Occupational therapist Lyn Wendling was looking for a new place to serve and use her skills while working with others. Having spent time with kids with varying special needs for her career, she was hoping to find a place to plug in that would allow her to explore her passion of connecting with kids and their families.
Lyn and her husband, Duane, live and work in Pennsylvania. They’re devoted followers of Christ that have raised three children together. Lyn expressed, “I look at life as an adventure. Some of the experiences we go through are more about changing me than anything else.” They decided that once their children were grown, they would continue seeking new adventures.
They began their search by looking into opportunities to serve oversees. Nothing seemed to fit. In the midst of their search, they met Brett and Paige Fischer, who introduced the Wendlings to Victory Lane Camp.
The road to camp wasn’t simple for Lyn. The first hurdle she faced was becoming licensed to practice in Indiana. That took a lot of time and effort to pull everything together before last summer’s Cornerstone camp session.
Beyond her license, Lyn also had some personal hurdles to jump through. Lyn explained, “It was a pretty big leap for me. I don’t like social situations and sometimes struggle with big groups. God’s been gracious, and I’ve been getting better. For us, it was a really big stretch. I do love kids and can connect with a kid without a problem.”
Connecting with kids is exactly what Lyn did while serving at camp. One of her favorite memories was spending time with Rebecca, a Victory Kid. “When she laid down on her back and stared up at the clouds. She was laughing. Just being a part of her world with her and being there was definitely a highlight,” Lyn recalled.
Another highlight for Lyn was watching all the kids play together. She shared, “When I stood back, I looked at the group and thought ‘if you wouldn’t know, you would have a hard time telling which kid had a disability.’ The kids are equals, just playing together as people.”
It’s moments like these that are bringing Lyn and Duane back to camp this summer. “I’m hoping to see people who were there last year. I want to see how they’re doing and hear their stories from the year. I want to see the change in new people’s faces. Seeing the transformation in the people from the day they arrive to the day they leave is a highlight and a great thing to be a part of,” Lyn expressed.
Through all of the difficulties in getting to camp and learning to thrive while there, Lyn found her leap into adventure to be worthwhile. She described, “The leap was worth it! To be honest, my leap is much less than any Victory family’s leap. If they can do it, then why not us? It was so nice to be in a world where I could use my skills to follow God’s kingdom.”
Lyn also urges others to join her in embracing adventure, “If we don’t do it, who will? If no one is going to do it, then who will help these families connect. Take the leap! The rewards are very great.”