My experience as a summer intern for the Steinbruck Center for Urban Studies has been one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. The one thing I have learned above all else is real community. The community here at Luther Place is something that should be shown to the rest of the world, as an example of the beauty of the human spirit, and how when people come together in faith a beacon of light filled with hope and promise is created. The way in which the people of the congregation, the women of N Street Village, and the visiting groups from the Steinbruck Center Hostel Program come together is nothing less than spectacular.
This summer, I constantly engaged the women of the Community Craft Collective. It was so touching to see the ways in which the women share the intimate details about their lives, as well as their hopes for the future with me. This is something that has touched my heartstrings and has forever changed how I view the world. I do not think I will ever be the same.
The women also use their stories, as well as the history and purpose of the craft collective, to teach the youth groups that stay at the Steinbruck Center. It is a unique approach to show the power of community and shows that its the people that are central in our work. The women give a face to the issue of homelessness and poverty; they make it something real and tangible for the students, which is imperative way to reach these groups and have them truly remember their experiences with us. I cannot begin to count the number of people who have told me how blessed and grateful they were to meet the women of the Community Craft Collective and how they hope to stay in touch with the women after they leave.
The Community Craft Collective is just one of many experiential learning experiences that the Steinbruck Center has created for visiting youth groups to be a part of and learn from. Our visiting groups take what they’ve learned here and translate it to their own communities, creating endless possibilities of how Luther Place can impact our world. These components have made the Steinbruck Center such a wonderful ministry, and I believe such a vital part of Luther Place.
The Steinbruck Center has shown me the importance of community, education, and faith. All of the people I have met through Luther Place, the Steinbruck Center, and N Street Village have helped me to grow and discover my own discernment and call. This summer internship has been a wonderful whirlwind and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.