BUMP is a life-changing year that will help you grow in your love for Jesus. Through both inward and outward spiritual exercises, interns are shaped throughout the year in the context of strong community. The leaders provide group and one-on-one investment at a level that is humbling and makes you want to grow to serve like they do.
As a country girl from Virginia, BUMP made living full heartedly for Jesus in the city of Buffalo a life-giving experience. God used BUMP leaders and participants to shape me, challenge me, celebrate with me, cry with me, and simply do life with me. I am forever grateful for my first year out of college being surrounded by a deep community, thought-provoking and action-initiating classes, and a wonderful ministry to continue to work in even now.
Working, waiting, and watching. These have filled my year as a BUMP intern. We transplant, bake bread, wrestle with ideas like ecclesiology and incarnational ministry, weed garden beds, worship together, explore discernment and Lectio Divina, hear testimonies from pastors and chiropractors and native Buffalonians, help with seventh grade science homework, tap maple trees, ponder the kingdom of God. We wait on everything we can’t control: seeds, hearts, Buffalo winter, sixth graders, housemates, the Spirit of God. We watch as spinach and basil sprout, friendships start and send down roots, patience and forgiveness break through, tomatoes ripen, God moves.
BUMP taught me how to love my neighbor. Loving your neighbor isn’t meant to be neat and wrapped with a bow, it’s inconvenient and time consuming, it’s dirty and messy, it can cost you, but that is where God is found - in loving your neighbor. That’s what I spent a year doing at BUMP - learning to love.
My BUMP year provided preparation and healing I’ve seen become a vital foundation to my life in faith. BUMP provides a space and time for people to come together, encouraging engagement in both difference and love. In today’s climate, I believe this is exactly what the world needs more of.
Before BUMP I had been trying for almost a year to work with Jericho Road as a Dietitian. I had found out that they had a need for one as part of the diabetes team. This was exciting, because diabetes care is something I have had a personal connection with, and that I have always had a passion for. But at the time it was just a need, with no way to actually make it happen. Finding out about BUMP was an answer to prayer, because it provided the funding needed for me to start working in this position. Furthermore, I recently found out that after BUMP finishes I will be able to continue working as a dietitian at Jericho full time! Before finding Jericho Road, I always saw myself working abroad because of my love for working with people from different cultures and who speak other languages. As it turns out God, had other plans - at least for now. And still, I am so thankful that God has given me a job at a place that is as wonderfully diverse as Jericho Road, where I get to work with people who have my same heart and who come from all over the world. In all of this, I’m learning to trust that God’s plans are better than the ones I make for myself. And, that I only get to experience them once I let go of all the conditions I place on where Jesus can call me. My life is not about what I want, but about what God wants. And the amazing thing I am finding out is that the passions God has placed in my heart are more fulfilled, not less, when I give up on my own plans and just give Him total control of my life. I’m learning that even when the process is confusing and I doubt Him and don’t understand, Jesus has been (and continues to be) so faithful in leading me on the path He has for my life.