By Whitney Senden
My time in Denver is coming to a close and I am reminded daily of all that I have learned, experienced, and developed to be during the past two months. The DUS experience has forever changed my life and I will leave this program with life long friendships and memories. Denver has slowly developed into my place of Shalom. I have been able to experience God in more ways than I ever have before. It is here that I solidified my passion for social work and also where I learned the importance of caring for myself in order to more effectively care for others. I have been forced to learn how to relax and take time to quietly sit in the presence of God. I have realized that I am really good at filling my schedule and burning myself out quickly. Sadly, I learned this lesson the hard way by spending about four of my nine weeks here extremely ill. During this time, God revealed to me the beauty of quite time in His presence and that healing, both physically and spiritually, is best done when you allow yourself to slow down and rest. Thankfully, the DUS program values personal time to experience the culture of Denver and to leave room in your schedule to play and build solid relationships. Without the guidance, direction, and lessons from the DUS leaders, I would have worn myself too thin this summer and wouldn’t have learned the value of self-care. Shalom is the word that I am taking away from the summer as a reminder of how needed free time in my schedule is while working in ministry. Because of this experience, I am coming away from the summer refreshed and ready to begin another school year. I hope to come back to this place of Shalom in the near future to be a part of the wonderful mission that God has in store for the city of Denver.