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If you told me a year ago that I’d be writing this blog post, I’d tell you you’re crazy. As an acting major at Elon University, I was almost certain that this summer would be spent interning with a theatre. However as Week Nine of 2018 rolled around, I knew that my time at CROSS was far from over. I came back on some weekends to host some Urban Plunge groups, but the hectic Saturdays at the Outreach Center didn’t seem to be enough. So when November rolled around, I filled out my application to return as a City Serve intern. 

            Throughout my 20 years, I can tell you one thing is for certain. Change is terrifying. And with a brand new CROSS Director and Assistant Director, I knew that a second summer would take on a new layer to the internship: leading all of the staff with the knowledge of CROSS that I had so far. However, one of my biggest worries joining the self-named “Two-Timers Club” was just that. I was worried that I would come into 2019 with an overbearing attitude. Something 2018 intern Emily Hinshaw (Hi Em, hope you’re killing it in New Zealand!) had told us was that she tried her hardest to eliminate all language like “Well last summer we did this” or “I always did things this way” so that she could experience the summer along with myself and the other five new interns. This year, I tried to have the same attitude.

            CROSS is ever-changing. No two weeks are the same, actually, no two DAYS are the same. I aimed to have this mindset going into the summer but it hasn’t been the easiest. Going back to the classic sites like Charlotte Rescue Mission or Samaritan’s House, you always think you know what you’re about to experience. But everyday that mindset gets thrown out the window. You meet new people, hear new stories, and even better, you see your youth interacting, working hard, and growing in their faith. Another source of worry came from the shiny new group of interns for 2019. I had my doubts that I wouldn’t be able to bond as much with them, find myself missing the interns from last summer (which don’t get me wrong, I do), or wishing we were back in 2018 but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. God works in mysterious ways and somehow God managed to put the perfect seven people in the Cornerstone this year. They have exceeded my expectations and constantly make me feel loved, supported, and so proud.

            All in all, it wasn’t a coincidence that I reapplied for the crazy summer that is the one of a CROSS intern, I truly believe I was placed here to grow more as a person, as a leader, as a Christian, and as a friend. The things CROSS does to and for me are things I will never be able to repay. Shoutout to the 2018 staff for getting this ball rolling and another shoutout to the 2019 staff for letting the ball turn into an avalanche.

-Preston Coleman

2019 CROSS Intern