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Intern with Ministry to State!

Updated: Jan 27

Interested in coming to D.C. to intern for Ministry to State? Wondering what your experience might be like? Below you'll find a few insights about life in D.C. and working on Capitol Hill from our recent summer intern, Elias Ferenczy.

Elias snaps a shot from the rooftop of The Kennedy Center. Interning in Washington, D.C. offers many opportunities to take advantage of the city's many attractions!



Elias interned with MTS in the summer of 2022. While in D.C., he assisted with Commons, MTS' summer intern program, helped to host various dinner forums and events, and helped the ministry make connections with new and current Hill staffers. Read more below!


For more information or questions regarding applying for an upcoming internship, please contact Will Stockdale, will@ministrytostate.org.


 

How did you get connected with Ministry to State?

I learned about Ministry to State from my Dutch neighbor and fellow seminary student, Andreas van Wijngaarden. We became friends and had some good conversations about politics. When I told him I wanted to intern in D.C., he said he knew a guy named Chuck Garriott who lived there and was doing great work. He said I should go help him out for the summer and get a feel for what it’s like. I took his advice.


What surprised you most about Capitol Hill?

What surprised me most about Capitol Hill was the rich community. I remember watching “You’ve Got Mail” with my family and joking that while the movie is set in New York City, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks bump into each other as if it were small-town Maryland. When I came to D.C., I didn’t imagine I’d bump into friends walking on the sidewalk, drinking coffee at cafés, or buying groceries at Trader Joes’. By July and August of the summer, these things happened constantly. More importantly, I was surprised by the number of faithful Christians spreading the truth of the gospel and the love of Christ.


How has your time in D.C. impacted the way you think about public service and those who work in government?

Since this summer, I’ve only become more grateful for the faithful Christians working in D.C. Rather than simply complaining about America’s political system, they are passionate about implementing change through their own hard work. Criticizing is easy, but solving problems is often difficult. I’m thankful for government workers who are dedicated to servanthood through faithfulness that often goes unnoticed.


How has your time in D.C. impacted the way you live out your faith and work in ministry?

I remember sitting under the magnolia tree in front of the house I’d just moved into. I was with my friends, Cammie Messer and Ian Banks, talking about the summer. They were both encouraging, but Cammie’s advice was simply to listen. Hill staffers get talked at all day long, sometimes yelled at, she said, and they just want to be listened to. I think I remembered that during every meeting. I like to believe it set me up well to serve everyone I was so honored to meet.

I have to say, people’s hatred of “climbers” (those who seek to advance at any costs) made me think a lot about sincerity—what it means to actually care for people. I remember thinking that I hardly felt like I was “using” or being insincere towards someone if I was actively praying to the God of the universe for their blessing. It was helpful to appreciate the beauty of prayer. I saw how much people needed it, and how much I needed it, too.


What advice would you give to a Christian who just moved to D.C.?

First—respect everyone and work diligently, but don’t become self-important. Never believe anyone is worth more than you are because of what they do. Remember that humans are all helpless before God. Second, savor the almond croissants, look for the purple brick townhouses, and brave the bike lanes on your way to the monuments. Also, take time to do “nothing,” and reflect. Stay grateful, mind over-indulgence, and pray constantly.


Favorite D.C. food spot?

It’s a bit pricey, but the waffles at Belga Café make a fun lunch.

What about a D.C. tourist spot?

The art galleries were life changing. I also loved the fountains, which were everywhere. The one near the Botanic Garden is gorgeous, and it was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who also designed the Statue of Liberty.

And your favorite D.C. neighborhood?

I lived on the Hill and spent practically all of my time there. While I wish I could have experienced other neighborhoods more completely, I’ve gotta be predictable and call the Hill my favorite.



For more information or questions regarding applying for an upcoming internship, please contact Will Stockdale, will@ministrytostate.org.



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