Forsaking Their iPhones to Serve Christ
How Christian Youth Are Defying Technology Addiction Statistics
Dressed in a T-shirt with the word “staff” printed
across the back, modest cutoff jeans, and flip-flops,
she appears at first glance to be a typical college
student who has found a summer job. Over her
shoulder, she’s carrying a backpack stuffed with the
essentials: bug spray, bandages, a flashlight, batteries, a waterproof notebook, and a Bible. She’s
working at a Christian summer camp.
She may look typical, but Maleah Whitehead, a sophomore at
Cedarville University, didn’t choose a typical summer job.
The hours, for example, aren’t typical. She’s the first up, getting herself ready while rousing her groggy, bedhead girls from
their sleeping bags and gently prodding them to sit for a few
minutes of devotions between showers and fixing their hair.
Then she troops the giggling bunch off to breakfast, nature
walks, ropes courses, missionary chapel, lunch, swimming,
group activities, camp store, supper, evening chapel, nighttime
hike, and stargazing.
Then 10 p.m. finds her corralling the girls again for
devotions, her energy stretched between parenting the home-
sick and mentoring the lovesick. She hopes to get them in bed
by 11 p.m., a difficult task by any measure, but more so this
week because they’ve each got an extreme case of “boy-crazy.”
Each has picked out a boy to claim as her beau with whom
she flirts endlessly: teasingly flipping her long hair in his face,
jostling in lines to stand near him, drawing his attention by
being loud and obnoxious. All the girls claim to have a rela-
tionship with Christ, but their priority this summer appears to
be relationships with boys. By day three, their nonstop flirting
is creating drama that looks more like rotten fruit than the
spiritual fruit Maleah had hoped to see.
More nontypical than the number of hours and effort
required by this summer job is Maleah’s choice to have no
access to technology. While most of her contemporaries
wouldn’t think of giving up Netflix, 24-7 Internet access, or
online Xbox tournaments to wrangle middle school girls or
boys for their entire summer break, that’s exactly what Maleah
by KAREN KIGHT