South Africa 2012: Daniel Sparkman

I was a part of the South Africa 1 internship and it was one of the best summers of my life.

Combine traveling around the world, making friends with some of the coolest people of that world, and sharing the good news of Jesus to the people of this world and what do you get? Well, I can’t speak for you, but what I got was a summer that shaped me.

Professionally, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to “tell us a little bit about this internship in South Africa” in interviews. This internship gives you ammunition to brag about yourself. That’s not what MK2MK internship is about, but it sure was a nice perk  I talked about interpersonal skills training, small group leadership, conflict resolution… the list goes on. I could probably go through an entire job interview and relate every question back to an example from my MK2MK internship. That’s how transformative these trips can be professionally. I became a much more confident leader in South Africa, and I think most of my fellow interns can back me up on that. *fingers crossed*

Daniel (second from the left) with the rest of the Sparkman kids.

Daniel (second from the left) with the rest of the Sparkman kids.

While the professional aspects are definitely an added bonus that’s not why any intern I’ve known goes on these trips. They go on these trips because they love Jesus – pure and simple. Personally, South Africa expanded and deepened my faith. I learned just as much, if not more, from the students as I did from my fellow interns. The ministry was great, the travel was great, the food was great, everything was great. But, what I will never forget is stories. Every single person there had a story that could change lives for Jesus. I sometimes doubt how God plans to use me. How do I fit into His perfect plan? What about my story, my life, my testimony, make me special? Well, my internship was God raising an eyebrow at me and saying, “Seriously, little man? Here’s how.”

(Daniel grew up in East Asia and studied at Texas A&M University where he got his degree in Marketing)