There is no way my feelings for Hosea can be summed up in this short blog, but I hope to give you a glimpse into what this place has meant to me. Growing up in a small town, homelessness wasn’t a “norm.” I never had to face it, let alone make relationships with those who didn’t have a place to call home.
As a junior at the UO we had to choose an internship within the FHS program, and I wanted something that would challenge me, but I never could have imagined the plan God had in store for me here at Hosea. To be honest, beginning this internship I thought it would be a 1-term deal because I didn’t feel I had a passion for street-impacted youth, I have always had a passion for children. But clearly that wasn’t His plan.
I fell in love with Hosea, and have chosen to be here for 9 months of my senior year. Through my time here I have built relationships with some of the most amazing people. This place and the sense of comfort and family that comes with it has strengthened my faith in ways I never could have imagined. The trust in Jesus and the love for him within these walls is clearly seen each and every day we’re here. Looking back these past two years, I have grown so very much, and I truly feel I owe a lot of it to this agency. They have taught me the importance of listening to someone’s story and being fully present, because you never know where someone comes from. To ask Jesus for the strength to hear these broken individuals as they become vulnerable with you. It would be a lie if I said that this internship was easy. It challenges me each and every day I decide to step out of my comfort zone and seek out someone who looks like they need a little extra love. I have learned to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations and to roll with the punches of life.
Having these young people accept me knowing full well we are different in so many ways is astounding to me. The love we have created for one another is something I will always remember. They have allowed me into their world, while also seeking my advice, encouragement, and support. I feel so blessed to have had an impact in whatever way possible on the lives of these youth, but they have impacted me more than they will ever know.
My future plan isn’t to dedicate my life in the human services field, I want to be a Pediatrician. But as I continue to prepare for this journey, I’ve realized that 90% of medicine is social work. The skills I have learned here at Hosea will directly impact my future practice. There is so much more to an individual than their sign and symptoms. Every single aspect of their life affects their overall health. While this is a well known fact, I was able to see this first hand through the lived experiences of these youth. There will always be a part of these young people in my future patients and their parents. I will do my very best to not fail these people I have grown to love so much, as so many societal structures already have.