As many of you may know, Hope in the Harvest instituted an internship program last year and we are excited that so far we have been able to host two interns at the ARC in Liberia! Today we took some time to sit down with one of our interns, Micah Murphy, and talk to him about his internship experience.
Micah Murphy is 26 years old and comes from Indiana. He worked with us at the ARC (Agricultural Research Center) in Liberia from November 2017 to June 2018. He worked primarily on the farm in the vegetable and crop fields alongside our staff who are well trained in the methods of Farming God’s Way. His main goal in joining us in Liberia was to learn more about tropical agriculture and to gain hands-on experience in this field of agriculture so that he could hopefully use these skills later on in the future to train others.
How did you first hear about the opportunity with Hope in the Harvest?
I first heard about Liberia back in 2012 when I was planning a mission trip to Uganda. Pastor Bill Sebald was my boss and family friend who took frequent trips to the interior of the West African country. He urged me to accompany him on one of his trips.
Have you ever worked internationally before? What made you want to come to Liberia?
I had done some work abroad before. In Uganda I worked with construction and teaching of the old testament to school kids and villages. But while there I desired to learn and teach agriculture. The need for it was unequalled with any other physical need the country had. It wasn’t until 2017 that Bill had invited me to join a Farming God’s Way training conference that I decided to make the trip to Liberia.
What is something that you would say to someone considering an internship with HITH?
Initially, I was nervous about what I would be required to do upon arrival. My mindset was to humble myself and learn whatever I could from the bottom up in the field. It paid dividends in my experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone who would want to do an internship.
What was one of the biggest struggles you experienced? What did you learn from that?
I gained respect and trust from the employees and gained much more appreciation for their way of life and the daily difficulty in which they lived. The five acres of farmland overwhelmed me for the first three months… I had a different approach to getting things done and I had come from a background of order and schedule. This was something that frustrated me and up until I realized that going out there everyday and building relationships and working hard was more important for my time, I struggled. I do believe initiating an importance on schedule and discipline is paramount for the employees.
What is one story that you often tell to your friends now that you are back home that summarizes for you your time here in Liberia?
I tell people most about my trips to Wantias village. Clearing all the woods and brush and working with the village leader Oliver. Having to park in the village and walk a quarter mile to the farmland with all of our equipment to work everyday shows the struggle and determination it takes to be successful in Liberia. We cooked our own food or had a lady in the village cool for us. It built relationships which I could go back at anytime and they would be there and we would pickup where we left off. It will definitely be a place for me to visit again.
How did this experience change the way you look at agriculture? Africa? poverty? your own country- USA?
I see the struggle over in Africa for life is much more base and real than in the States. Here we work more for finer things and opportunity, which is expensive and easily overdone. Over in Africa there is a struggle and fight for food and clothing and school that comes easy for us. They work very hard $2 a day…. It astounded me to see them provide for such large families with so little a income. Coming back I had the Africa mindset: work for essentials and stay content. But I’ve known that I have started trying to make more and buy more since I’ve been back. It’s also difficult for me here to carry on what I want to do with agriculture because the jobs in that field are not as much in demand as they are in Liberia. What I had there with work and relationships is what I want over here. It was truly a special time for me and I cherish it.
What are your plans now that you are back in the US?
Coming back to the U.S., I desire to continue a path in agriculture. I also desire I chance for another trip in the future. On going back I would like to pursue a more specific job. For the first time internship though, I would recommend doing a little of everything so that you can identify your areas of interest.
Here are a few photos from Micah’s time in Liberia:
Below is a little overview about our Hope in the Harvest internship program in case you or someone you know might be interested! For more detailed information, check out our website: https://www.hopeintheharvest.org/internships
We have three types of internship opportunities:
- Exploratory (2 weeks-2 months)
- Short-term (3-6 months)
- Long-term (1+ year)
As an intern, especially those short-term and long-term interns, you will have the opportunity to learn a little bit about each of HITH and the ARC’s areas of focus before choosing 1 or 2 areas in which to devote your internship experience.
- Farm Experience
- Research Projects
- Classroom Instructor/Professor
- Extension Services
- Agricultural Economic Development (Agribusiness)
- Farming God’s Way Ministry
Do you know someone who might be interested in doing an internship in Liberia with Hope in the Harvest? Send them our way! We’d love to help answer any questions they may have about this unique and exciting opportunity! Please have them reach out to us directly us via email@example.com. Additionally, please share this opportunity with your networks by sharing this article or by sharing the internship page on our website. You never know who the Lord could be leading here next so SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!