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by Lauren Anderson, Class of 2021

Junior Grace Veenstra has always wanted to be a recreational therapist.

Her aspirations became a reality when she interned at Elim Christian Services for Renew. She spent the first three days at Bethshan Association, Elim’s collaborator for adult services. There she observed classes, served lunch, and just talked to people.

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“I want to go into recreational therapy,” said Grace. “I’ve always wanted to. I think it’s just showing compassion to other people.” This is why Grace chose Elim and Bethshan; she had the opportunity to show compassion to God’s people while living out her calling from Him.

She was happy doing this and the people she worked with were happy, too. “I want to be outgoing, and if I’m happy, they’re going to be happy,” she explained. She went on to describe her relationships at Bethshan, which were filled with cheerful conversation and many get-to-know-you moments.

Grace met people of all backgrounds at Bethshan. Someone she connected with most was Ira, who swam in the Special Olympics, which is no small feat. Due to Ira’s amazing story, Grace was drawn to her, and she ultimately ended up being one of Grace’s favorite residents.

Seeing everyone’s love for God in choir class was definitely a highlight for Grace. “On Thursday we had choir class. I loved seeing everyone so happy and excited to sing to God,” she remembered. “They’re so excited that God is their Savior.”

God is even present in the smallest ways at Bethshan. Bible verses are visible on many of the residents’ lunchboxes and wheelchairs as they are rolling around the campus.

God is everywhere at Elim Christian Services. He is present in the places as small as lunchboxes to the places as large as classrooms and is seen in everyone’s conversations and backgrounds.

Lauren Anderson is a freshman at Timothy Christian. She loves traveling, math, journalism, volleyball, family, and Jesus. She aspires to be an advertising coordinator or an interior designer one day.

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