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This summer at Peace Fellowship, 8 youth, ages 17-20 are employed as Ministry Interns. Thanks in part to a generous matching grant from The Mustard Seed Foundation, Peace is able to not only offer valuable job skills, experience, and spiritual formation, but to pay a competitive wage to these interns.
Washington, D.C. has one of the nation’s highest rates of youth unemployment (a staggering 34% 2012 for youth 16-19). What this means is that when youth want to work, to learn job skills, to make some money for school or other family expenses, they oftentimes simply cannot. In Deanwood, and East of the Anacostia River in general, general unemployment is far worse than other parts of the city (about 11% in 2016 for Ward 7 and 14% for Ward 8 vs. 3-5% in most of the rest of the city). We know that having a job makes it easier to get another job. We know that having meaningful work is vital to human flourishing. Youth need to learn the hard and soft skills that come with holding a job.
In the midst of this kind of challenge, Peace decided to invest in a summer ministry opportunity for our area youth. Interns are responsible for running games, teaching Bible lessons, literacy and enrichment lessons, and arts and crafts. Each day, they also engage in another kind of essential formation: spiritual. Together, we look at Scripture and ask questions about God, God’s vision for our world, and how we fit into that vision. Coupled with community service and learning about our neighborhood, this is a holistic approach to serving and forming our young people.
We hope that you will pray for our interns as they begin this exciting adventure. We trust that God will do amazing things for and through them. As our camp progresses, we’ll post some updates of all that God is doing!
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Providing opportunities for our youth to work is a way the church can combat the roots of poverty and inequality.