Jacqueline Jones was in Moshi for two and a half months serving as an intern for Kingdom Families. During her time here, Jackie developed mental health guidelines for working with vulnerable children. Additionally, she helped on children’s ministry, teaching youth and helping in local preschools. Here is some insight into Jackie’s time here, what she learned and ways that she grew.
What do you feel like God taught you during your summer internship?
A better understanding of my calling. The realization of what it means to be a child of God and how empowering that is, was a continual lesson for me in Tanzania. To be a child of God means having a freedom and life-giving light that others will thirst for. What I had to learn was living within that light and that freedom so that the Spirit could work through me. Belonging to the Kingdom of God is an incomparable calling and sonship. I learned and am relearning how to live my life, because you can’t spend two and a half months in a place like Moshi and with such life-giving people as the Stivers without coming to a realization of how much time you waste not caring for the people around you. Not the people that are easy to care for, but the ones that are harsh in speech and look and the people that you thoroughly avoid as a practice. God calls all of us to something greater. Our perceptive should always be in light of eternity. I’m just grateful I’m learning this at 23 so that I can stop wasting my time on all the other nonsense.
What have you learned about family-based orphan care?
I learned that family based care is a part of God’s design. That it is a vital part of how He sees His church and the call that is on our lives to care for others. Psalm 68:6 says that God sets the lonely in families. If this is the standard, then as children of God our call is to always strive for that standard with others, which means not settling for our idea of what it means to care for others but looking to God to redefine care.
What is something you learned about Tanzanian culture during your time here?
How little people regard time. It may sound bad initially and I took it as a challenge when I first arrived, but by the end of my internship I appreciated it. It is quite refreshing to not be so dictated by time and it certainly helps with taking in and experiencing unforgettable moments. Time is not a hindrance or a constant ticking in your ear – there were very few moments in which the anxiety of being ready on time or getting somewhere on time was felt and love that I learned how to be free in such a way.
What are some challenges you faced during your time here?
Accepting and existing within the solitude that is inevitable in such a place as Moshi. I had more time being alone with my thoughts than I was expecting, and coming from an American culture in which there is always a distraction, this was a trial for me. You’re on the other side of a day from everyone you know back in the States, your internet is iffy initially, and the shows are limited on Netflix compared to what you’re used to. So then what I had left was me and God, and listening to my thoughts and listening to Him. I’m blessed by this challenge, because although it was hard and somewhat scary, it was the peace I needed to see the Lord in a new way.
How do you feel like God is calling you to respond after your summer spent interning with Kingdom Families?
To live in light of my calling – a calling that is both freedom and empowerment. Returning to America means returning to so much noise and distraction and the realization of how at work the Enemy is in my country. America is a place of great spiritual warfare and the weight of it hits me every day. My time in Tanzania was used by God to better equip me for this calling – to fear Him more than I fear people, to proclaim the power of the Spirit that lives within me and to proclaim Him as the good Father who welcomes every lost and lonely soul into His Family.