My Wheaton

My Summer Internship at Harvest Bible Chapel

Posted by Charlotte Hallstrom '16


Q: How did Wheaton equip you for this internship? 

A: The Wheaton community is full of people who will push you to become the best version of who the Lord has made you to be. Professors, Center for Vocation and Career advisers, and various directors have all done this for me in some capacity. They support your God-given passions and desires and point you to avenues that help develop them. Classes and involvement in student groups have engendered in me a work ethic that is nothing but beneficial outside of the Wheaton campus. Hard work, though it may not have become any easier, has become much more expected and manageable. Also, the spiritual growth that happens beyond the classroom at Wheaton has deepened a love for and trust in God and his calling for my life.


Q: What have been some of your "favorite moments" during your internship?

A: My most favorite moment from my internship took place one night when my supervisor invited our staff team to his family’s home for dinner. We spent the evening sharing good food, telling stories, worshiping through song and relaxing together. It was a beautiful community moment filled with genuine care for each other. It was a moment that made me confident that there was a great purpose for this summer. My second favorite moment happened at the first of our Young Adult ministry gatherings. Being able to come together with people in a similar place in life and worship together is exciting. It was an evening that was the beginning of something beautiful. My last favorite memory entails all of small the conversations that I’ve had with people in my department. These men and women have spoken some profound truths into my life and taken the time to tackle the difficult things with me. The Lord has blessed them with unmatched drive and passion and I am so grateful to glean from it. 

Q: What are three things that you’ve learned during your internship this summer?

  1. Even the best jobs are filled with “grunt work.” Sometimes it can be burdensome and a bit frustrating, but doing it and doing it well is all the more worth it. It’s from these small tasks that you can build diligence and endurance, while ultimately preparing you for the greater, bigger things to come. Plus, you are usually doing them for good reason: to make someone else’s day a lot easier. 
  2. Trust is a necessity in surprising ways. It is also slow to grow in many cases. I have learned that in leadership, if you don’t have peoples’ trust, even if you have a title, then your ministry or mission is void. It sounds like common sense, but it permeates every relationship, near or far.
  3. Pay attention to the tension. I’m in a phase of life where I’m trying to decipher what it would look like to meld my calling, passions, and vocation together. It is a lot harder than I thought, and I feel caught in a place without a lot of clarity. I’ve learned that it does no good to rush through these seasons, so I’ve learned to sit back, lean into the Lord, and trust that he will bring sweet clarity in his time. 


Photo captions (from top): (Stage): This is what a typical rehearsal looks like. Leading worship is not only something that I truly believe is a calling on my life, but it is an avenue in which the Lord gives me the most joy. (Behind camera) This summer I have been learning so much about the production side of creative ministry. What you may see on any given Sunday morning has hours and hours of prep behind it. (Group selfie) This is my team! I have had the privilege of working with some of the most innovative, God-fearing people I know. What I have learned from them are things that I will take with me as I go further into this ministry and beyond. 

Charlotte Hallstrom '16 is a senior Communication and Biblical and Theological Studies major who interned at Harvest Bible Chapel this summer. Share your summer internship experiences using the hashtag #MyWheaton.

HoneyRock: Wheaton in the Northwoods

Posted by Katie Mann '18


During my time at HoneyRock, while taking a philosophy class with Dr. Fletcher, I learned to fully immerse myself in my community. In two short weeks, I learned a lot of things—here are three of them: 

  1. I found that removing technology from my daily routine allowed more space for God to show up in my relationships with others. Spending more time in the outdoors canoeing, hiking, and around bonfires and less time on my phone meant more opportunities for real relationships to grow. Through many different activities, I created lasting memories with my classmates and friends. Whether it was mountain biking after a rainstorm, laughing on the ski boat, shooting a gun for the first time, or playing soccer in the pouring rain, I will always remember the adventures I had and the people that experienced them with me.
  2. HoneyRock provides a unique place for group learning. My philosophy class taught me to learn in the context of community. To set the tone before class started, our class participated in team-building activities for an afternoon. Although group projects have not always been my forte, working closely with my classmates on projects further developed my understanding of philosophy by examining issues through others’ point of view. HoneyRock became a place where I could discover far more from others than I could from simply reading a textbook.
  3. My appreciation for God’s creation grew through HoneyRock’s pristine Northwoods setting. I have always loved nature, and watching a bald eagle soar over our group as Dr. Fletcher wrapped up our last class together was nothing short of amazing. Lying in my canoe watching an incomprehensible number of twinkling stars and the soft moonlight resting on Long Lake reminded me how great our God is. There is no better place to work on philosophy than hanging in a hammock the next tree over from a friend while overlooking a picturesque view of the lake. HoneyRock has become “a place apart” for me where I have seen and experienced God through His people and through His creation.

Katie Mann ’18 is a sophomore applied health science major who participated in Wheaton in the Northwoods, a summer study program at HoneyRock: Wheaton College’s Center for Outdoor Leadership Development. Share your summer Wheaton experiences using the hashtag #MyWheaton.

Wheaton in the Holy Lands: A Circle in the Sand

Posted by Jillian Hedges '17


I remember what it was like, sitting in that classroom on Wheaton College’s campus in May with the 43 unfamiliar faces I'd be spending six weeks abroad with. Six weeks traveling across Israel, Greece, Turkey, and Italy. The air of mixed excitement and uncertainty was prominent, as Dr. Chris Vlachos stood at the front of the room giving a pre-trip lecture on the climactic moment of Jesus' ministry when He looked upon His disciples and asked:

But who do you say that I am? 


Then the waves were crashing along the shoreline at Caesarea Philippi. The air was warm and the sun bright. We sat upon the rocks and the passage was read once more. The 43 faces around me were more familiar now—somehow the late hours together and sweat from a blazing Israeli sun cultivated a kind of friendship that couldn't be bought. And being there with them, the question seemed to ring louder, as if it were being asked not of the disciples but of us. In a world that denies, twists, and confuses His identity,

Who do you say that I am?


It was not asked of a single person, but to the whole of the group; an open question in need of response. I imagine them looking around at one another, letting the words hang uncertainly in the air. Perhaps the answer was what all of them were thinking. Perhaps it had not yet occurred to some of them. But it was Simon Peter who stepped forward with the bold reply:

You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

It was the last event of our last day: the Scavi tour underneath St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Those 43 were no longer simply faces but beautiful souls with whom I'd experienced the journey of a lifetime. We went below, 12 at a time, to a small room containing an even smaller box that held the purple-stained bones of an elderly man who died in the first century, the bones more likely than not of Peter: the first person to openly declare Jesus as the Christ. The passage from Matthew 16 was read once more, closing the six-week long circle. Wheaton to Israel to Rome, the lingering question remains. In our speech, in our actions, in our lives;

Who do you say that I am?


Jillian Hedges ’17 is a Communication (Media Studies) major who traveled abroad with Wheaton in the Holy Lands this summer. Photo captions (from top): He is the Christ, the son of the living God (Enxi '17, Daniela '17, Abby '17, Jillian '17, and Caitlyn '17 in Caesarea Philippi, Israel); His provision abounds like a stream in the desert (Arad, Israel); Lifting up our voices in the most incredible places (Abby '17, Casey '17, Peter '17 and J.R. '16 in Metora, Greece); Finding peace where there should be none (Judean Wilderness, Israel). Photos by Dan Chung ’17. Tell us about your summer experiences abroad using the hashtag #MyWheaton. 

A Tale of Three Cities: Iron Sharpens Iron Colombia

Posted by Emma Schaafsma '17



As part of the Wheaton College Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy’s Iron Sharpens Iron program, we traveled from Panama to Colombia last month. Our first stop in Colombia was in Bogota. Upon arriving, we went to the El Camino School for lunch and discussion with some local business owners and economists. We learned about the decrease in poverty and insecurity since 2002 and the subsequent growth and increasing public perception of security. This coincided with the election of President Alvaro Uribe, who took the offensive against the terrorist group, FARC, or “Armed Colombian Revolutionary Forces.” We also met a future Wheaton freshman, Camila Moreno, and had the privilege of going to her family’s house for dinner. While in Bogota we also met with Vivian Morales, former attorney general and current Colombian senator. Vivian spoke on her faith, corruption issues, and the difficulties of being a woman in politics due to pervasive media scrutiny. We also had the chance to meet with her husband, a former M-19 guerilla and former Colombian senator. It was fascinating to learn about the guerilla movement in Colombia and how it has changed throughout history. 



By the end of the Bogota leg of our trip, we were all pretty worn out. Luckily, Cartagena provided a much-needed break. While in Cartagena, we toured the old city’s massive fort. The old city was very beautiful and looked rather European. We also had a nice day of relaxing on the beach and riding jet skis. Cartagena is the historic Spanish seaport on the Caribbean and was the site of many pirate attacks.



In Medellin, we got back to business. Medellin was once one of the most violent cities in the world, during the reign of Pablo Escobar, the head of the Medellin drug cartel. Since his death in 1992, the city has become significantly safer due, in part, to America’s “Plan Colombia” funding. We toured Prodia, a flavor and scent company. While there, we learned about their history, strategies, and business vision. This was interesting because while in the states we had toured FONA, an American-based flavor company. Thus, we were able to compare the two companies. To add some cultural perspective, we visited a museum which displayed many Botero paintings. We also met with the Founder’s Institute, an organization that helps finance local start-ups. It was interesting to learn about how the Founder’s Institute develops these young companies. Medellin had a mild temperature and was quietly nestled between many mountains. Overall, Medellin was very beautiful and we all thoroughly enjoyed our time here. 


Emma Schaafsma '17 traveled with Wheaton College's Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy's Iron Sharpens Iron program in Latin America this summer. Photo captions (from top): Photo of Bogota from Montserrat Peak; In Cartagena; Overlooking Medillin. Read Emma's classmate Kelen Caldwell '17's account of ISI's travels in Panama at this link, and share your summer experiences on social media using the hashtag #MyWheaton.

Youth Hostel Ministry: My Passion for Global Cities

Posted by Ann Szeliga '17


Choosing to participate in Youth Hostel Ministry, or "YHM," has proven to be a wise decision for many more reasons than I expected. YHM appeared to be a program that would allow me to travel, practice my Spanish, and get outside of my comfort zone with my fellow travelers in Europe. Though those things have all proven to be true, the crux of my learning has been within my heart: toward how I view the world and what God wants to do with me for His Kingdom.

Traveling through Paris was a time of frustration for me, as my team struggled to meet other travelers in our hostel. This resulted in discouragement for our team. I was joyful to be in a large city, but there was something about Paris that shook me the wrong way: The city lacked spirituality. I saw a dark place, bustling with Parisians and tourists interacting in a mundane, empty way. Seeing Notre Dame felt like a tourist destination rather than a beautiful cathedral sharing the beauty and love of our God. Parisians of all classes riding the metro with distressed, sad looks on their faces allowed me to see the desperate need for the Gospel in this city.

This darkness is not unique to Paris, though—many cities around Europe, and the world, are craving hope and truth in their lives. My journey, I've learned, begins with studying the development and problems of cities. I hope this equips me with a deeper understanding of such cities, transforming my discouragement into deliverance of His love.

In Barcelona, our team saw an example of a lack of respect for human dignity. My team and I were in a restaurant in Barcelona when I witnessed deep, cruel racism involving Spaniard patrons and some Asian employees. After our team chatted with the employees, we learned they chose not to kick the unruly men out because then they would not earn enough money for the day. This is what they deal with on a daily basis in order to make a living in a place they should be able to call home, a place that should be a comfortable work environment. These issues are magnified in cities as a result of the racial diversity cities typically retain.

As a result of my experiences in these European cities, my passion for urban environments has grown. It is clear that this is an area of study I wish to pursue further during my time at Wheaton. As I prepare to end my time with YHM and begin my program with Wheaton in Chicago this fall, God gives me both personal and global perspectives: He continues to ignite my fascination and passion for urban studies, while unveiling to me the united and broken urban communities throughout the world.

yhm-wheaton-college Ann Szeliga ’17 is a junior studying international relations and urban studies who took part in Wheaton’s Youth Hostel Ministries program in Europe this summer. Photos (from top): Ann's YHM team in Amsterdam (left to right): Ann Szeliga '17, Emily Trowbridge '16, Ari Kim '16, Sara King '18, Lexi Carlson '17; A stone fountain in Notre Dame, Paris reads in Spanish, "I am the way that seeks travelers." Photo credits: Learn more about YHM on their website, and tell us about your summer experiences abroad using the hashtag #MyWheaton. 

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