What did you do this summer?
By Heidi Heater, a sophomore double major in English and journalism from Jackson, Ky.
WILMORE, KY—Whether they were working summer jobs, completing internships around the world or simply hitting the beach, Asbury College students made important impacts wherever they were this summer.
Frederica Lewis, an English education major from Wilmore and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, spent six weeks in Burma with Asia Compassion Project funded by an Asbury College Initiative Grant.
She and fellow Asbury College student, Zarni Lwin, originally from Burma, designed a program for women and orphan girls ages 16-20s in Lwin’s home nation. Lewis taught English and ballet, while Lwin instructed craft time and led a discipleship group. The classes focused on self-esteem, forgiveness and identity in Christ.
As was their goals, Lewis and Lwin formed meaningful relationships with the young Burmese women and grew in their spiritual relationships. Lewis said, “I got to see so much more of God, and I found myself in God.”
Senior John Zambenini, an applied communications major, was a public relations intern for Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colo. He wrote press releases and media pitches. He even promoted a skateboard movie called “Livin’ It,” starring actor Stephen Baldwin.
At Focus, Zambenini met and went rock climbing with Asbury alumnus, Nathan Hoobler ’02. After scaling Pike’s Peak on one of his adventures, Zambenini said he was surprised to find atop the peak a doughnut shop, gift shop and possibly a National Weather Service Station.
Sophomore Anastasia Webb, Wappingers Falls, N.Y., was a junior staff counselor at Pinebrook Bible Conference, a Bible Fellowship Church camp in Stroudsburg, Pa. Webb was head waitress in the dining hall and a member of the leadership team. She said she supported the younger staff members through devotions, rule enforcement and friendship. The rule campers broke most often—getting up in time for breakfast. Webb said, “I often missed my own breakfast to pull a sleepyhead from bed.”
Katie Neihof, a junior transfer student from Kentucky Mountain Bible College, sang and played the piano for New Life, a trio sponsored by KMBC. The group performed in churches from New York to Georgia. One of the trip’s most interesting moments occurred when the van’s gas gage ceased to work, stranding the group. Fortunately, they were rescued by a kind passer-by. Neihof said, “The best part of my summer was worshipping, allowing God to use me, and realizing God’s faithfulness.”
Sophomore Tristan Fretwell, Port St. Lucie, Fla., dove into his first venture in the “real-world” workforce as a medical filing assistant. He said this job increased his interpersonal skills and taught him to plan ahead. He hopes these skills will help in his leadership programs at the College during the year. When he wasn’t in the office, he watched missed re-runs of “Lost,” went to the beach and hung out with friends.
Jill Hershey, a sophomore transfer student from Mount Joy, Pa., worked at QVC, a home shopping network, readying items for shipping. She also worked with her grandparents at the local farmers’ market, selling lettuce, squash, cherries, tomatoes, apples and spinach. Her vacation wasn’t all work, however. She made time to fellowship with friends, roast marshmallows and hotdogs over campfires and play her favorite game, Pictionary.
Students were not the only ones to enjoy the summer holiday. Dan Kinnell, professor of Spanish at the College, spent time with local senior citizens through Comfort Keepers, nicknamed Angels on Call. He also participates throughout the school year with this program. As part of the program, Professor Kinnell drives to Tanbark, an assisted living facility in Lexington, Ky., which provides non-medical, in-home care to seniors so they can remain in their apartments longer. Volunteers also visit with the residents—often the only visitor they enjoy—and entertain them by reading, talking and taking them to activities offered by Tanbark.
Classes have now resumed at the College, but memories of summer and lessons learned continue making impacts on Asbury students and those with whom they shared their summer.