My name is Shaye Newman and I started my internship with New City Neighbors in January of 2013. I have volunteered with EMS for two years now. Outside of my studies at I also hold three leadership positions at Kuyper College. I work in the Student Life Office as an administrative assistant, I am part of an intentional Living Learning community called Mazi, and I am the Spiritual Life Events intern. These positions as well as my classes keep me significantly busy and I enjoy them very much.
How does one introduce themselves? That is the question that has been on my mind since it was decided that I would post on the New City Neighbors blog and start with an introduction of myself. I think that the best way to introduce myself is to tell you why I am interning at NCN and how I got here.
I moved to Grand Rapids, MI from Waldport, Oregon so I could go to Kuyper College. I am studying to be a Youth Pastor. One of the questions I hear frequently is: “Why so far away?” The answer I jokingly give, that is also accurate, is that I didn’t choose, God did. I was called to Kuyper to be educated and prepared for youth ministry.
When I first started going to youth group as a freshman in high school I was not a Christian and I was not in a good place. My struggles left me in a dark place and I was very angry at the world. I remember when I first met the youth pastor (Aaron). He was a character (he still is). I quickly connected with Aaron and began to ask many questions about God and Christianity. I was a very curious individual and not just about Christianity but about Aaron as well. When we would meet for lunch or youth group he would ask me about my day and intently listen to my answers. He was peculiar to me because he seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say.
Through my relationship with Aaron, God drew me out of the dark place I was in and into a commitment to Him. After many questions, arguments and outbursts on my part, I committed my life to Christ. (July, 2006) I continued my journey through Young Life, youth group, Church, and bible studies. I continued to grow in my faith and make it my own. I was baptized at Waldport Community Presbyterian Church on January 14th, 2007.
The impact that Aaron had on my life drew me to Youth Ministry. I want to do for youth what was done for me. I want to listen to them and/or give them a voice. I want to advocate for them and care about them. I want to walk alongside youth and let them know that they are important. That is why I am at Kuyper and it is why I am interning at New City Neighbors.
I don’t know how much I can do in the next year to help the kids at EMS but I do know that at the very least I can love them. I hope to learn from all the people connected to NCN because I have a lot to learn. I hope to learn about being a Christ-follower, a Christ-like leader and how to do this thing they call youth ministry.