I arrived in Berlin, Germany, the second week of June, where I would complete my internship for the summer working as a public relations intern at a cultural center in the city. Public relations and German were my two majors in college and I am a photographer and artist in my free time, so I was enthusiastic about the chance to spend my summer in Berlin, gain experience in my respective fields, and build my portfolio further. One more thing—this was an internship with MTW. My internship was not just limited to my job fields, but I also got to learn how to interact with, thrive in, and love the city of Berlin. In short, I was learning how to live a holistic Christian life.
As an MTW intern in Berlin I worked with artists, performers, small business owners, and others from all walks of life. I had the opportunity to learn about and live in the neighborhood where I worked and grow in my understanding and appreciation of community. Living in Berlin showed me the importance of community for both Berliners and for the Church.
Germany has had an extremely tumultuous history and is very distrustful of the Church in general. By speaking German I was able to build a common connection with the people I was interacting with and start a relationship with them. It still sticks with me today how many Berliners told me they appreciated me speaking to them in German.
One of the verses I meditated on much throughout my internship was Romans 12:1, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
What we’re being exhorted to in this verse is offering our lives, and every aspect of them, up to God as a “living sacrifice.” While I was in Berlin my mentor and I focused a lot on the all-inclusive nature of this verse and our calling as Christians not only to love the Church but to be in the world for God’s glory. God is calling us here to continue our spiritual worship for those still in darkness to see and be drawn to because of God’s glory, goodness, and sovereignty over our whole lives, not just what we do on Sundays.
My experience in Berlin was invaluable and helped me grow both spiritually and professionally as I learned more about what it meant to live as a “living sacrifice” and as I got to see God’s sovereignty and design in all aspects of life, not just in planting churches and vacation bible school.
Matthew graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 and is engaged to be married.
*Last name withheld by request.