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Maddy Engle

She’s survived growing up as a bishop’s daughter and her first year at Messiah College (Grantham, Pa.). As she completes her summer internship with the Atlantic Conference and returns to school, this California girl talks about life, learning, and her newfound love for the countryside. Maddy Engle is ready for your questions.

Has Ontario, Calif., always been your home?

We lived in Pomona, Calif., up until I was 10. One time, at our house there, my dad found a handgun and a bag of drugs on the porch in our backyard! Then, when my dad got the position as bishop, we moved to Ontario.

What’s it like to be the daughter of a bishop?

Well, there’s nothing super special about it—I don’t get to go to Messiah for free or anything. I guess I sometimes feel that the expectations are higher or that I’m being watched because I’m the bishop’s daughter. But I also think it’s really cool that I can go somewhere and have that instant connection because people know who my dad is. It’s a good conversation starter.

You just finished your first year at Messiah College. How did you end up there?

I knew I wanted to get out of California and experience something different. I didn’t really think I would go to Messiah, but when I visited, it felt good. I’m not really a logical thinker, so I didn’t list out the reasons for why I wanted to go or anything. lt was more like, I’m going to do this because it feels right.

Have you enjoyed your time in the Northeast so far?

It’s been like a breath of fresh air, an escape. Every time someone asks me, I say, “I prefer it out here.” The scenery is beautiful. If I’m driving through the country, and you know how sometimes you can see out really, really far, across all the hills? Just looking at it, I love that.

Favorite coffeehouse treat: Chai tea Mac or PC: Mac . . . all the way! College major: Social work All-nighters pulled in first year of college: 3

This summer, you and five others interned at the Atlantic Conference. What did you do?

Early on, we spent a lot of time planning Sunday School and VBS programs. Everything we did—the games and crafts and skits and music—all of it was stuff that we’d thought of. Then, we went around to different BIC churches and put on the programs, just to give the children’s ministry workers a break.

What got you interested in the Conference’s internship program?

Honestly, this opportunity just kind of came up. I pushed it away for a while because I thought, This really isn’t my thing. I don’t think I can do this. I don’t know that I’m strong enough in my faith to do this. But when I got the job, I thought, Ok, maybe God’s trying to push me. So, I was excited about it, but also scared because I didn’t know what I was doing. It was a push for me.

What did you learn during that time?

I know I did a lot of growing this summer—more things than I can pinpoint. But one thing was learning to be flexible. We went to so many different churches, and nothing was ever the same. We had to learn to work with anything and everyone. I think that’s something that will really come in handy in the future.

This article originally appeared in the fall 2010 issue of In Part magazine.

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