At 5:45 a.m. my husband, Bob, sat up in bed, shook me awake, and demanded, "How can you be so calm? I'm so nervous I can hardly stand it!"
With that abrupt awakening, we greeted the day we had been anxiously awaiting. As coordinators of Sojourners Internship Program, we were finally to meet the eight people who would be with us for a year as interns.
Only two weeks before, Sojourners Community and congregation had bidden a very sad farewell to the folks who had been our interns in 1985, the first year of the program. Dolores Johnson had left late last summer, and over the course of a week, Michael Clapp, Judy Crawford, Barbara Ryan, Ronna Seibert, and Marcia Welsh left, one by one, until by week's end we were exhausted and red-eyed from all the emotional farewells. Truly we had come to love these good people who had risked much to come and participate in our brand new intern program, with all its kinks and wrinkles.
The only thing that got us through that week was the knowledge that soon we would greet eight new interns. After the very difficult task of selecting them from more than 100 applications, Bob and I spent many weeks preparing for their arrival. We made many trips to Value Village thrift stores looking for used mattresses and desks, planned a rigorous orientation schedule, and worried for weeks over the other seemingly endless details necessary to such a program. Now, on this very early morning, we both came face to face with the reality that this was the day--anything that we had forgotten to do by now would probably not get done.
By evening, seven of the eight had arrived. We sent two people to the airport to fetch the last intern, who had spent three unplanned hours in-Memphis. She finally arrived, tired and a little frustrated, but happy nonetheless to be here.