Written by Alannah DeJong
Hello! My name is Alannah DeJong, and if you don’t already know, I was the summer intern at Lighthouse this year.
I think I’ll start off with talking about my overall experience at Lighthouse, which was great. I loved being a part of Lighthouse Staff for the four months that I was here, and had a great time getting to know the youth, kids, and adults better. I had the chance to learn more about leadership, to plan events, and to realize more of what’s really involved in running a church. (Kerry, Matt, and Gerry are superheroes.) I’m grateful for this experience, and feel like God has used this summer to shape me into more of the person that I have been created to be.
Over the summer I’ve kept in mind that God is using all of these experiences to shape me. God has and is using both the good times and the challenges to my advantage and to His advantage. This idea of being shaped by God reminds me of the analogy that God uses in the book of Jeremiah in regards to Israel. Jeremiah 18:5 says this:
“‘Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”
Just like Israel, God is shaping us all through our experiences. It’s important to recognize that God is working in us always, and to let Him do His work. This way we can see God move through all things as we live life.
From what I’ve observed, learned, and experienced this summer, I have a few encouragements, and challenges for our Lighthouse family.
My challenge for you, Lighthouse adults, is to get to know your youth and your kids. Spend time with them, they deserve to be invested into. Open up to them about your past experiences and let them tell you about theirs. Build relationships and create lovely conversation. Get involved in kids ministry, and let God use you and your God-given talents to bless others.
My encouragement for the Lighthouse youth is to continue to be involved in the life of Lighthouse, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. I’ve seen so much good in you. I’ve seen your energy and the way that you interact with the younger kids. It is life-giving.
My challenge for all of Lighthouse, young or seasoned, new or regular, to get involved. Somehow, get involved in the Lighthouse community in a way other than just coming to the service. We have programs that need volunteers. We need help with our camps. But I challenge you to go further even than that. Being involved within the church is a good start, but it shouldn’t stop there. Find out how you can serve the community, or an individual, even in a really small way.
Being involved within the church is a good start, but it shouldn’t stop there. Find out how you can serve the community, or an individual, even in a really small way.
Finally, I would like to extend the warmest of thank you’s to you, Lighthouse. Thank you for your support, for your willingness to help, and for your care and acceptance of me as an intern. I’m grateful to have spent the summer with you all, and am thrilled to have built stronger relationships inside this community.
Alannah, your friendly (former) summer intern.