“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”—Matthew 25:40 (NRSV)
Guided by these verses (and those preceding it), Katalin Szalai, the World Communion of Reformed Churches new intern, sees her year with the WCRC as an important step in her journey with God.
“Matthew 25:35-40 inspired me to understand the inequalities embedded in our societies and also to have an open eye and heart to the suffering of other people and how I might be able to help them,” she said. “I believe that we need to challenge those practices in our world, which put a certain group of people into a disadvantaged position.”
Katalin grew up in the Reformed Church in Hungary, attending her local congregation in Szentendre (where her father is currently the leader of the church’s board of elders) and also attending the Reformed High School in town.
She’s also influenced by her understanding that “our world was created by the almighty God and that we have the responsibility to look after it. Perceiving the world as a gift from God not only changed how I value the environment around me, but also how I looked at the people.”
This led her to first study sociology and then move on to a master’s degree in International Development—Poverty, Inequality and Development “to not only learn about the root causes of the problems in our societies, but also to see how we are able to change them and hence be good stewards of the world that was given to us,” she said.
She sees her year with the WCRC as a natural step in her life and career journey: “I knew that I would like to work for a non-profit organization that has social justice among its core values and felt that at the WCRC I could enrich my knowledge of this field and earn practical skills for the future.
“The cooperation and communion that the WCRC thrives to achieve among its member churches also spoke to me, as I always believed that in order to achieve significant change, we need to overcome our differences and learn how to love each other through Christ, even in situations when we disagree on certain things,” she said.
Katalin will be with the WCRC for the entirety of 2019. The WCRC will select its next intern over the summer to start in the latter half of this year.
The WCRC’s internship programme is made possible through contributions by the Evangelisches Missionswerk, Reformierte Kirchen Bern-Jura-Solothurn and member churches.