“What has been your experience?”
My experience at Pulpit Rock Church has been full and brimming with new experiences. When I first came to intern here, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I knew I would be working with kids and youth and was excited to put into practice some of the things I had learned in my classes at Wheaton College.
In all honesty, I was expecting a full work week with lots of things to do all the time. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that my weeks were well-balanced and filled with fun as well as work. In fact, most of my work ended up involving fun activities like playing games, going on retreats, singing silly songs, and enjoying ourselves at the Penley’s house. It felt like I was becoming a kid again to serve these kids.
“What are your favorite things you have done here at PRC?”
I’ve loved going to Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings and just playing random games with the students. Whether it’s volleyball, gaga ball, or even karaoke, I love being a part of it and just being silly with the kids. Another highlight was the Denver Mission Trip. On the trip, both leaders and kids had the opportunity to interact with homeless people in inner-city Denver and learn from leaders of various relief organizations in the area.
It was a gift to be able to see a new level of hardship that we don’t often interact with or choose to ignore and be challenged to love through service and humble listening. One thing about that trip that stood out to me was the kids’ bravery in facing new and scary environments without complaint. They faced things with a humble attitude and willingness to serve, even when we went to places that weren’t the most comfortable or picturesque.
“What have you learned about yourself?”
I have learned so much during this internship. Most of what I’ve learned has been about who I am and what I’m capable of. It would be difficult to list out all the things I have learned this summer. But what stands out is the practice of being present. Since moving from Indonesia, I’ve noticed that the West is full of so many more distractions that vie for our attention all the time. Whether it’s family, friends, work, hobbies, church events, or even something small like an advertisement on our Instagram feed, it’s easy to get disconnected from reality and live in a bubble.
Being present has been a huge challenge but an extremely valuable skill, especially when we walk through poverty-stricken areas like we did during the Denver Mission Trip. It is truly humbling to face the overwhelming amount of need not only in Denver but in the world. Compared to the rest of the world, America’s issues are relatively lightweight, and that realization in and of itself is terrifying. This isn’t to discredit America’s issues as not worthwhile, but merely to put things into perspective. There is so much need, and I as an individual can only contribute a limited amount of time, resources, money, etc. Moreover, there’s only so much knowledge I can acquire to be aware of. I will always be unaware of something somewhere or be unable to help. Thus, being present opens our eyes to the endless amounts of injustice, poverty, crime, perversion, deception, and more! But it also opens our hearts to the comfort of the Spirit and gives us an opportunity to see God move in new and exciting ways.
In this season, I have learned to be more present and, as a result, trust the Almighty God in new and deeper ways than ever before. It hasn’t been easy, and I often fail, but many good things aren’t easy, and I’m learning just how deep the love and grace of God are.