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Marcus (Team Zambia leader), Grace, Reid, Rochelle

The end of the year brings bittersweet moments to Rosedale International (RI)’s Short-Term Programs (STP) team as our interns complete their term.

We recently said farewell to Grace, Hospitality Assistant; Reid, Facilities Assistant; and Rochelle, Administrative Assistant and Prayer Coordinator. Their absence already looms noticeably. As I spent time debriefing with the team, we spoke about how the sadness of goodbyes is not something to repress or ignore, since it indicates that something of value took up space in our hearts. Instead of shutting off that experience of loss, we should acknowledge what was significant to us. So, I shall do my best to honor these individuals who faithfully served with RI in 2023.

Through the seasons of the year, Grace, Reid, and Rochelle practiced hospitality, served the local community through personal outreaches, cared for and engaged Rosedale Network youth groups through City Challenge, invested deeply in the lives of the REACHers, and supported STP staff. They brought a contagious energy and joy wherever they went.

Although the intern team began the year with five members, two teammates moved off the team—one returning home and the other joining REACH. Despite these unforeseen transitions, Grace, Reid, and Rochelle remained engaged in their year of internship with a determined persistence. Staying committed to others and to each other through change takes a lot of resilience. These three could have easily closed themselves off from navigating these shifting dynamics, or become angry when their year didn’t go the way they expected. Instead, they made themselves visible and available to any who needed them, frequently opening their activities and spaces to invite and include others.

Highly engaged and relational, Grace, Reid, and Rochelle put forth an incredible effort to connect with those around them.

Highly engaged and relational, Grace, Reid, and Rochelle put forth incredible effort to connect with those around them. Over and over, I watched as this team showed an attentiveness to others. Neighbors near the Rosedale International Center (RIC), guests hosted in the building, citizens experiencing homelessness in Columbus, STP program participants, and RI staff all received their loving attention. Grace, Reid, and Rochelle demonstrated sincere affection for many through meaningful conversations, moments of prayer, spontaneous outings, and thoughtful acts of service. Each is a leader in their own right, and their influence permeated many spaces over the past year. Their initiative and ownership in their specific positions, their team life, and their spiritual lives is inspiring and encouraging.

This intern team introduced me to a song whose main lyric is Give us a vision of your love, Lord. Let us fall in love with you again. It’s quite obvious to me that this lyric—this prayer, if you will—became the rallying theme for these three. As they turned to the Lord, He gave them eyes to see others from His perspective. I’m humbled to have experienced more of Christ’s love through interacting with Grace, Reid, and Rochelle, and I pray I can follow their lead. Though we already miss them, RI releases them to continue sharing a vision of love as they re-enter their home contexts.

Please remember Grace, Reid, and Rochelle in your prayers as they reconnect with their home communities, build relationships, and seek the Lord’s direction in their lives. Pray that they would remain close to Jesus and be examples of His love, His light, and His joy.

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