One of my favorite questions is, “How did you first come to know about Sandy Cove, and when did you first come here?” Many of you may remember my longtime executive assistant, Carol Lee (Perkins) Lynch. She teased me that I needed to write a story called “Dish Pit to Director’s Office.”
After all these years, here it is:
If I had to guess, there is a great likelihood that my parents knew about Sandy Cove because of my mother’s involvement in Dot Worth’s ministry. Dot was one of the first women invited to speak from the pulpit at Sandy Cove and was a friend of the ministry.
I believe that was the connection that landed me as a camper at Camp Sandy Hill just a short time later. Chief Rob was a Houghton College student who was really great at tennis. It was toward the middle of the week while I was at Sandy Hill in the mid-1980s when Chief Rob shared his story with our cabin.
He talked about his relationship with Jesus Christ and how he struggled with giving up control of his life to what God wanted – that Jesus wasn’t just his Savior, but also his Lord. At a very young age, I understood that God loved me so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ.
I accepted this free gift by praying a prayer, but it wasn’t until years later at Camp Sandy Hill, when I heard Chief Rob share about what it meant to “set apart Christ as Lord” (1Peter 3:15), that I believe my true journey with Jesus began.
Once I was old enough to work at Sandy Cove, I applied. Several summers in Food Service followed, where I logged many hours in the dish pit and served in every area of the kitchen and dining room. It was also the start of great friendships and learning at the side of mentors like Steve Deichert and his wife, “Mrs. Steve.” They loved us like their own kids and taught us lessons about work ethic, and that everyone mattered. I had the opportunity to serve on the year-round staff one year after college in the role of an Event Tech, helping groups set up their A/V and room needs.
I went on to work for a short while at Sight & Sound Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, for nine years. What amazing opportunities I experienced there, prepped with lessons I had learned at Sandy Cove.
In 2008, I returned to Sandy Cove, a break from my “real life” in Nashville, to serve as the Summer Staff Coordinator. That seasonal job became a full-time role as the Director of Programs under then-President Mark P. Fisher.
In January 2014, when the President’s position became available, I felt a stirring to lead Sandy Cove. After much prayer and consideration, interviews, and more prayer, I was humbled in August 2014 to be invited by the Board of Directors to be the sixth President/CEO of Sandy Cove Ministries.
I have shared many times that God fashioned my story so that the things I needed to learn to work in Nashville, He taught me at Sandy Cove. And the things I needed to learn to come back, He taught me in Nashville (we call that the boomerang effect). It has been an honor and privilege to lead the team for the last eight-and-a-half years.
I look forward to the future and what God has in store for us.