San Antonio Mennonite Church is a joyful and welcoming community that does justice, loves mercy, and walks humbly with God. Our church is an urban church with a diverse, vibrant community of people who work towards service for one another and walk the path of love, healing, and transformation in ourselves and as a church body.
Our ministry at SAMC is focused on providing healing hospitality for all families in our congregation and community. The heart of our healing hospitality work is focused on asylum-seeking families traveling to and through San Antonio. At our hospitality house, La Casa de Maria y Marta, we provide a safe place to stay, basic necessities, and a loving community. We have a collaboration with UT Health San Antonio to support medical care for our families. For families that end up staying we offer job training and connections to the community through our food trucks that operate in our church parking lot.
The café provides an opportunity for families staying in our church community longer than a few days to contribute to our community, to create, to have opportunities to interact in a dominant culture setting, and to earn a small amount of spending money. We are working to expand the cafe concept from coffee and baked goods to including a craft area of goods made by the people coming through our hospitality house. In conjunction, we are working to create a crafting area in the upstairs of La Casa.
The following are desired qualifications for an intern joining our community:
- Experience working with or living with people of different cultures and backgrounds
- Medium to proficient Spanish fluency
- Comfort sharing spaces with other volunteers and immigrant families
- Comfort with change and unpredictability, a high degree of flexibility
The following are desired orientations for an intern joining our community:
- An interest in participating in our broader church community: attending worship services at least three times a month, learning about and connecting with prayer groups and other small groups
- An interest in living in intentional community with other volunteers, church families, and immigrant families
- An interest in spiritual growth through the spiritual disciplines: including particularly keeping Sabbath and rest
- An interest in learning about immigration issues, trauma and crisis ministry, intentional community
- An interest in building relationships with and within our community
- An interest in working with people of all ages from babies to the elderly
The live-in intern at La Casa will be primarily responsible for all of the day-to-day running of the house as well as coordinating other volunteers as necessary and directly supporting families. Volunteers at La Casa that are intermittent (don't live in the house) come from both our church congregation and the wider community and come for variable amounts of time each week.
It is important to remember that while the immigrant families coming through La Casa have often experienced significant traumas, we are not attempting to heal them of their trauma in their time here. Rather we are providing a safe environment and loving community where they can begin to feel comfortable enough to allow the healing process to take root on its own. Our focus is on creating mental, emotional, and physical safety. Our ministry is founded on the idea of service and healing
with families rather than
for families. Interns will be trained in and provided ongoing support in trauma-informed care.
The intern's responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Ensuring that the kitchen is maintained with adequate food
- Ensuring that all toiletries, cleaning supplies, and medicines are kept stocked
- Ensuring that all areas of the house are kept clean and tidy
- Identifying any repairs or updates that need to be made and communicating to the pastors
- Creating a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Ensuring that spaces are beautiful and inviting.
- Creating areas for various activities: art, sewing, and other crafts
- Ensuring that our outdoor garden is used and maintained
- Working with volunteers to maintain the donation shed in good order
- Orienting and onboarding short-term volunteers, managing other volunteers and directing them to effective ways to be helpful
- Transporting or coordinating other volunteers to transport families to appointments
- Creating systems to welcome families and ensure safety of all families
- Participating in creating community life: working with the pastors to coordinate community meals, prayer times, small groups, etc.
- Spending time getting to know families, being present and available at times as they work in the schedule
- Communicating urgent and/or important needs with the pastors
- Bringing in other volunteers to create an activity schedule: art, English classes, etc.
- Weekly meeting with the MVS supervisor and Local Program Coordinator
- Monthly meeting with MVS committee
- The intern will report to the pastors and will collaborate with other volunteers, the cafe/case manager, and our church's administrative assistant.