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How my HOPE internship invested in my spiritual growth

HOPE interns brainstorm on the whiteboard.
by Ruthie Claydon, Experience Team Assistant (and summer 2021 intern)

During my internship with HOPE International, I experienced spiritual growth in completely new and unexpected ways. Throughout the summer, I felt fully welcomed and integrated into the vibrant staff culture. Overall, here are four of the biggest ways I was impacted by HOPE’s employee-directed spiritual practices.

1. Conversations with HOPE staff

When I look back on my internship, I notice that the most impactful moments occurred during conversations with HOPE staff and interns. Staff members from a variety of departments took the time to get to know me and encourage me.

When I had one-on-one connection calls with staff, many of them prayed over me and my future. Through these conversations, I grew a new perspective on what it means to trust God and His nature as my Father. I left each meeting feeling that there was a team at HOPE who was supporting me and cheering me on, no matter where my next career steps might lead.

2. Staff devotions

HOPE’s investment in my spiritual journey continued through staff devotions. Typically, HOPE U.S. staff get together once a week to hear various staff members share about a passage and pray.

This summer, I got to jump in on the new Kingdom Witness Guide, a seven-week small group program that explores what it means to serve God’s Kingdom while at HOPE. My group included staff members from a variety of departments and seasons of life. Each person shared their joys and difficulties with grace and we encouraged and prayed for one another.

3. Prayer times

In addition to staff devotions, HOPE schedules regular staff prayer times during the week. These were wonderful opportunities to pray with smaller groups of staff.

During HOPE’s leadership summit at the beginning of the summer, we had special breakout prayer times that included international field leaders. Hearing believers from other areas of the world with diverse life experiences carried a tremendous impact for me. I felt emboldened to pursue Kingdom work because of how God has shown His faithfulness around the world.

4. Intern book club

In addition to connecting with the network of HOPE staff, I loved growing alongside the close-knit group of interns and fellows. I got to co-lead an intern book club based on Bob Goff’s Dream Big. Throughout the summer, I was continually struck by the maturity and thoughtfulness of the interns around me. Each one came from a unique background and added a new perspective to our group. The encouragement and wisdom I experienced in our group made an impact that I will truly never forget.

Looking to gain professional work experience while growing your faith and serving God’s Kingdom? Applications are open now! Explore and apply for HOPE’s open internship and fellowship opportunities by January 24, 2022.

Ruthie Claydon was a HOPE intern in Summer 2021 and now serves on the Experience Team. At HOPE, she has found colleagues and friends who seek God’s Kingdom with grace and beauty—which leaves her thrilled about what God will do in the future.



As Christ’s followers responding to His great love, HOPE International seeks physical, social, spiritual, and personal restoration in places of brokenness. Through Christ-centered economic development, we empower men and women to strengthen their families, build their businesses, and unleash their dreams.

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