers we decided to hit the sack early due to our early wake up time the next morning.
One incredible privilege we get to have this summer is that the Hope International Leadership Summit is going on at the same time as our internship training. The leadership summit happens once a year when all the leaders from Hope from all 15 countries they are in come together for worship, praise, prayer, fellowship, and direction for on week. So us interns get to meet and talk with all these incredible leaders from around the world, which is so humbling. So that morning we spent the day setting up the conference center for the summit. After that we went over to the main offices, got our computers all situated on their networks, and had a finance meeting with all the ex-pats (all the interns going abroad).
At the offices there was this great exhibit called "Pathways to Poverty" which was an audio tour through a ton of different rooms. Through the tour we got to experience and hear the stories of about 10 people in 10 different countries and how they were trapped in poverty. It was a humbling exhibit to say the least, but got me incredibly fired up to get to the Philippines and start working!!!
Following this moving experience, most of us were pretty tired, but decided that nothing would fix that than a game of basketball. So after dinner about 10 of us went to the local school and shot some hoops to get our legs moving for the first time in a couple days. One of the best parts of this experience so far has been just meeting and getting to know the other 19 interns here. Ever since meeting them it has been a constant part of our days to continually get to know each other and share our passions for Jesus together. And believe it or not, there are other people my age on this planet who actually enjoy majoring in economics, who knew!!! I think it is actually going to be difficult for me to say goodbye to these new friends of mine, as I can already tell that I am going to miss them greatly once all the ex-pats part ways for the summer.
So yesterday (Saturday) was another big day for Hope International. Last night they hosted their annual Fundraising dinner which was an enormous success. We spent all day traveling to the Lancaster convention center and setting up for the dinner. We mainly focused on setting up the four different booths from the four areas of the world that Hope is set up in (Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia). We also set up the silent auction which contained items from all over these four regions. I spent the 2 hours preceding the dinner welcoming people to the dinner.
The dinner itself was unbelievable. The president and CEO, Peter Greer, spoke and then gave awards to five different clients spread around the world and spoke on how a microloan from Hope International had changed their lives and their communities lives. Then the main speaker was a man named Scott Todd from Compassion International. You need to check out that website because he and his organization have a goal to end extreme poverty in the world by the year 2035, which is you look at the statistics is a very possible goal. You may think he's crazy, but I and a ton of other really smart people believe it can be done.
So anyway, that has been the last few days for me and today has been a great day of rest. The rest of the week is going to be slammed packed with training and meetings, but I'll try to post one more time before my plane heads out for the Philippines on Saturday the 28th. Thanks for reading and I pray that the Lord gives you rest today wherever life may find you.