What would you tell someone who was on the fence about applying?
I would tell them that there is incredible growth to be experienced. I would tell them that rarely will your faith get to be put to the test so tangibly. In Austin, as students at UT, we can get caught up with only knowing people who look and act like us. In ServeHere, you will mentored and grown into a person who cares for and acts for underserved people groups who are often overlooked or forgotten. It is a chance to grow immeasurably in your faith in a way that is uncomfortable and unique.
What was your most impactful experience?
Every Thursday night during my internship I attended the TROM women’s bible study. These women, who are all formerly incarcerated, took me in like one of their own. They questioned, cried at, and loudly celebrated their faith. They interacted with God so surely and tangibly that I realized time and time again how I fail to do this. It is true that the comfortable act like they don’t need Jesus. These women are not comfortable, and they were desperately aware they needed Jesus.
How do you view God differently now?
I view God as an all-consuming presence, who’s personhood is not a question, but a fact. I do not want for God to show up in my circumstances, but look for the ways he already has. I fight to see God in people; he is in every one of us itching for us to recognize someone that it different than us, acknowledge the beautiful way they are created, and thus to see him in a new light.
What did the people group you served teach you about yourself?
I went into my internship at TROM recognizing a lot of prejudice and stereotyping within myself, and wanting desperately for God to clear me of it. I knew that I struggled with feeling physically threatened or intimidated often, and knew that working with formerly incarcerated individuals would deeply challenge my sense of comfort. I realized how strong and peaceful our God is and how he can literally vanquish fear within us. The people group I served taught me and loved me with abandon, reminding me that what I learn is directly correlated to how I listen.