Alyssa Parkyn – Staff

Student Conference Alyssa Parkyn 2016 TN StaffSouth Lyon, Michigan | 23 years old

I attended Summit Student Conferences as a student back in 2011. It was one of those things my parents said I should do. I was nervous and excited but nothing could have prepared me for the life changing experience that followed.

I ended up not returning to staff until 2014, but now, there is no turning back. Coming to Summit as a student was wonderful, but there is something so unique about returning to be on staff. Staffing has allowed me to see a whole other side of Summit and has impacted my life in more ways than I could’ve imagined. I don’t think I can even picture my summer without Summit being part of it.

There are so many things to be said about staffing at Summit, but I think the two main reasons that keep calling me back are: having the opportunity to pour God’s love into the students and being poured into by my fellow staffers.

When I was a student, I looked up to my small group leader and wished that one day I could be as cool as she was. Now I realize that, as awesome as all the staffers are, it’s really not about being cool, it’s about relying on God to give you the strength and wisdom to pour His love into the students you interact with on a daily basis. I could not come to Summit without completely giving myself over to God’s will and allowing Him to work through me. This process has been so rewarding as I watch the influence Summit has on the students and get to witness the growth of their faith.

Not only do I have the opportunity to pour into the students, but every summer my fellow staffers pour into me as well. The community that the staff creates is truly a taste of heaven. I can feel the Holy Spirit’s presence as we come together for staff meetings in the morning, as we build each other up and work together during the day, and when we meet for hangout or prayer time at night. Within just a few hours, on the first day of staff training, I felt as though I had known many of the staffers for years. Once we were little more than a week into the session, I feel like I had known them for forever.

It has been so refreshing to be surrounded by such wonderful people who seek Christ with all their hearts. Their influence on my life also encourages me to strengthen my relationship with Christ and gives me a spiritual boost for the rest of the year.

These reasons are also why I would strongly encourage any young adult to dedicate a part of their summer to Summit. There is nothing that can compare to seeing God work through you and in you. It may seem like you are giving up a lot, but the rewards that you will experience will far outweigh the sacrifice of time. Also, summer is so fleeting, but the work that you are a part of at Summit will impact you and others around you for a lifetime.