internships Posts

Spiritual Journeys Come in All Shapes and Sizes

The main reason I chose to intern at Denver Rescue Mission was because I wanted to grow spiritually. The thought of being surrounded by other Christians in a professional work environment really appealed to me. I prayed to God that my time here would change me for the better. My prayer was answered, but it did not come as easy as I thought it would. It took time and a lot of getting out of my comfort zone.

Being a double major in journalism and international relations, I interned with the public relations department. I was loving the work that I was tasked with, my supervisors and what I was learning. Everything in the department was going well. It seemed like God had answered my request to grow professionally, but not spiritually. What was going on?

I realized that although I was working in a Christian environment that did not mean I would experience spiritual growth right away. So, I prayed and well…everything changed.

Denver Rescue Mission interns Ashley Montano and Shannon Stewart

Shannon Stewart (pictured right) and I formed a close friendship interning at Denver Rescue Mission

One day, out of nowhere, I ran into a fellow intern in Denver Rescue Mission’s administration building named Shannon. We talked about how our internships were going and about life in general. Before you knew it, phone numbers were exchanged and a friendship was formed.

Shannon introduced me to all of the other interns. We prayed before meals, encouraged each other and it pushed me to want to build an even stronger relationship with Christ. This was the complete opposite community that I had during my college years. It was refreshing and I noticed that I was happier, overall.




The spiritual journey did not stop there. I was able to volunteer at Denver Rescue Mission’s Easter Banquet on Good Friday. I was expecting to be moved, but I did not think that I would come out changed. As the homeless sat down, there was a look of sadness in some of their eyes. When I brought them their warm plates of food, there was a sparkle in their eyes. In that moment they were being taken care of. In that moment they felt safe.

Guests worshiped together in Denver Rescue Mission's chapel before enjoying their Easter meal

Guests worshiped together at Denver Rescue Mission’s Easter service

I then journeyed down to the chapel where our guests were able to sit through a church service. As I walked in the middle of it, I noticed that some people started to cry when the pastor told them that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and He loved them. I kind of lost my control and shed a tear as well. I was sad that these people were in such a vulnerable position in life. I was moved by the fact that Christ still loves them and that he could change their situations. It was at that exact moment that I connected with Denver Rescue Mission as a whole.

This organization saves so many lives through all of the programs that it offers. I also witnessed this at Champa House when I shadowed an intern there. Champa House is a nurturing place for single mothers that shelters and cares for up to nine women and 20 children at one time. Observing how the moms have a strong desire to change their lives was astonishing. It was shocking considering the hardships that they went through. Some of them said that only through Christ were they able to find that will to change.

I have seen how Christ was working through all of the employees and interns at the Mission. I am so happy that God answered my prayers. I learned that it is important to put yourself out there in order to gain experiences. I believe that this experience changed me for the better. God changed me for the better.

God may not have answered my prayers the way I expected him to… but I’m glad he caught me of guard.

If you’re looking for your own spiritual journey, learn more about interning at the Mission at

Intern Guest Blog // Life Changing

Written by Katie Pennell, Spring Intern

Katie hard at work :)

It’s been an inspirational and encouraging journey to say the least.

I was a youth program intern. And it was life changing. Since coming to serve in 2012, I’ve realized that no matter where someone is from or what their past looks like, all individuals are just searching for love and to find their purpose.

I never thought I would work with at-risk youth, but I’ve discovered a true passion for it in my heart! Seeing these kids grow and overcome difficult situations has truly been amazing. I’ve learned that being in a community that focuses on God’s will makes the individual grow just as much as the group collectively.

My internship at the Mission has led me to really see God’s beauty in all people. I’ve found that He is a comforter, powerful and He longs to have a personal and intimate relationship with us. It truly has been life changing.

To learn more about internships at Denver Rescue Mission, visit

Katie Pennell came to serve with Denver Rescue Mission from North Carolina. Her internship began September 2012.

Training Day // Colfax Marathon

Written by Natalie Ziemba, Denver Rescue Mission Intern

Running the Colfax Marathon means months of training with ample opportunities to get sick, injured and time to change my mind! So before I actually completed my marathon registration and paid the fee, I made sure that I really wanted to run 26.2 miles.

My training began. My first training day was kicked off with a successful 10 mile run. Knowing I could do that, I went and registered for the marathon.

After a few weeks of training, I upped the mileage to 12 miles, and I realized that it takes a lot of effort to maintain motion like that for so long. My arms were really tired after being held at my sides for two hours, so I added weights into my work-out routine.

When I hit my 14 mile training run, I noticed the culmination of my training. I had run one half-marathon previously, and 14 miles marked the farthest I had ever run in my life. Staying hydrated, building all my muscles and gradually cultivating endurance and stamina worked in my favor. I managed to run 14 miles without hitting the figurative wall, like I had in my half marathon. Exhilarating doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling – I felt I could easily run for days, and the marathon would be no problem!

George and Natalie are training for the Colfax Marathon, but they are doing it for a cause. They are hoping to raise $1,000 for Denver Rescue Mission's efforts in serving the homeless. (

At 16 miles, I found my training partner, George. I’m always hesitant to run with other people because it changes the dynamic of running, affects my stride and breathing, and adds general complexity to the whole endeavor. But it also adds entertainment, motivation and companionship. George encouraged me, I encouraged him and we ended our run feeling collectively excited about future opportunities.

Unfortunately, I also got a killer blister during my 16 mile run. I’ve learned from past experiences that you CANNOT run with a blister – you have to wait for it to heal. This blister was so bad that I could hardly walk for days (I should have taken pictures, it was really gross!). After a week, the blister was still there, but I knew I had to do something or give up on the marathon and all the training I had built up. I stuck to a bike for the next week, and then tried running again with George for our Saturday morning run.

I had planned a 4-mile route for us, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to go far. At the end of the 4 miles, I told George I couldn’t go any farther. He wanted to keep going and I told him he should. “Anything is better than 4 miles,” I told him. “And 4 miles is better than nothing,” was his response. Even though I was feeling discouraged, George supported my efforts and unfailingly believed in my ability to complete the marathon.

This past weekend marked my biggest undertaking yet – 20 miles – the longest training run on my schedule before the marathon. And I was doing it alone. I started at 5:30 in the morning, just as the sun was starting to peak over the horizon. When I really hit my stride and running was effortless, I looked around and saw how gloriously beautiful the Rocky Mountains were and could truly revel in the strength and ability of my body. When the running was not so easy, it was all I could do to look ten feet in front of me and set mini-goals for completing my run. My favorite part in every run is when I pass my previous record. I always think to myself, “Every step from here on out marks the farthest I have ever gone.” It is continual improvement and achievement. Jumping from 16 miles to 20 miles gave me a lot of opportunity to say that, but it also gave me a lot of opportunity to say, “It hurts too much to stop.” Every slight variation in pressure I felt in my shoes gave me a moment of panic. If I had to stop and re-tie my shoes, I would never be able to start running again, and I was miles away from my ending point.

By the time I finished, I felt physically exhausted, but still stronger than I expected. A short cool-down walk was followed by a cold bath to help my muscles relax – although I apparently didn’t sit there long enough because it still hurts to walk! However, the soreness is only minor compared to the determination, anticipation and excitement I feel for the 26.2 miles I’ll be facing in three weeks!

The Life of a PR Intern

Written by: Melvin Yarber, Public Relations Intern

The average college student is constantly looking to apply classroom knowledge to real life situations. But for some it’s a way of finally getting off their parents couch and doing something productive for the summer. This summer I am doing just that – I applied and was offered the Public Relations (PR) internship for the summer at Denver Rescue Mission (DRM).

[For more information about Denver Rescue Mission Internships, please watch this video (created by an intern) Intern at Denver Rescue Mission.]

Before I dove into my new role, I attended an intern orientation to learn about the Mission and to meet all the new interns. This orientation was the start to lifelong relationships. After the formal introductions, we enjoyed a game of ultimate Frisbee – my team winning of course.

We also took tours of each of the Mission’s ministry outreaches. During the tours we had an opportunity to visit with residents living at The Crossing complex. It was truly a blessing to see hard working staff attending to the needs of men and women they barely knew. The Mission staff work tirelessly to serve in the name of Christ and to be a part of this team is truly a blessing.

When I first arrived I was a little nervous about what type of work I would be assigned. My classroom experience at Colorado State University-Pueblo is proving me with knowledge needed for the professional world. I’ve learned and enhanced my skills in organization, interpersonal interaction and social media tactics in just a few weeks.

Working with other college students from around the world makes this internship remarkable. Interns arrived from Papua New Guinea, Ireland, and Germany. Interacting with people from different backgrounds provides me with better understanding of the “human factor” concept needed in such a diverse world.

My days as a PR intern are busy. If I’m not writing press releases or learning about media tactics, then I’m attending meetings with the PR team. At the end of the day, I am able to provide my community with resources to help the hurting and homeless get back on their feet.

I am beginning my journey toward spiritual and professional growth. One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” I may just be an intern, but one thing I do know is God will make my path straight and true.