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7/9/97 International students, MKs make Glorieta summer home

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–A summer home for some may signify a wealthy lifestyle that includes a convenience-filled getaway. But for seven missionary kids and international students at Glorieta (N.M.) Baptist Conference Center, a summer home is shared housing, hard work and a lot of friendship.
One student left her home in Canada to work at Glorieta for a second summer. Elisa Johnson is the daughter of Laura and Paul Johnson of Vancouver. Her father is pastor of Royal Heights Baptist Church, and both the elder Johnsons “were summer employees at Glorieta about 30 years ago, and they loved it,” Elisa said.
An employee in the Chuckwagon, Glorieta’s snack bar, Elisa worked in the dining hall her first summer washing dishes, a task she recalled as “gross.” But she enjoyed her friends, keeping up with approximately 30 of them by electronic mail during the winter. Many are back this year. Elisa will return to Douglas College in New Westminster, near Vancouver, this fall to pursue general studies. In her free time at Glorieta, she likes to go to worship services in the auditorium, “especially music week. It is awesome.”
Elisa’s international peers were already away from home when summer began, and home is too far away to visit.
Laura Gaddis is the daughter of Linda and William Gaddis Jr., missionaries to Maylasia. She works in housekeeping at Glorieta, cleaning guest rooms until she begins classes this fall at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belton, Texas.
“I needed something to do and a place to live,” she said. “It’s a lot like summer camp except everyone is working. It’s fun.”
Mike Stone, whose parents Sandy and Keith Stone are missionaries to Brazil, will start studies at Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Ark., this fall. He came to Glorieta to work in food service washing dishes because he felt it was better than the other work offer he had doing landscaping. “I enjoy doing the work,” he said.
Olya Poverennova is not a missionary kid, but she is the product of mission work. She left her home in Crimea, Ukraine, after she and her family accepted Christ when a missionary witnessed to them.
Formerly an atheist, Olya now wants to become a missionary, perhaps among her own people. A student at Jacksonville (Ala.) State University in commercial design, she lives with a host family, Marguerite and Charles Chambers of Blountsville, Ala. At Glorieta, Olya is a housekeeper who laughs when she says she has learned “you can make cleaning toilets fun. At Glorieta there is time for me to relax and have time with God. I enjoy the people and their attitude. I’d like to come back next year.”
Erin Sheriff, also a housekeeper, arrived at Glorieta from her home in Indonesia as a transition from MK to her freshman year at Ouachita Baptist University beginning this fall. Her parents, Lucy and Paul Sheriff, felt the experience would be good after having spent high school in a class of 13 students. “I like it a lot,” Erin declared, “even though there are a lot of people. Everybody wants to know everybody else.”
Tamara Grayson, daughter of missionaries Ruth and Sy Grayson of South Africa, goes to San Angelo (Texas) State University this fall to major in art. Working in food service, she said, “is all right. I like seeing the people and getting to meet them. I like the variety. We have a fun work group, and it’s great being here with other MKs.”
Zach Mulkey of Ecuador is the son of missionaries Peggy and Robert Mulkey. Also a food service worker, he said Glorieta “was worth coming for. I’ve had a good time, and I’d like to come back next year, but with a different job.” He will be a sophomore at William Jewell College, Liberty, Mo., this fall.
For much of its 45-year history, Glorieta has hired students to fill summer positions. Staffers, as they are called, used to earn $5 a week, plus room and board. Today the conference center provides $5.35 an hour. For an average 40-hour week, students earn $214, from which $46 is deducted for a room, clean linens and 10 meals.
Student staffers at Glorieta work in the preschool and day care areas, conference services, Chuckwagon, vending, food service, washateria, housekeeping, registration/information, office and grounds positions.
Ridgecrest (N.C.) Baptist Conference Center also uses student employees during summers. To explore summer employment opportunities, contact Glorieta at P.O. Box 8, Glorieta, NM 87535 or Ridgecrest at P.O. Box 128, Ridgecrest, NC 28770.

    About the Author

  • Charles Willis