What began as an English internship for two Trinity students eventually became a book of shaped interviews and a transformative experience for the authors, their subjects, and their readers.
Voices of Redemption tells the personal stories of just a few of the people served by Roseland Christian Ministries and Roseland Christian Reformed Church in Chicago. The official launch of the book was held Saturday, February 4, at Trinity’s Bootsma Bookstore Café.
After a welcome by President Steve Timmermans, Ph. D., Joe Huizenga ’01, pastor of Roseland CRC, shared how the project was the realization of a similar vision he had as a former Trinity student and intern at Roseland, when each night, he would record all the stories he heard, “tragic and uplifting stories.”
Selected readings of the book were offered by writers Bethany (Kerr) Eizenga ’11 and Monica Brands ’11, as well as Pastor Huizenga and Dr. Michael Vander Weele ’73, professor of English. Special guests Felisha and her daughter, Kisha, two of the people whose shaped interviews are included in the book, shared their thoughts on the experience.
Felisha, who completely lost her sight at the age of 44, said the gaining of her spiritual sight was more important. “I’m thankful to be where God wants me to be, and I’m thankful for these two ladies who were sent to us for a reason.”
Her daughter Kisha echoed her mother’s feelings about the experience. “I’m thankful to be able to tell my story,” she told the audience of students, faculty, and friends of the College. “It’s not easy to admit your troubles, but if that story helps someone else, I would tell it every second.”
Following the readings and reflections, Eizenga explained how transformative the process proved to be for her and for Brands. “Our horizons were expanded, we met new people and were encouraged by their warmth and generosity, and we could see God working in miraculous ways.”
In the book’s postlude, Vander Weele writes:
I have a deep admiration for everyone involved in these interviews, the people with courage enough to share them; the pastor with vision enough to imagine what their stories could do; Trinity Christian College, which saw their internship program as a way to help get these stories out; and the two young women who tried to respect at the same time as they shaped these stories…
Copies of Voices of Redemption will be available in the Bootsma Bookstore. Call 708.239.4702 for more information.