REACH intern: ‘I have two families now!’

Claire, Richardson, Ivory Coast, REACH, intern

Remember your first birthday away from home? REACH intern Claire Richardson will never forget her 19th birthday, which she experienced while serving in Abengourou, Ivory Coast. Here’s how she celebrated.

Claire, Richardson, Ivory Coast, REACH, intern

Claire Richardson celebrated her 19th birthday while serving as a REACH intern in Abengourou, Ivory Coast.

“I got to turn 19 here, which was a neat experience to have. My wonderful mother packed a birthday breakfast for me before I left, so that morning I enjoyed a Dr. Pepper and some cookies! The rest of the day consisted of enjoyable moments all day, starting with my boss singing ‘Joyeux Anniversaire’ and buying me breakfast, to cheering kids and language partners, and ended with a birthday party thrown by both CMF missionary families.

“When I arrived at the birthday party, Ela, Natalie, Lydia and Judah (missionary children) swarmed me with treasure maps they had made for me to find my presents. I followed them around the house collecting my presents — paintings and drawings they had made — along the way. Maxim, one of the cooks, made me a super yummy birthday cake, and everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ followed by “Joyeux Anniversaire.’

“Going into it, I thought my birthday might be kind of tough since I’m away from my family, but everyone here made it so special for me. It’s pretty cool to have two families now … one in America and one in Côte d’Ivoire.”

Go here to find out how to serve as a REACH intern in summer 2020!

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