Love and appreciation

A few weeks back I was flipping through some old journals and I came across this entry from 2015. It was written during a small retreat that Anna Blaedel held in their home for those of us who were taking on internship positions with Wesley for that upcoming school year. We were asked to write about what Wesley had been to us up to that point and I wrote these words.


My eyes were young again with a sense of wonder and urgency when I stepped into a new community that would become the change I was in need of in my life. It gave me space to be myself again. It said that deep feelings and emotions were good. From sitting on the hardwood floor in a circle blessing each other’s candles to baring our souls through stories; there is room for it all. An authentic place with genuine people who have a heart for justice and yearn to love deeply. A few months after moving to a new city I found myself breaking bread in a warm home. That is the spirit working. That is grace. Wesley gave me the room and the courage to pick up the pieces and feel whole. I want to bring out the best in others this year. I want whomever I encounter to feel they can be their authentic selves. I want others to know they are loved. 

Flash forward to over six years later and I still have these feelings of love and appreciation for the work that the Wesley Center does. That is why I am grateful to serve on the board of this beautiful, open, and deep community. It is an honor to pass along the gifts that I was given and I trust that all of these small acts of love and justice that we create together in this community will resound out into a hurting world and bring healing. 

-Jannalee Nieuwenhuis


The Wesley Center invites and partners with students to seek justice, encounter community, and linger in Divine truths.

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