The summer after I graduated from college, I interned at PTM with the Calvin House. I loved every moment of that summer and was a little terrified when Chan asked me to run a new site they would be starting in the fall. Not only was this a completely new site but I was nervous about working with younger students and anticipated missing the Calvin House youth that I had truly grown to love. The first semester at the Park Avenue / Cross Point site was a whirl wind for me. I struggled with behavior issues, acclimating new students and volunteers and patience. There were several students who I foolishly gave up on, assuming they would never read, behave or listen to a word I said.
This summer I have been reminded how much our students have grown during my two years here. I had the rare gift of starting out with a group of students and watching God faithfully transform them even when I had given up. The first semester I thought “Anthony will never read” and here I am listening to Anthony reel off words with confidence and ease. The first semester I thought “Nettie and Quan will never behave” and here I am putting them in leadership positions because of their incredible behavior. The first semester I thought “I cannot do this” and I was right. God is present in this place in such a powerful way that regardless of my inadequacies and little faith, He continues to move. PTM thrives on faithful volunteers, prayer and relationships. Nothing that I have done over the past two years has caused those students to grow, I was only required to be faithful where God placed me and thankfully, God did the rest.
I am deeply saddened to leave PTM and often wonder what my life will look like without it. My husband will be starting seminary in the fall and we will be moving to New Jersey in just a few short weeks. This has been an incredible place to work. The staff has surrounded me with advice, prayer and friendship in a way that has made this work so much easier. While it is deeply painful to leave these students who started with me, I have full confidence that PTM will continue to provide a place for them to grow. The Park Avenue/ Cross Point students will soon be at the Calvin House where my journey first started at this ministry. And hopefully they will grow into leaders and enter the SaLT program. And before I know it, I will come back and visit to find a community forever changed because of the young people who have been brought up within these walls. Thank you for an incredible two years.