by Mark Van Woerkom
Seven years ago while at Grand Valley completing my undergrad, I started looking for a new job.
I was working at Jimmy John’s and was interested in joining the GVSU ski club. However, I needed weekends off. While scrolling through Craigslist I saw a part-time job listing for a direct care position on weekday mornings at David’s House. I ended up taking the job. I didn’t really care what the job was as long as my weekends were free!
Once I had started, mornings became a scramble between snoozing my alarm until 5:30 a.m. and making it to David’s House by 6:00 a.m. For the next four hours I would work hard by waking up residents and getting them ready for the day before I took off for class. At first I didn’t overexert myself relationally with the residents—I viewed my job simply as work, completed my duties and carried on with the rest of my life. It didn’t take long, however, for my work at David’s House to change my indifference into a genuine care for the people I was serving. As I worked closely with the residents five days a week, albeit briefly each day, we developed relationships that enabled me to see past their inabilities and connect with them on a deeply personal level. The relationships I’ve developed with the residents are and have been the best part of working here.
After graduating, I began working full-time at David’s House as a team captain (overseeing many of the team functions within the house I was working in). I had my sights set on medical school, but after not initially being accepted I began working toward obtaining my Masters in Biomedical Health Sciences. My plan was to complete the program and apply to medical school once again. But after going back to school for a year, I sensed a need to stay at David’s House rather than continuing to pursue medical school.
David’s House has had a profound impact on my life—from the relationships formed with the residents to the awesome staff who work here—and I know it’s where I need to be right now.
Mark Van Woerkom is a member of the Direct Care Staff at David’s House Ministries.
Read more about Mark here.