NEW YORK, N.Y. – JeaHyun Nham from South Korea is the latest Mennonite World Conference (MWC) intern to join the staff of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) United Nations Office. The intern is a joint appointment of MCC and MWC.
Nham is a member of Jesus Village Church in Chuncheon, Republic of Korea (ROK/South Korea). The church, founded in 1996, models itself on the spirit of early Anabaptists.
In ROK, Nham is an undergraduate student at Underwood International College in Seoul, majoring in International Studies and Comparative Literature and Culture. She also has worked at a refugee center in Seoul, helping people from other countries process their refugee status.
Last year, Nham was an exchange student at the University of California, Berkeley. Following her year in New York, she will complete her final year of college in South Korea.
Nham first learned about MCC when she and her family visited the MCC East Coast Material Resources Center in Ephrata, Pa., six years ago during her father’s sabbatical year in Cleveland, Ohio.
“I learned of all of the supplies that MCC sent to aid many Korean refugees during the Korean War,” Nham said. “Without the helping hand of organizations like MCC, it would have been impossible for the Korean people to have risen from the ashes of the Korean War.
“I realized that MCC puts the love of Jesus for humanity into practice as they share a portion of his love through their assistance. I am eager to pass the torch of love to many other nations worldwide by joining the MCC mission at the U.N. office.”
Nham is the seventh MCC-MWC intern to serve in this role. All were supported by MWC and were participants in MCC’s International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP), a service opportunity for young adults from outside Canada and the U.S., said Doug Hostetter, director of the MCC U.N. Office.
During her one-year internship, which began in August, Nham expects to learn more about how MCC works within the U.N. community to build bridges of understanding between peoples and nations. She also will bring her own background and experience on peacebuilding.
“I particularly wish to contribute a Korean voice for reconciliation and peace to the efforts to end the bitter war which had divided the Korean peninsula on 38th parallel for 60 years,” Nham said.
“As I commute to work, I see graffiti on the wall of the New York subway saying, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere (Martin Luther King, Jr.).’ I want to be God’s farmer, eradicating the root of injustice and planting the earth with seeds of peace and reconciliation.”
All of the interns have brought the voice and the concerns of their churches and their people to the U.N. community, Hostetter said.
“They have worked hard to build communication between their congregations and national churches in their home countries and the world community of diplomats and faith-based nongovernmental organizations at the U.N.,” he said.
The interns also shared their faith and built understanding between Anabaptists in the global north and global south as they worshipped with Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in Canada and the U.S.
Hostetter said that after their internships are complete, interns have become more deeply involved in their home churches and often participate in the work of the Young Anabaptists (YABs) network of MWC.
The search process for the 2014 intern begins in December. Applicants must be a member of a church affiliated with MWC; single; 22-30 years old; fluent in English; and with interest and some university-level studies in international affairs, peace studies, development or related fields. The home location rotates; the next intern will be from Latin America.
Interested candidates are invited to contact the MCC office in their country for IVEP application materials, or contact Lynn Roth, North American representative of MWC at LynnRoth@mwc-cmm.org.