Looking at the summer of 2014 as summer staff, I must admit that it wasn’t what I expected. No, it was so much more. When I thought about being here at camp for the summer, I wasn’t sure about being away from home for that long. I didn’t know exactly what my job as a secretary would hold, and if I would be able to do well at it. Another apprehension that I had was my working relationship with the full-time staff. Even though I knew them, I didn’t know how I would respond to them or how they would respond to me – for the whole summer! Each of these fears was never thought of beyond the first week; I didn’t get homesick, my job was within my ability, and those around me became not just supervisors and coworkers, but friends.

One highlight of being at camp for the summer is seeing God work. Watching campers change from the time they came to the time they went home was fascinating. It was especially neat to see Foundation Campers arrive a little nervous, and then by the end of their two weeks, be determined to come back and serve. I saw God working not only in the lives of campers, but also in my life to draw me closer to Him by having me distanced from those I lean on, so that I don’t trust them, but Him.

This summer, I learned about myself as well. I learned that I am a person who likes tasks to be done a specific way. A busy schedule doesn’t always allow for that. Having to let go of things that I wanted to control is a learning process that I haven’t finished. Helping run the store was one stepping stone in this journey. Getting into the groove of running it took a while, and actually was a little rough. I have two examples: almost running out of ice cream and breaking the shake machine. These situations helped me realize that I cannot control everything around me. God has a plan and purpose for everything, and I must leave it to Him to work it out.

At the end of the summer, I had the opportunity to attend World Religions in America. It opened my eyes to ministry opportunities in America and abroad. I learned how evangelism is very dependent upon trust and relationships. Evangelism isn’t something that we do for an hour a week, month, or year, but rather it is something that we must always be aware of because we, as Christians, are constantly being watched by the world. You may now expect me to say that I know exactly what I want to do with my life as a result of what I learned. I wish I could, but that would not force me to trust in Him for what lies ahead. I may not know for certain what lies ahead, but I know that I must be always open and willing for God to use me in His service –  where ever I am and with whatever He has for me to do.

Having read the past 500+ words, you may think that being a part of summer staff is all training and no fun. But in that regard, you are terribly mistaken. Many nights of the week the summer staffers would hang out, either doing a Bible Study or playing games, watching movies, jamming on instruments, or just talking. As a result, we became close friends. When I look back at my summer, it is the people that I interacted with that have made it one of the best summers of my life.

Lydia Dietz

2014 Summer Secretary