Meet Cause 4 Life Intern Samantha Sasse!
In this three-part series, our corporate intern, Grace Shaffer, gives you an inside look at why and how some of our other interns came to serve in our Cause 4 Life internship program. Learn about our other interns, Kait and Rachele.
As a Christian, perhaps the beauty of walking with the Lord is that every day poses an opportunity to grow closer to Him. For Samantha Sasse (left), her Cause 4 Life internship did just that. It gave her a fresh perspective on disability ministry and renewed her passion to promote Christ’s kingdom through loving people with disabilities. Entering her internship, Samantha expected the training to be merely a refresher on things she had previously learned in the classroom and workplace. From serving as a healthcare and respite provider, as well as studying to be an occupational therapist, she came with a repertoire of experience in disability-related work.
But through her internship, God worked on her heart in ways that she never imagined possible.
“I came into this internship with a lot of experience,” Samantha said. “Yet, I think it’s neat that God took my capabilities and experience and showed me that there’s still always things to learn.” The internship proved to be challenging intellectually and spiritually. It pushed her to consider her opinion on pain and suffering while broadening her understanding of God’s love.
When she served at a Joni and Friend’s Family Retreat, Samantha was inspired by the volunteers who had chosen to dedicate their time and energy to display their love to people with disabilities. Interacting with her camper throughout the week, she was also challenged to reevaluate her own heart toward disability ministry.
“People with disabilities don’t normally go to camps,” Samantha explained. “They never get to participate in a talent show for fear of being made fun of. Watching everyone love on people with disabilities and asking nothing in return made me realize that disability ministry is such a God thing because it’s not anything a part of this world.” From serving at Family Retreat to training teachers in the Dominican Republic, Samantha valued the opportunities to apply the wealth of information she received during her internship. “It’s such a good balance of in-class learning and application,” she resolved. “You don’t get that in school.”
Participating in Beyond Suffering training and interacting with like-minded interns has motivated Samantha to further the cause of disability ministry in her own life. “My biggest takeaway,” she said, “is that we’ve got a lot of work to do—advocating and such. This whole experience has given me the motivation to reach even farther—to love the friends of mine who have a disability even better.”
While she prepares to finish college, she is convinced that whatever happens, disability ministry will remain a part of her life. “When I get back home, I don’t know what my life is going to look like,” she reasoned, “but I know that disability ministry will be a part of it. Disability ministry needs to be in my life.”
As Samantha returns home, she strongly encourages future interns to do everything in their power to make the most of their internship: “Be all in. Any opportunity that you’re given, do it all. Go to every event that is offered. And be present through it all. But most importantly, get to know the people in Joni and Friends. Building relationships with them has been truly amazing.”