Before her graduation in August from Florida International University, Aisha Arias was a part of her campus chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Through InterVarsity, she attended the Urbana missions conference, where HOPE International had a stand. Aisha recalls, “I became intrigued with doing missions with finance, so I checked out HOPE’s website and saw they were offering an internship that suited my interests.”
“At first I was a little nervous. I didn’t know how feasible it would be to travel all the way from Florida and not get paid.” However, she was intrigued by this new opportunity to use her newly gained bachelor’s of accounting degree for a Christian nonprofit and decided to apply. Ultimately, Aisha accepted a position as the international accounting intern.
“It’s been amazing to see the HOPE culture from day one. I remember being greeted by so many staff.” Additionally, Aisha moved in with some other interns in HOPE-provided housing. While she was initially nervous, she ended up growing close to the other interns and eventually started leading Bible studies with the group.
Aisha also faced the challenge of finding a church in Lancaster. “Being away from family and friends, I’ve had to be proactive about finding a church community and places to serve apart from HOPE,” she recalls. Through this process, Aisha learned about God’s sovereignty. “I’ve been surprised to see how God has been present and has acted within every aspect of this summer. Being at HOPE, I’ve experienced His provision and care in times of trouble and confusion.”
While Aisha was initially nervous about finances, God answered her prayers with a part-time job during the weekends. She tracked her spending, even learning to cook to avoid eating out. Aisha describes that her internship has given her a better view of the value of money. “In this time, I’ve learned to rely on God and see His hand at work. Receiving free meals from church or from families at HOPE has reminded me of the importance of being in community and caring for one another. I hope to practice this same generosity as I go back home.”
Aisha is excited for what God has in store for her. She feels assurance about the future, trusting God is in control. Of her HOPE experience, Aisha says, “I am so glad I came! I’ve learned so much about microfinance and about myself in the process.”
Are you are someone you know interested in an internship or fellowship at HOPE? Find the complete list of summer 2018 internships and fellowships here. Applications are due on January 21, 2018.