Every summer, hundreds of Calvin students scatter across the United States and around the world, researching, interning, and exploring. This past summer, some of those students kept Calvin informed about their adventures as part of the college’s “We Are Calvin” series. Senior Libby Huizenga, a psychology major from Rockford, Mich., was one of those students.
Q. Where were you?
A. Seattle, Washington.
Q. Why were you there?
A. I was there through the Jubilee Fellows program doing an internship at Harbor Church. I’m looking to try out different aspects of ministry.
Q. What was your typical day like?
A. Every day was different. I hosted cookouts for members of our community garden. I planned and led Sunday worship.
Q. What else did you do?
A. Harbor Church focuses on being relational rather than programmatic. That meant that much of my time was spent getting to know people and helping them get to know one another. Many commented that Seattle is a hard place to get to know people. Following initial friendliness, people put up walls. We created opportunities for people to be radically vulnerable before others and before God.
Q. How did Calvin prepare you for this?
A. 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.
Q. Were there other things?
A. I’ve had great opportunities to experiment with leadership by serving as a Barnabas in Boer-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.
Q. How do you see this shaping your future?
A. I came to Harbor Church to learn more about ministry and perhaps discern a call to pastoral work. As much as I loved the work, I also loved the place. I have some decisions to make, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I returned to Seattle.
Q. What were the challenges?
A. Sometimes I hosted events and no one came. Other times only one or two people showed up. These could be disappointing, yet they often turned into opportunities to have deeper conversations than would otherwise have been possible. Sometimes failed events turn into friendships.
For more “We Are Calvin” stories, visit calvin.edu/go/WeAreCalvin.