Farewell to ACB – Intern Rachel

Dear Beloveds of the ACB Community,

I am deeply saddened to share with you that due to the global pandemic and rapidly-closing borders around the world, the ELCA has issued orders that all Global Missions personnel return to the United States and that this year’s Horizon International Internships are terminated early. As a result, I have to end my internship and return to the U.S. immediately.  This news has been sudden and swift, and I departed Berlin this morning with just a day’s notice.  While I understand that going back to the United States is the best decision the ELCA could make in the face of all the unknowns right now, it does not make the disappointment any less real.

It has been such a gift and a joy to be a part of the ACB community for these last 7 months. I am abundantly grateful for the relationships that we have built together, and I will deeply miss this incredible place. You have been such blessings in my life and in my faith formation. Thank you for welcoming me with open arms, thank you for caring for me with open homes, thank you for working with me with open minds, and thank you for loving me with open hearts.  I will carry you with me in my heart for all of my days.

There is a prayer I learned a long time ago while working at a summer camp… Whenever a staff member or volunteer left our community, we would gather around them, lay hands on them, and sing the words of this prayer over them.  It goes like this:

O God, you have called us
to ventures where we cannot see the end,
by paths never yet taken,
through perils unknown.
Give us good courage,
not knowing where we go,
to know that your hand is leading us
wherever we might go.
Amen.

Thank you, ACB, for being the venture that God called me to.  I could not be more grateful.
Peace (the kind that passes all understanding),

Pastoral Intern Rachel Johnson