My name is Alexis and I am currently a junior intern here at Hosea. Although I am required by the UO to be at an internship site for three months in order to receive college credit, my time here has been nothing less than intentional moments planned beautifully by God.
From the beginning of October, I have been a witness to the amazing things that go on in the basement of this church. We start out our nights welcoming youth into the drop-in where they can find refuge in basic necessities like food, showers, laundry, and clothing. It is a vulnerable time for the youth, and in this time we as interns and volunteers have an opportunity to break down walls and get to the heart of kids. After some time, we call everyone to come near for announcements and prayer before food. This is a time that we utilize to illustrate our dedication to the youth, showing them that we want them to be aware of upcoming events and drop-in scheduling. We encourage them to get involved with events, especially town hall meetings where they have a special opportunity to speak out and be known. Once announcements are over we all join in prayer, thanking our meal group for taking time to serve the youth, but also our Heavenly Father for sending his Son down to die for us, so that we may live. Whoever it may be that leads prayer that night, we always make a point to bring light to the reason why we are at the drop-in: His grace.
Our kind meal groups serve food every night we are open, and it provides a platform for volunteers and interns to share not only a meal, but also intentional time with youth. Just over the couple months I have been interning here, I have been fortunate enough to connect with youth over meals. I have listened to their daily struggles, life stories, how some have ended up on the streets. It has been an eye opening experience, and I have learned to never take moments like these for granted.
Some of the youth that come through see where our hearts are, and more importantly the mission of Hosea. Through this they feel comfortable enough to reach out and take the opportunities we give them through the drop-in center. We act as a transitional placement for them to get what they truly need: housing, a job, and connections within the community to build up a healthy support system.
It has been an honor as an intern watching God work in the lives of the youth. In just two short months, three times a week, two hours at a time, God has made His grace evident to me through the mission of Hosea: helping homeless and at-risk youth create and sustain healthy lives away from the streets of Eugene.