A Summer of Service

Caleb Pollema – Staff Writer

Summer–this word means many different things to many people.

For students and teachers, summer often comes as a relief with the end of another school year and the excitement of a break from the monotony of the same daily schedule.

However, summers can often be bittersweet for college students. Some of them leave their schools returning home to work for summer jobs and others head across the country for internships to prepare themselves for future vocations.

This was the case for Justin Bond, a junior and mechanical engineering major at Dordt, who spent his summer working at Turnrose Land Surveying Company.

With his job, Bond used computer-aided design to draw up plans for construction projects in counties throughout the Bay Area.

“I really enjoyed the real-world experience,” Bond said. “I enjoyed getting to see the final product of something that I designed.”

While preparing for your future career is important, sometimes it is also appropriate to step outside your comfort zone and simply serve God’s Kingdom with three months away from the grind of school just as Storm Wagner did.

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Wagner worked as a camp counselor through the Navigators, an international interdenominational Christian ministry, at Eagle Lake Camps in Colorado Springs.

His responsibilities included required counselor duties such as leading campers through various activities, bible studies, and mentoring sessions.

Wagner’s most impactful moment came on a canoe ride with a 12-year-old camper who had been through a lot in his young life. It was in this moment that Wagner shared the Gospel with him.

“That camper came to Christ at the end of the week and received his first Bible,” Wagner said. “It was amazing to watch the Spirit working so much in this kid’s life in just one week!”

For Wagner, the summer was another reminder that God continues to work in mighty ways through his people.

Like Wagner, I had the opportunity to serve God’s Kingdom through the best game in the world, baseball.

This summer I traveled to Southern California to play baseball and mentor kids through SoCal FCA Baseball as a member of the SoCal Shepherds Collegiate Baseball Team.

I not only got a chance to play with other great athletes from across the country, but I also got to mentor younger players through four weeks of baseball camp as their coach.

While mentoring, I also learned a lot from the kids. They reminded me how God has called us to find joy in a game that often becomes the center and idol of our lives.

“Baseball is a great game, but it is not a great God,” said SoCal FCA Baseball Director, Ben Orr.

These words stuck with me the entire summer as I stepped outside of my sense of normalcy and served children with my team.

Our team had the opportunity to go to Mexico to lay concrete at an orphanage. This experience opened my eyes to how privileged I am to live in the United States and have things like clean water at my fingertips.

This summer is something that I am truly grateful for. It built my faith, it stretched me, and challenged me to push my limits.

Working a summer job or internship is important but as many Dordt students can attest to, taking a summer to serve God’s kingdom can prepare and grow your faith in many ways.

I most definitely can say the same.

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