Back in November we asked Sam to introduce himself as our new media intern. Seven months on, Sam’s time with us has flown by! We asked him to share a little of what he’s learnt along the way.
How did you end up doing the OMF media internship?
My original intention with OMF had been to go on one of their short-term mission opportunities to Japan with the Serve Asia team. However, when the pandemic came last year and travel restrictions fell in place I started looking into alternative options for how I might be able to spend my time waiting and yet also serving.
My local OMF Area Representative pointed me in the direction of the internship programme, and this seemed like a great opportunity to both learn more about the organisation whilst also working on new skills! Admittedly I had intended to go with OMF’s mission internship helping to process the short-term workers, but as you often hear Christians say, ‘God had other plans’. After being interviewed I was offered a spot on the communications internship, which was a surprise to me but an opportunity for growth that I was excited to undertake.
I was a little nervous about how high the bar would be going into this role given that my only media experience in the past has been making video edits of family holidays. However, the team has been absolutely great at meeting me where I was and bringing me up to speed, and I’ve learnt so much over my seven months here.
What kind of things have you been doing over the last few months?
As a communications and media experience I’ve had opportunities to work across a whole manner different of projects, from graphic design to social media, podcasts to printed materials, and shooting video to speaking at events. It’s been a great insight into all of the ways that OMF is attempting to make God’s word known and a really rich time of learning for me personally.
That sounds like a lot of skillsets to jump between, but fear not if you would prefer to focus on a certain aspect of the role. One of the first things I was asked when I first started was ‘What skills would you like to work on and cultivate?’. So if you wanted to focus primarily on one area in your time here that would be absolutely fine! Or if like me you’re new to the field of media and you want to try it all then that’s equally okay.
An aspect of the internship that I’ve really appreciated is the amount of trust given to me. I was put onto projects that have significance, and not just assigned to making the coffees (although maybe no one trusted me because I don’t actually drink them myself!). Within the first few weeks of starting, I was given charge of editing the Serve Asia Podcast that OMF produces. Having a role to play in this big project with hundreds of regular listeners was exciting, and I got the sense I was making a real difference after hearing feedback from fans of the show around the world!
How has the internship helped you spiritually?
Another development opportunity that OMF has provided through the internship is spiritual growth. Part of each week involves attending a Bible school for in-depth Bible study sessions. Whilst this has had to be over Zoom due to the current circumstances, it’s still been an incredibly beneficial tool to me in developing positive habits in my walk with Christ. I’ve had the chance to attend workshops on Christian attitudes to life as well as deep dives into various books of the Bible.
OMF’s stance on prayer has also been a boost to my personal prayer life. Having read about how the China Inland Mission held prayer as a central tool to their mission in a biography of Hudson Taylor, it’s been incredibly heartening to see that OMF still follows in Taylor’s footsteps with dedicated time every day to pray for its workers across the globe, as well as the nations that it operates in. I’m still taken aback when I meet new people within OMF and they tell me that they’ve been praying for me ever since I appeared in a prayer bulletin, but I love that the organisation encourages sharing prayer globally among its staff.
What are you planning to do next?
So what am I going to do with all these new skills I’ve picked up? My immediate plans for the future still revolve around spending a year in Japan working with OMF on a short-term mission placement once the border reopens. The time I’ve spent on the internship has provided me with valuable skills for this upcoming trip and I feel more equipped in how to share news of my cross-cultural work with supporters and followers now. Once I return, however, I’m split on whether I pursue full-time ministry work overseas or move into a media role, if I go for the latter though I have built up a solid repertoire of skills as well as a portfolio of work I can show from my time here.
Hear more from Sam!
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OMF (UK) Media Intern
Sam was born and raised in the hills of Yorkshire where he grew up with his family. After spending eight years studying and working in the software development industry he came to work with OMF (UK) as a media intern where he learnt all sorts of new and exciting skills.