There’s a small blue house in Naperville, only a few minutes from downtown.
Only a month ago, the house was empty while a new owner completely renovated the 1950s Cape Cod. No furniture, no homey decorations, and certainly no occupants.
However, in just one month, a lot can change. This house, now affectionately known as the “Blue House,” has been transformed into a cozy home and functional workspace for OneWay’s young adult team.
After coordinating a completely virtual internship program during the pandemic in 2020, the OneWay team is thrilled to not only be able to work face-to-face with our interns this year, but also to see them grow in community and relationship as they live and work together at the Blue House.
Amazingly, God provided this newly renovated home on a quiet street in Naperville just in time for our interns to move in the last week of May.
This summer, five college students are serving as interns at OneWay. One other recent college graduate is working with us for 12 months as a resident. Of those, four are living in the rental house along with Kate Kavanaugh and Hannah Thompson — coordinators of the young adult ministry program.
The entire intern staff uses the Blue House daily for community development and as an office space while OneWay searches for a new building.
Three interns are on the communications track, working to design logos, manage social media, and write articles for the newsletter. Two college students are working on the audio/video production track to create Prayercast videos, help start the new One80 podcast, and record worship events (like the one we had last week). One intern is on the music and worship track, writing and recording new Scripture Songs.
Not only are they growing in their professional skills, but the interns are even putting their renovation skills to the test by turning the basement of the Blue House into a recording studio!
OneWay has been blessed by the generosity of supporters who have helped furnish the house. Now, instead of empty rooms and blank walls, our interns have couches, a kitchen table, and homey touches in every corner. However, they are still in search of a spatula!
The generosity of donors did not stop at furnishing a house. So far this summer, 87 percent of the interns’ financial support has been raised.
“I’ve been super blessed this summer to have a lot of generous people in my life who have donated to my support raising campaign,” Ellie Tiemens said. “I was shocked by the number of friends and family who gave to me.”
Natalie Davis, a communications resident, will be staying with OneWay for the entire year. She was introduced to OneWay in 2020 as a virtual summer intern but decided to come back for the full residency program after graduating from Grace College.
“I absolutely loved my time at OneWay last year (obviously enough to come back), but being in person is so much better,” Davis said. “I just love being able to actually live with the interns, do our work together, and hang out unscheduled. The community is great, and I see a lot more of the people that aren’t just in my track.”
If you or a young person you know is interested in interning with OneWay, click here to get more information!