Monday, August 10, 2015

Life After the Mountain Top by Ashley Rosa

Hello followers of the Wartburg West adventures,

My name is Ashley Rosa and I am majoring in Religion concentrating in Youth and Family Ministry and minoring in Spanish and Writing. I will be a senior in the fall and I have loved spending my final Wartburg summer in Denver. This summer presented me with the opportunity to have two tremendous internship sites, each with new things to teach me and experiences to show me.

My first internship has been at the Rocky Mountain Synod Office of the Bishop. This site has been foundational in my understanding of theology, church administration, and what community in the workplace can mean. I worked on a resource packet to list local sites with hunger or homelessness aid, advanced my understanding of graphic design by creating different cards and posters, and even participated in a Comprehensive Ministry Review. I am very grateful for the time spent there and the influence that my co-workers have had on my faith life and the always-changing parts of my vocation.

The other internship placement I had the pleasure of learning from was Iglesia Cristo Rey in Denver. This is an ELCA Spanish Speaking Congregation and I worked with Sunday School, library organization, and Youth Bible Study. Cristo Rey pushed me to think outside of what I had learned in classes or other experiences and integrate the things I know in new ways. Although I am still sure that Children's Ministry will not be my ultimate calling, I was reassured in the fact that working with Young Adults in Middle School and High School is a passion that I have deep in my heart. I had the awesome opportunity this past week to work with counselors from Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp for our Vacation Bible School Day Camp. These counselors, like many of my summer experiences, taught me more about the world and myself than I could have fathomed back when I arrived in June. I have been overwhelmed by the community support at the church and will always cherish my time with the children, youth, and adults throughout my time there, even if my Spanish was incoherent at times.

Tomorrow I go into my last three days at my internships and with that reality comes a bittersweet feeling. I have loved learning all of the things this summer has taught me, so I am sad to leave this place that has had such a big impact on my life. This summer taught me that I can be independent, and that although the word "home" is quite transient in college life, home can be found even thousands of miles away if I let it. Wartburg West also taught me that it is one of the biggest blessings in the world to have friends and family who support me no matter how independent I think I am and no matter how many miles separate us. I learned about the importance of being okay to do things alone, while also cherishing the times that I can be with a community instead. Overall, I learned that no matter where life will take me after my final year of college, I can continue to grow, learn and be thankful for every experience that I am blessed to be a part of.

After coming out here, I now realize that one part of personal growth is taking all the things I learned and applying them to the life that comes after the mountain top experience. While growing up, I was taught to be weary of those mountain top moments. They can be misleading and the fall from the height can seem harder than the time before reaching the top of the mountain. However, if I can say anything from living in this gorgeous state, it is that I am no longer afraid to leave the mountain top, because it is always in my heart when I want to find it. For any future students considering this program, any parents that wonder what their kids are learning out here or anyone who reads this and feels lost, I leave you with this final challenge: find the mountain top that is calling within your own heart, and if it is calling, then go.


  1. So glad you loved your summer internship in Denver and that you discovered you are no longer afraid to leave the mountain top. When you get old those memories will be some of your best.

  2. Ashley, I'm delighted to hear about all you've learned this summer. It makes me smile!
    I also know that you shared some great gifts with the people you learned from.

    It will be great to hear more of your story as you come back to Wartburg.