Getting my feet wet

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Nick, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be a summer intern in Austinville, Iowa, set apart to fulfill a contract promised beforehand through his seminary mandate. To the community at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Mich., loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

I want you to know the things I have seen and experienced as an intern in Eastern Iowa. Austinville, a town of 65 people with a small church of 100 faithful attendees, is where God wanted me to “get my feet wet.” I had no idea of the literal interpretation God had in store.

I arrived in the aftermath of a devastating F5 tornado that swept away hundreds of homes and took the lives of eight people in just 50 seconds of terror. As I drove through the town of Parkersburg, eight miles east of Austinville, I witnessed the awesome power of God and the frailty of human life. It was nothing short of a miracle that more people were not killed.

Next the floods came. If my feet were not yet “wet,” they were now literally soaked by the floodwaters that hit Austinville Christian Reformed Church. They came the morning I was to preach my first sermon, on God’s comfort.

Suddenly the message I had prepared was for all of us. In short order God made me part of the community. We worked together, prayed together, and came before God in worship together.

It was beautiful to experience community in such an intimate way. I was tremendously honored to be ushered into home after home where people served me the best meals they could offer and treated me as though I could do no wrong.

I have been blessed more richly than I could have imagined through this internship. I can say I am a better person, a more disciplined disciple, better able to live God’s call each day.  

Fellow brothers and sisters, do not be anxious about your futures or about your internships. God will provide.

About the Author

Nick Bierma is a student at Calvin Theological Seminary. This article is excerpted from the seminary’s student publication, Kerux, volume 43.1, Sept. 22, 2008.