Intern Intro: Joseph!

When I first interacted with Kingdom Causes, I never imagined me fitting into an organization like it.  The staff seemed extra-extroverted and were good conversationalists, of which I am neither.  But after applying for the summer internship and working closely with the people involved in Kingdom Causes, I can see that this is an organization I can not only work for, but also become a part of over this summer.
My name is Joseph Nishimoto, and I am a twenty year old studying accounting and business administration at Grace College in Indiana and will graduate spring 2014.  I think God is vastly underrated in my life and in almost everyone else’s I meet, and relying on God as the ultimate authority and Jesus’ death is the ONLY thing you can rely on for salvation. I am starting to become an advocate for entrepreneurship, but mostly I advocate for hard work and discipline.  I have lived in Lakewood since I was one and I enjoy the beach, volleyball, and playing most sports, and anything nerdy I will probably be into (e.g. accounting, video games, comic books, etc.).  Although I’ve been behind in politics lately, I am libertarian in political view, (which is why I enjoy Good Soil Industries, a virtually self-sufficient social organization!).  I am the summer intern working mostly with Good Soil Industries to help streamline and better organize this side of Kingdom Causes.
I love to learn, and I’ve been doing a lot of it over the course of the few weeks I’ve been at KCB. Everything from specific skills, like how to use accounting software, to more indistinct skills, like conversing with people that I have few areas of common ground.  Each learning experience is exciting and encouraging.  One of the more specific learning experiences was last Thursday when we learned about asset based community development.  In a nutshell, asset based community development, or ABCD, is developing what is inside of a community instead of injecting an outsiders view into a community.  Basically, instead of trying to go into a community and tell it what it needs, allow the community to figure out what it needs and then use its own resources and skills to achieve it. 
On the whole, the training was good, but I did have two questions after mulling the information over.  The first one I had to ask myself is: does this fit into my calling as a Christian?  And of course, it seems like it does, but I think the ABCD way of thinking has to be filtered because many communities aren’t Christ focused, which is fine, but then some of their perceived needs will be out of step with Christianity and people empowering the community must evaluate if they will support the changes that the people want.  The second was, “why isn’t the body of Christ using their assets to better further the kingdom of God?”  Knowing the church’s strengths and skills is invaluable to progress and growth and this has been ignored for far too long.  To start to remedy this, I have begun talking to the elders at my church and will discuss it with my pastor to see if/when we can collaborate and start mining our congregation for skills.
Overall, ABCD training was the tip of the iceberg of my training these weeks and I have enjoyed every second of it.  My coworkers, including the GSI guys and fellow interns, are all amazing people and I am excited to have this time to have good conversations with them and get to know them even more.