Tyler Auker served as a discipleship intern for three months in an eastern German city, working with a local church by building meaningful relationships with refugees, immigrants, and other locals.
Q: Why did you decide to do a mission internship?
A: There was a desire that God had placed in my heart and a love for Germany that I'd had for many years already.
Q: Describe a typical day of your internship.
A: At 8 o'clock my German language course started, so I'd ride my bike through town to get there. Then I'd usually meet with a friend for lunch or go to the gym. Then I'd help with a church event or hang out with friends, go to the park, or meet with somebody for coffee. Towards the end of my time there, I also got involved with a prayer group, and we'd meet every morning at 6 o'clock.
Q: Tell me one good part and one challenging part of your internship.
A: Studying the German language was a dream come true! I was just soaking it in the whole time. I lived with a German family the whole time I was there, so I was able to practice and learn a lot. A difficult part was navigating the mix of cultures. There were many Middle Eastern cultures and even some different European cultures. It was certainly a challenge to learn many different cultural expectations.
Q: What is one part of your experience that you'll never forget?
A: I became really good friends with one immigrant who was an atheist when I first got there. Through experiences he had with me and others at the church, he ended up becoming saved by the time I left. He told me that the friendship we had was very important to him, and I actually got to baptize him -- he wanted to give me that honor. We're still in contact.
Q: What's next for you?
A: God has placed a burden on my heart to go back and continue building deeper relationships. I went over there for discipleship, and discipleship takes a lot of time. I'm making plans to go back to Germany for a longer-term assignment.
One day I got hungry on the way home from language study. I stopped at a stand to get a hot dog. The lady said they were out, but she offered me something else in rapid German. Not knowing what it was, I took it. As I walked home, I kept looking at it and something didn't look right. Eventually, I realized it was a whole liver in a bun! I did eat it — but it wasn't good.
Interview edited and condensed for clarity.