Every summer, hundreds of Calvin students scatter across the U.S. and around the world, researching, interning and exploring. This summer, some of these students are keeping us informed about their adventures. Next up: senior Libby Huizenga of Rockford, Mich., a psychology major at Calvin College. This summer, Libby's learning about ministry through an internship out West.
Where are you?
Why are you there?
I’m here through the Jubilee Fellows program doing an internship at Harbor Church. I’m looking to try out different aspects of ministry.
What’s your typical day like?
Every day is different. I’ve hosted cook outs for members of our community garden. I plan and lead Sunday worship. In a few weeks, I’ll even preach a sermon.
What are you doing?
At Harbor Church, we focus on being relational rather than programmatic. That means that much of my time is spent getting to know people and helping them get to know one another. Many have commented that Seattle is a hard place to get to know people. Following initial friendliness, people put up walls. We’re creating opportunities for people to be radically vulnerable before others and before God.
How has Calvin prepared you for this?
Before I came to Seattle I took a semester long course in the Congregational and Ministry Studies department that was specifically designed for Jubilee Fellows. I learned a great deal about ministry and the church but I feel that I am most equipped by the supportive community it offered.
I’ve also had great opportunities to experiment with leadership serving as a Barnabas in Bennink (one of Calvin's seven residence halls). Much of what I’m doing here, from planning events, public speaking or meeting with individuals, I tried in some capacity in the dorms among my peers.
What has surprised you so far?
In an effort to enter this summer with an open mind, I came with very few expectations. The result is that little has surprised me.
How do you see this shaping your future?
I came here to learn more about ministry and perhaps discern a call to pastoral work. As much as I love the work, I also love the place. I have some decisions to make but I wouldn’t be surprised if I returned to Seattle.
Best thing you’ve eaten?
Oh man. The food here is amazing. There are farmers' markets with organic produce, seemingly infinite amounts of salmon and coffee shops with homemade truffles and horchata.
Best picture you’ve taken?
Sadly, there was no photography allowed near Tolkien’s manuscripts or C.S. Lewis’ drawings at the EMP Museum.
What’s gone wrong?
Sometimes I host events and no one comes. Other times only one or two people show up. These could be disappointing yet they often turn into opportunities to have deeper conversations than would otherwise be possible. Sometimes failed events turn into friendships.
Met anybody memorable?
Seattle street musicians are surprisingly phenomenal.