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On his summer internship to Central Asia, Malachi learned that working in a factory can be pretty difficult. “The factory would get so hot that we would go outside in the 100-degree weather to cool off,” he said. “I’ve never sweat so much in my life.”
Malachi is a senior in college who studies using business as missions, and this internship provided him with plenty of practical experience in the field. One of the assignments on his two-month internship was to do manual labor in a textile facility that global workers use as an outreach. Every 25 minutes he had to pull material out of the machinery and restart the cleaning process again.
His first couple weeks were especially hard. He was working in the washing facility with some ladies from the villages who live in the factory, working shifts that are 26 days long. “And their life is HARD,” Malachi said. It was a completely new environment for him, and he didn’t know any of the terminology, so he felt like a clueless white American who was just getting in everyone’s way. “The ladies would yell at me, and then someone else would yell at me—I had all these different people yelling at me, but I couldn’t obey all of them or even communicate.” Feeling completely overwhelmed and helpless, Malachi was almost brought to tears. Then he thought to himself, “This is so hard, but I’m gonna push through, and continue to love them like Jesus does.”
Instead of shutting down in the face of adversity, Malachi decided to press in. He started connecting with the ladies on a personal level by asking them questions about their families and where they were from. He used whatever language he could to banter with them, and as a result, he saw their attitudes toward him completely flip. At one point, the ladies even defended Malachi when another worker started yelling at him.
“By the time I left, they were grateful for me,” Malachi said. “I got to see their lives, go to their houses, and meet their families.” The reason why they connected with each other so deeply was because he worked hard and participated in their difficult lives rather than just observing them as a spectator.
In the midst of his labor-intensive internship, Malachi had a moment where all the beauty of missions was stripped away and he asked himself, “Do I wanna be here for the gospel alone?” The answer he’s come to is, “What does it matter what I want? Jesus calls me to go, and there’s a great need.”
Malachi doesn’t think he’s ever grown so much as he did on this internship, and said, “God was molding him into His son more and more.” Jesus came to this earth and lived life in another place so we could have relationships with Him, so Malachi says, “I wanna lay my life down for others just like He did for me.”
Malachi now works on Encompass’s staff. You can learn more about his role and partner with him on his giving page.