Meet the 2016 – 2017 Converge Interns!
We’ll introduce a new intern each month.
My name is Omar Fontenelle, from Newark, Delaware. I’m 25 years old and a graduate of the University of Delaware.
Born and raised in a Christian home of West Indian (specifically St. Lucian) ethnicity, I have always known of God throughout my life. My family overall has a great respect for Him and my parents especially have a beautiful understanding of who He is.
However, despite these idyllic situations, I have often felt wholly unsure of myself as an individual. We all are most aware of the deepest sins in our lives, and even as a young kid, this keen awareness, and my inability to deal with the problem of sin struck a hefty blow to my self-esteem, such as it was. Though I accomplished much, I would always focus on the flaws, my faults, my problems. It was difficult to see any good in me, and these thoughts led me towards making poor choices at my own detriment. As my life progressed, I closed myself off to others, seeing little in myself that I would consider valuable in other people’s eyes.
Still, as I walked through life, in the midst of these struggles, God comforted me. He brought the truth of His Word into my walled heart. He brought people in my life that I could open up to, that I could support and love as they struggled, and who would do the same for me. He gave me a vision, a purpose, which I am continuing to strive to do, no matter the odds. He has been my guide for the past few years especially, as I see more and more of His beauty in His Creation and His Word.
Needless to say, Converge was a path He led me on as well.
Converge, I would say, is definitely not for everyone. It requires a commitment to grow, a commitment to seek, a commitment to strive through the pains self-inflicted and the pains of poor choices in one’s life so that you can move past it, move beyond it, and become, through the work of the Holy Spirit, a better individual than before. It was for me, a scary decision, a frankly crazy sounding decision at the time. Yet I have found that in my short time here, being only a few months into the program, I have come to a much deeper understanding of the inner strengths I never knew I had, of other things I need to work on that I didn’t know before, and of God and His mighty work in me.
I will leave with this. If you are committed to God, and to seeking what he has for you in your life, Converge is an excellent program to help you find and keep on the right path. It takes commitment, it takes patience, and it takes a lot of physical, mental, and emotional fortitude.
But with God, all things are possible, and with Him as your focus, all other things become as nothing.
My name is Amber Scaff and I’m 20 years old. I come from the lovely city of Alexandria, Virginia, not too far from Washington D.C.
I grew up in a Christian environment that saw a lot of hardship. I would go to church on a regular basis and learned all the Sunday school answers. School on the other hand didn’t line up with that all the way through. I finished up fifth grade at my third school and it also would be the last private school I would attend. In sixth grade I started public school which was a very rough transition. I was on school number four and never had been in a class that had more than fourteen students. I was put into a new bubble that wasn’t influenced by the Bible, but was influenced by what the world said was good and cool. Church and school no longer lined up on morals and I went into a tailspin of information.
My journey into Converge has been interesting, or at least I think so. I came to Sandy Cove to work my first summer in 2015 after never actually going to Sandy Cove prior to that summer. I had just finished my freshman year of college and had no idea what I was doing. While I was attending a Christian college, at times it did not feel like it. During the summer I got to meet that years’ Converge class, a great group of people who had gone through a life changing year. Towards the end of summer I started thinking about Converge as a possible option after I graduated. God definitely had other plans.
I went back to school and the year just started to fall apart. After a long list of unpleasant experiences I thought about just transferring, when I thought about Converge in depth. The ideas were, at the time – continue at a school that wasn’t guiding me down a path to take on the world, taking a gap year and working at home, or Converge. I prayed on the idea and spoke to many people about what I should do. The result came up as Converge being the best idea.
Coming to Converge I had an idea of what was to come. Although I’ve learned what you hear is not also what you’ll go through. I’m working on this year to be more than just a break from school but also a year of growth. It’s hard to describe what is happening within Converge. There is growth although we’ve only been here a short amount of time. I’m seeing many things through a new perspective and I’m so glad I decided to do this this year. I’m excited to continue through this year while serving, studying, growing relationships, and personally growing myself. I’ve already started a process of growth that will continue throughout the year. Converge is a chance to step away from the world and step closer to God.
Hi, my name is Gabby. I’m 19 years old, the baby in the group, from Sayreville, New Jersey, but I was born in Jamaica! When I started writing this, I had made it through 6 months of the program so far. I say that because when I signed up, I had some serious doubts about being able to do it. I have now completed it! I chose be a part of Converge because I was transitioning from my first year at college. College was great, but freshman year was rough. I made a lot of friends, but I also hung around some of the wrong crowd. I was on the track team, was pursuing business and pre-med, but I knew I was missing something and Converge was my answer.
I have grown spiritually, built tons of relationships with the other interns and workers at Sandy Cove, and have learned to focus on school work and manage that before hanging out with friends. Converge is such a once in a lifetime type of experience. I’ve been on several retreats. We went to Camp Hebron and did tons of team building activities. We went to North Bay where I had a lot of time to talk with God while letting go of other everyday things. We’ve also been to Camp Sandy Cove for the real rugged type of camping experience. We have spent tons of times together trying out new food places.
Converge makes you step out of your comfort zone and puts you into new experiences. “What do you get when you squeeze a Christian? Hopefully, Jesus comes out!” That is our phrase – or “getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.” Converge is a difficult program and isn’t for everyone. When you attend Converge you need to know your “why.” Why am I doing this? It needs to be a solid reason because in the difficult times, you can look back on that reason and it should push you forward and allow you to continue. There are going to be times when you want to quit. Looking back, those times have pushed me. I have grown tremendously through talking with Morgan and Megan, my mom, or some of the older girls. They have helped show me the right way to approach difficult situations.
Lastly, because of Converge and working alongside Sandy Cove staff, I have gained another family that will always have my back in the difficult times. They are there to cheer me up when I’m not doing so well, and just a great backbone overall.
My name is Sarah Stansfield. I’m from northern New Jersey and I’m taking a gap year from college to take this internship.
The Lord has guided me on so many challenging journeys and I’m glad I have the opportunity to tell you about this one.
I grew up homeschooled and antisocial. I did get out to homeschool groups and church but it wasn’t the same as a school setting. I got to 10th grade and started going to a Technical school in our county. It was a bit of a shock for me to spend so much time with peers. Let’s just say I hated it – too much drama about boyfriends/girlfriends and everything about high school (prom, sports, parties, drugs, yada yada…). Once I graduated I started to take online classes and work to pay off college. My parents told me that if I wanted to go to college I would have to pay for it myself; it teaches me independence and responsibility. Which is true but it is harder.
So I continued taking classes and wanted to take a course over in England because I’m a British national and wanted to take that opportunity while I could. So last year I spent 4 and a half months in England taking a hospitality course. While I was there I got to work at a pub and witness to people who worked there and my Aunt just became a believer and I got to help her on her first steps.
I was struggling whether I should come back or not because I had made somewhat of a life there and I was torn between staying and living there or coming back here to work at Sandy Cove for the summer.
I had been going to Sandy Cove as a guest for 7 years and then joined the staff my 8th year and this was going to be my 9th year if I would come back. Also, I applied to take the internship the year before, but the Lord wanted me in England for that time.
I know what most of you would have done and if it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit I would have stayed as well. So I came back to the states to work at Sandy Cove in the little town of North East. The Lord led me back so He could change my whole perspective on the way I saw myself and the world.
This internship was hard and challenging, I wanted to quit but the Holy Spirit gave me strength to press on and I’m so glad he did. This internship isn’t for everyone. It’s not easy and I would encourage you to pray about this and also have an open mind and a willingness to change.
This was a life-changing experience and it will stay with me for the rest of my life. Thanks to my family, to Morgan and Megan and ultimately my Savior Jesus Christ.
Hello everyone, my name is JanEllyn Boyer.
I am from Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, right in the heart of the country! I went to high school at a small private Christian school. I had great friends at that time as well as within my church group. For this reason, growing up, trying to be a ‘good person’ and doing the Christian thing by going to church every week, was very natural to me. I had two great Christian parents who loved and supported me in every decision that I had to make. Yet, somehow, even though all of that seemed to be a good life, I still had trouble figuring out who I was and what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I also had some major health issues that I was born with as well as re-encountering them during high school. These issues dramatically made me question my faith and caused me to ask a lot of why questions. I knew I had to change that. I knew I needed to figure out what I was going do with my life and why things happened to me the way they did. These questions continued to nag me all throughout my time in high school.
This brings us up to last summer. A while back my parents came for a visit to Sandy Cove Ministries for the first time. They heard about this program called Converge and once meeting Morgan and Megan McRay, the leaders, my parents proposed an idea to me. Since I was not sure what I wanted to do after graduation and it was already the middle of the summer they suggested the Converge Internship Program. I was very hesitant about the idea since I do not like change at all! But we looked into it and after coming to the property myself, meeting Morgan, Megan and their three wonderful kids and learning more about what the program entailed, I eventually changed my mind and decided to tag on. And, that one choice, I can now say, was the best decision I have ever made!
This year has been challenging, wonderful, heart wrenching, painful, strengthening and emotional. The classes we take two days a week have majorly increased my faith and love for God! I started out the year as really wanting to get to know Jesus Christ for real but not doing anything about it and not knowing how. The courses and discussions I had throughout the year have changed who I am and have forever changed my life! I have learned a real way to read the Bible that works for me so I can love, be in awe of Him and know that He loves me no matter what I’ve been through, who I was or how many times I fail! The lack of confidence I experienced in myself immensely improved while finally being able to understand just the mere aspect of God’s amazing love and compassion for me! It has been hard to face the reality that I have had and still have desires that are not Him, when He should be my only One. This internship has made me realize just how much I actually needed Him instead of having a “fake” perception of a Christian life. My faith is real for the first time ever! I plan on getting baptized on graduation day. I love Him so much! I have so much more that I would like to say about the challenging and great experiences this year, but I’m afraid I cannot fit it all in this summary! I mean it is a year…The best and most testing year yet!
I would like to express my thanks, that words cannot begin to describe, to Morgan and Megan McRay and most importantly, to my God who allowed me to come and totally change my life in drastic and amazing ways! Thank you!
Hey everybody! My name is Haley Clark. Silver Spring, MD, which borders Washington, DC, is my hometown. After graduating from high school in 2013, my parents requested that my brother and I take a gap year to gain some real-world experience since we had been sitting behind a desk (the preverbal home school desk, that is) for the majority of our lives. Hesitant at first, once my gap year began I was very glad that my parents directed us to it! Since then, I’ve been blessed with many wonderful experiences: an internship in upstate New York, a summer camp counselor position, and a job at Panera. Now, as a 20 year old, here I am, sitting in Sandy Cove’s enclosed pool area life guarding. Don’t worry, no one is actually here, probably due to the blizzard currently raging away outside…
At the beginning of this year I was asked what my overall goal in participating in Converge was. My answer: I wanted to deepen my relationship with God. That has certainly happened in these first short months I have been here. The classes we take, combined with the mentoring we receive, have been crucial to my spiritual growth. I’ve learned more about Christ in our classes and been encouraged by my fellow interns to run hard after Him. Awareness that everything I do should be motivated by my love for Him and my desire to bring Him glory has flooded my mind and changed my attitude about my life.
If I could make one request of future interns, I would beg you to be teachable. It is guaranteed that you will be asked to do things you would rather not do. You will encounter obstacles that block you from getting to your desired goal. You will have a bad attitude about some of the jobs here. Push past those things, because they have been placed in your path for a reason. God has grown me through my bad attitudes, fears, and mistakes because I’ve been willing to be transformed (sometimes grudgingly) by Him. I promise you that if you develop humility to accept when you are wrong and are willing to change, you won’t have regrets.
Hello! My name is Gracie Heidel – I’m 19 and from Laurel, Maryland.
Had you asked me two years ago if I would ever do Converge, I would have said, “Oh, no way.” I was on a trajectory to a specific major at a specific university in hopes of having a very specific life ahead of me. But in the course of the next year, everything specific – every sense of identity – fell apart. Majors changed, money was tight, and at the end of it all, I just felt completely lost. I felt as though I had lost my purpose, all of my friends, and God’s favor. I just didn’t know what to do or even who I was anymore.
It was around this time that I was set to go back to work at Sandy Cove for the summer. Over the last two summers, I had established a friendship with the McRay family and a love for Sandy Cove. My first week back, Converge was suggested to me by Megan McRay and many of my summer staff friends. For some reason, the idea really appealed to me this time around. I wanted to spend a year with the McRays’ discipleship. I wanted direction. I wanted and needed to give intentional time to developing my relationship with Christ.
As I said earlier, I really felt like I had completely lost God’s favor, and I had no confidence before Him. I was discouraged. My walk with Him wasn’t perfect by any means, and because of that, I almost didn’t do Converge. I was under the impression that Converge was for the uber-spiritual, perfect, college-aged Christians that I wanted to be like. If you are anything like me, you might feel like you’re “not good enough” for Converge. But what you should know (and what I quickly learned) is that Converge isn’t for perfect people – it’s for people who, yes, know their weakness and sin… but who also know their need for Christ, and who seek after Him desperately.
And, well, you might gather that I ended up doing Converge. This program – this year – has been life-altering. Through 30-hour weekends of work, I have learned about perseverance, humility, hospitality, teamwork, and obedience. Through living with other interns, I have learned about others, selflessness, and what real love looks like. Through classes, I have learned about intentionality, hard-work, leadership, Scripture, and discipline. Through relationship with Sandy Cove’s staff, I have been given direction, guidance, and examples to follow. Through this year, I have learned more about myself, other people, this ministry, and the Lord than I could have ever imagined possible in 365 days.
I still struggle. There are areas I’m sure I will struggle in for a while – but what Converge has taught me is that the Holy Spirit doesn’t quit, and He is making us more like Jesus if we let Him. Converge feels a lot like a propeller in that the program has equipped me with work skills, spiritual disciplines, Scriptural truths, ministry experience, life-long relationships, and more. I am sad the year has come to an end, but I am more excited about going out and using what I have learned here. I am excited to keep “Converging” my whole life – knowing what I believe and acting on it.
Thank you to Morgan and Megan McRay for leading and loving us so well this year. I am so grateful to God for you. You have been used by God to change my life – thank you for being willing to be used by Him! Thank you to the staff at Sandy Cove for taking us in this year – teaching us, walking alongside us. You have made Sandy Cove a home to me! Thank you to the interns for being stuck with me but for loving me anyways. I have learned so much about God through knowing you, and you mean so much to me.
Hey there! I’m Liz Imhof, 19 years old and from (the infamous) Lancaster County, PA. I knew by senior year that I wanted to take at least one gap year, but I wasn’t quite sure what that would look like. After first meeting Morgan McRay when he spoke at my youth group, he intimidated me so much that I decidedly told God I was not going to do Converge. Well, my mistake.
Most of summer passed, and I still didn’t know what I was going to do in the fall. A couple of things pushed me to consider not staying home, so I started looking at and prayerfully considering Converge. And wouldn’t you know it – deciding to do Converge was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I can’t even begin to describe to you how impactful this program has been so far, and I’m only halfway through it. I’ve learned so much about myself and what direction I should take in life, and I had absolutely no clue before I started Converge.
I also can’t recommend Morgan and Megan enough, despite how scared I was before the internship. Their loving guidance pushes you to excellence, even when sometimes you’d be okay with being mediocre. They just love you and care for you so much, that they want you to be the best you.
Along with all of these incredible experiences, there are gonna be times where you absolutely despise what you’re doing, whether it’s the situation you’re in, or wherever you’re working. You’re just not gonna like everything you do here. But I grew more in those moments than when things were easy. And it was then that I started growing into the person that I want to become. So if you’re considering Converge, will it be easy? No. But will it be worth it? Yes, I’m 100% sure.
Hello! I’m Seth Poit – one of the two guy Convergers this year. I hail from the big city of New York.
I grew up in a Christian family, and when I was seven years old I trusted Christ as my Savior. I didn’t ever really do anything about my faith until I turned fifteen. At the time, I had my heart set on joining the US Navy as soon as I could, but then Jesus started to speak to me. He told me that He had other plans for my life. So I did one of the silliest things anyone can do and I argued with God. I told Him that I could serve him in the Navy as I traveled the world. After two or three weeks, He said one thing and my whole argument of how I could serve him in the military went out the window. He said, “You know I have a military too.” I surrendered my life to Him and took on life as His soldier.
Soon after that the Lord revealed to me what my ministry would look like. First, I would focus on helping churches and evangelists with their physical needs, like building repair and construction or extra staffing at events. Second, would be to provide relief after natural disasters. And, the third aspect of my ministry which God has been working into my life is to help Christian camps whether by working as camp staff in the summers or working on additions in the off season.
I came to Converge with the mindset that this would be ministry training for me before I launch off into full-time ministry. So far it has not disappointed me. Converge has challenged me to search myself, to find who I truly am down to my core – once I get past the way I want others to see me, or even the way I want to see myself. Converge has also helped me to see the way I’m wired and how that clashes with some people and more importantly how to compensate for that. As for where I have grown the most, I believe Solomon said it best in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” For it has been through my relationships here with the people at Sandy Cove that I have grown to reflect God’s image more. Thank you for helping make this possible for me.
Hello, friends, family and supporters!
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m formally known as Adam Lee Thompson, born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Although I didn’t grow up in Christianity, God was very evident in my life. Let me explain. I didn’t have the very best of childhoods. I was passed around from group homes and hospitals due to mental health issues at the time, simply to find out as a teenager that I had a simple learning disability with minor ADHD. Although I had these issues growing up, it didn’t stop me from exceling in the vocational high school I attended. Compass Vocational High School in Dorchester, MA taught me culinary skills that have helped me gain an edge in the real world work place.
Adam exemplifies a person’s ability to overcome challenges and has thrived in his growth as a student at COMPASS. As one of our few STEP 5 students (the highest honor at COMPASS), Adam has become a student leader, mastered the Culinary Arts Classroom, and participated in a job placement, as well as being an active member within his community through basketball, community service, and youth groups. Adam’s experiences have taken him to Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and New York, not to mention South Africa with his Youth Group. Adam graduated from the COMPASS School in 2009.
With that being said, let me move on to my very first encounter with our Lord and Savior.
As I mentioned before, I was in group homes as a child. This is when I realized I needed Christ, because I just felt as though I didn’t belong where I was. I knew I belonged at home with my family and friends. So one night I was lying in bed, confused at my life, wondering why I was in such a place. Kids were screaming to go home, as well as being restrained numerous times at insane hours of night. Personal possessions were stolen from me with no hope of their return. It felt like a correctional facility for children, if you will.
While I was pondering these thoughts, I remembered watching my grandmother pray when I was a child, wondering to whom she was talking and why she couldn’t see him physically. So after countless nights of tears and being mistreated, I pleaded with God to release me from this bondage. Without knowing who He truly was at the age of 13, God was at work behind the scenes, preparing my paperwork, so I could be released from this group home. My release paperwork changed from a year to six months, then six months to one month. I kept praying, and that one month turned into me being taken off all prescribed medications and transferred to a group home that would prepare me to return home.
About a year or two after being released, I fell by the way side and forgot the same God that brought me out of bondage and began to get into (as teens sometimes do) partying and drinking with friends. Just like the Israelites worshiping the golden calf after crossing the parted sea, I was blinded by pride, lust, guilt and shame. It was then that God came to me again and said, “This is enough Adam”. Without going into details, God gave me an ultimatum: risk continuing to go down the wrong path and ending up dead or in jail, or move away from the people you love and start new. So I moved to North East, MD, back in 2011. I started going to church in Middletown, DE, at Rehoboth Church of God In Christ Jesus Apostolic. That is where I gained biblical knowledge to prepare me for the further tests, trials and tribulations to come.
Of course, living in North East, everyone knows the wonderful Christian camp on the Chesapeake Bay, Sandy Cove Ministries, with an amazing mission and vision of “helping to build biblically based families through God’s word, His creation and community”. It was here that I found a loving staff and plenty of new friends to hold me accountable for the mistakes my sin nature wanted to hold over my head.
This brings me to the wonderful internship called Converge; its mission is to be known for building Christ-like leaders. Believe me, it’s doing just that in my life. My experience here in Converge has been nothing short of amazing. There were times when I felt like giving up, but it was in those times where I was pushed to better myself by my awesome leader and his wife, Morgan and Megan McRay. They have been with me and many others before me that have come through the Converge internship program. They have helped me to strengthen my spiritual walk with God and to develop personal skills that will further help me in the real world. The classes are amazing. A journey into God’s Word, The 21 Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell, The Five Love Languages of God, led by the president of Sandy Cove Ministries, Steven J. Weaver, our front desk manager, Rebecca Head, and many others that have helped mold me through God’s word to the very core.
After Converge I plan to continue my education in physical fitness. I haven’t decided which school or living situation would be more suitable for me yet. Converge, as well as Sandy Cove staff, is helping me to make these choices. Thanks for taking the time to read what I had to share.
My thanks goes to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, Morgan and Megan McRay, and Steven J. Weaver for pushing me to limits and goals I had only dreamed of reaching.
Hi! My name is Ileana Torres. I am from Queens, New York. Coming to live in Maryland and be a part of this program was definitely something that terrified me. However I am so glad I did it. Converge has been nothing but a blessing.
I was not in a good place in my life prior to coming here and I can absolutely say without a doubt that I’m leaving different. I’m leaving with purpose and confidence…two things that never seemed to be attainable before.
I’m so thankful for the leadership and their love and patience for me. It’s not just a job for them. They truly love us and want to see us flourish. That alone makes you want to step up and be the person you know you should be.
There were definitely hard moments. Moments that made me want to peace out and run back home. But with the encouragement from everyone around me I was able to stick with it and now I’m a better person for it. From all the various jobs we’ve done, to the classes and discussions we’ve had, I know I’ve learned things that will help me years down the road. I know I have more to learn, but Converge definitely gave me a great head start and for that I am truly thankful.
I’m a 23-year-old from a small town just east of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When I was 19, I studied at a Bible school in Friedrichshafen, Germany called Bodenseehof for six months. While I was there, I met three Marylanders who had worked at this camp called Sandy Cove. It sounded like a pretty cool place so I decided to apply to work there. I ended up working at the Cove for two summers.
I studied Journalism and Social Media in college and worked as an editor for a Toronto Maple Leafs blog as well as some other jobs here and there, but my life lacked direction. I knew about Converge from my time working at the Cove, and this past summer I decided to take the plunge and apply. I was accepted, and it’s been a wonderful experience so far.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve gained a lot of experience working many different jobs around Sandy Cove. I must admit, some of these jobs aren’t the most fun, but I’ve learned a ton about working hard and having a servant’s heart. The classes are thought provoking, challenging and biblically based. Probably the biggest benefit I’ve experienced from Converge is I finally feel like I’ve found some direction in my life.
It’s been an honour (Canadian spelling) to write to you guys, and I look forward to meeting you if you visit the Cove between now and next August.
Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you about my experience in Converge and why I came here. I heard about Converge while camping with my family at Sandy Cove. I didn’t think much of it at the time because I had other plans. But you know what they say, “Man plans; God laughs.” Needless to say God called me away from my plans and led me to Converge. The time it took me to realize that God wanted me here, apply for the internship, get accepted, and move in was about two weeks; God works fast sometimes and we just need to accept it and hang on for the ride.
I enjoyed my time at Converge, especially making so many good friends, the late night trips to Walmart, and learning more about all the different things that go on at Sandy Cove year round. One of my favorite times here was listening to my friends taking turns reading one of our assignments out loud. We learned a lot while we were here; we had classes revolving around Biblical interpretation, peacemaking, service, and many other topics. We also learned about all the different positions at Sandy Cove through both classes and work experience. From wait staff to front desk, grounds to housekeeping, development to marketing, we covered all the bases.
The amazing thing about Converge for me was finally realizing what God called me to do. He called me to help people, and He called me to do it through being an EMT. I’ll tell you, God works in mysterious ways. I don’t even remember the topic we were discussing when it happened. The Lord just opened my eyes and I knew. He opens doors too; if all goes well I should be an EMT by the end of July. Told you He works fast.
All in all I have to say that Converge changed my life. I have peace, I have my calling, I have numerous friends whom I will never forget, and I have a year well spent learning so many things that I know God will use in the future. Converge helped me, now it’s my turn to help other people.
Hello, I am Kevin Clark, from Silver Spring, MD, just outside of our Nation’s capital. This year forms my second gap year since my home school graduation in 2013. Since my graduation, I have been gaining experiences and learning more about myself and God’s will for my life. The Converge Internship here at Sandy Cove has been a great choice for what I plan to be my last gap year before attending college.
I heard of Converge several months before commencing work here in the summer of 2014 on the Sandy Cove marina staff. After getting to know Morgan McCray, the Converge Coordinator, and the previous year’s Converge interns, discussing the program with them, and getting to know the organization and its mission, I decided to join the Internship. It is one of the best decisions I have made.
As with many things in life, what you put in you will get out. That is very much the case with Converge. Classes don’t come with much homework and the jobs aren’t glamorous by any means, so it can be tempting to skate by. Yet, I have grown exceedingly in this last year by exercising a will to learn, engage, and apply myself. Courses are heavily rich with insight and knowledge, and the work teaches perseverance, contentment, and a variety of job skills. God-oriented life leadership is the primary goal of Converge and, in my personal experience, the program is effective. Classes challenge your worldview and the work challenges your consistency, discipline, and commitment to excellence. As the year ends, I am more confident in myself as a versatile worker and see significant growth in my relationship with God.
Not mentioning the people who mentor, teach, and socialize with me here would be a crime. Morgan McCray I cannot commend highly enough. His honest love for the interns and dedication to God make him a great friend, boss, and mentor. There are many other Sandy Cove staff who we interns have intentional relationships with, work under, take classes from, or simply hang out with, that create an amazing, encouraging, Christian community. In addition to the full time staff, the interns of this year are some of the best people I have known. They study, laugh, and, yes, even share sorrows with me. I am privileged to be part of their lives.
Looking back on this year, I will take the experiences and knowledge gained to move forward with a broader, more circumspect worldview, a deeper understanding of what it means to follow Christ, skills for my next position, and relationships with Godly people I have come to see as family.
My name is Talia, and I’m from Chester County, Pennsylvania. I graduated from high school in 2013, deciding to take a gap year because I was unsure of what I wanted to pursue. By summer of 2014, I was still very muddled as to what to do with my future, but strongly felt the need and desire to move forward and grow.
I had heard of Converge Leadership Journey through a friend of mine who had gone through the program the year before, but I hadn’t really considered it as something relevant to my own life. However, after much prayer, I decided to commit to Converge and spend the year focusing on my relationship with God and growing more into the leader He has called me to be.
Converge is being used in my life to do just that. Here I am being challenged to step outside of my comfort zone in order to be shaped and molded by God, being used for His purposes and glory. Through Converge God is teaching me the truth of humility, and that I must decrease in order that He shine through me and be used in the lives of those around me. So far Converge has been one of the best experiences and years of my life. The Lord has surrounded me with incredible people to help and encourage me as I am being stretched and nurtured.
While I am still exploring what God has for me following Converge, I know for sure I want to live a life pleasing to Him, no matter where He directs me. Converge is preparing and nourishing me to live the life I am called to; one that is faithful to God and His Word.
Hey! My name is Ian Doyle, I’m 22 years old. I grew up as an Air Force brat, so I’ve lived around a bit. I spent my childhood in Louisiana, and my teen years in England, but I now live in New Jersey.
Music has been a huge part of my life since I was 10 years old, and I hope to use it to minister to people.
I found out about Sandy Cove through a friend, and have worked in Program Activities for three summers.
After spending a few semesters in community college in a music program, I realized that I was very unsure about my degree. So I decided to take a hiatus from college and enter Converge.
So far, I have learned so much about myself and working with other people, and I wouldn’t change the experience for the world.
Hey! My name is Dave Emery and I’m from Downingtown, Pennsylvania. I graduated West Chester Christian School in the spring of last year. The peeps I graduated with knew what they wanted to do and to which college they wanted to go. They seemed like they had everything lined up and ready to get started on their future. I remember feeling jealous because I didn’t know where I wanted to go to college, let alone, what I wanted to do with my life.
I heard about the Converge Internship from my mom and to this day I still don’t know how she found out about the internship. I should probably ask her about that. Anyway, I found out about Converge a month before the program started and figured it was too late to send in my application. I prayed for about a week for direction on whether or not I should do the internship and to my amazement the Lord provided the way for letting me do Converge.
So far, the Lord has been working greatly in my heart and has given me a better idea as to what I want to do with my life. I’ll admit that I’m not quite sure if that’s what He wants, but I’m trusting in Him to provide and to make my path clear. I am certain that I want to please and follow Him with everything that I do and to do everything to His honour and glory.
My name is Christian Lipscomb. I am 19 years old and am from the very far away town of Rising Sun, Maryland.
I graduated the year of 2013, from Rising Sun High School, that summer I fully committed my life to Christ at a YoungLife Camp called Windy Gap in North Carolina. From then on life has been totally different!
A few months after that, I realized my heart and passion for youth ministry, and became a YoungLife leader for Cecil County YoungLife.
At the beginning of this year, 2014, I was the working at Olympia Sports in North East, Maryland. But due to Franks Pizza burning down, Olympia went down with it. So I was out of a job. Sandy Cove was never on my radar though.
One of the girls in YoungLife mentioned to me that The Marsh, the day camp here at Sandy Cove was hiring. And she told me to apply, so I did! And thank God Jenny Welte liked me! And this summer I worked there, and I loved it! Working with youth, and showing them Christ and helping them experience him in a new way is so much fun and so cool to me.
Through Converge I hope to find better ways to lead, and learn more about Christ and who He is and where He wants me in life. Thanks for the continuing prayers, I can’t wait to see where God takes me through this year.
Hi! I’m Megan Lowery. I’m an 18 year old homeschooler from Lancaster, PA. I am the oldest of four kids, and the youngest of the Convergers. This is my first year away from home, and I feel as though it has helped me to mature. I have loved being around the other staff who have made this feel like a home away from home!
Hi, I’m Emily and I’m from Bridgeton, New Jersey. I graduated from high school in 2012, then did two years of community college. I studied Small Business and Entrepreneurship while working part time at a crafts and hobbies store, and running my own jewelry business. I grew up going to Sandy Cove every summer with my family, but I missed it when we stopped going. Last summer I needed a break from everything at home, and decided to take a step out in independence and try to get a job at Sandy Cove. I heard about Converge when I worked as the family portrait photographer. Near the end of summer I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back to home and school. I’d found my faith being strengthened through my experiences and wanted to continue focusing on that foundation – building a strong relationship with Christ. So I decided to do Converge.
I didn’t initially think much about becoming a leader, but since being in the program, I’m seeing the immense value in it. Being a godly leader isn’t just for people who plan to be pastors or youth leaders or work at camp. It’s beneficial no matter what you’re going to do in life, if you want to be a light for God.
So far not only have I had the privilege to get to know and spend time with some amazing new friends, but my faith and perseverance have been challenged in a hard, but wonderful character-building way. I’m still not entirely certain where I’m going from here, but I know I’ll be stronger and more confidently rooted in God wherever I go.