Written by Jared Couch

Jared is our Learn & Discern Brand Marketing intern. He is going into his senior year of school at Houghton College in western New York, where he is double majoring in Integrated Marketing and Business Administration. As a part of his role this summer, he will be writing a series of blog posts. They will be released each week with a different International Order of The King’s Daughters and Sons (IOKDS) based topic. We would love for this to be an opportunity for the IOKDS community to interact with Jared, so please be active in the comments and reach out with any questions or share any reflections you may have! 


Statement from Jared: “I have genuinely enjoyed the past few weeks of working with my fellow interns and all of the members of the IOKDS. In this blog, I talk about how things in life have changed, and how I have been able to find peace in this 2020 season of life.”


What brings us to the IOKDS may look different for each one of us. So as I come upon the Learn & Discern internship program’s final week, I wanted to share my journey and reflect on how I ended up where I am now involved with the IOKDS in the Learn & Discern Internship Program.


In late October last year at Houghton College, I had a meeting with our career center to clean up my resume. In that meeting, Dennis, a career counselor at Houghton, and I talked about the possibility of me doing an internship over the summer.


At first, I entirely dismissed the idea of an internship for the whole summer because it wouldn’t allow me to play in a summer league for baseball. So I planned to do an internship through the school in the spring semester and complete the internship requirement that way as not to interfere with my aspirations of playing summer baseball.


A couple of weeks went by, and Dennis and I had another meeting to discuss some other possibilities for internships through the school. In our  meeting he says, “I have an idea, actually, a perfect opportunity for you this summer that would still allow you to play baseball.  ” I was intrigued at this point as he continued, “I had a guy in here just yesterday telling me about this internship at the Chautauqua Institution with an organization called the IOKDS. Would you like some information on it?”


Of course, I said yes, and he gave me a couple of pamphlets and told me that a cool guy named Mark had talked to him about the internship and all that it entailed. It was perfect for what I was looking for, Brand Marketing, right up my alley, and I read over the requirements and the expectations, and it seemed to me like it would be a good fit. I proceeded with the internship process and submitted my resume and cover letter. I had a great phone interview with Mark Foglesong and Christine Dawson. Shortly after which they offered me the position.


I took some time and discussed it with my baseball coach, Coach Reitnour, to see if I could still work something out to play for the first part of the summer before the internship began. He found a team called the Dansville Gliders. An interesting side note is one of my friends, who had moved on from Houghton this year, was an assistant coach for the team. So in communicating with the team, I was able to work out a contract to play the month of June leading up to the internship.


Sweet, so I was set, I thought. I had an internship that would be an excellent fit for me, and I signed with a team for the summer that would allow me to get some games in before I headed for my summer at Chautauqua. My plan was set and solid.


God just laughs when we think we have it all figured out.


I was on cloud nine headed into Christmas break.   I had my internship, my baseball, and I was headed for South Carolina with my girlfriend to visit my grandparents. Life couldn’t have been better. And it continued this way for the better part of the spring semester as well. Baseball started up as usual and was going very well.


So long story short, we go to Florida in early March per usual for baseball, when we were leaving there was murmuring of this virus that had roots in China that could be making its way to the US. We went to Florida anyway. We played our ten-game slate.  By the end of the trip, instead of ending game handshakes, we were giving fist bumps to the other team.


In the week following, practice went on as usual.   By Thursday of that week, the league announced the indefinite suspension of our season. The following Monday we were sent home from school altogether. I am sure all of you experienced this whirlwind of things changing at blinding speeds, just like I did in your way.


Then just like that, I was sitting at home in my room in Zoom University.

Days seemed to blend with nothing happening to differentiate one day from the next.


A month or so went by, and my baseball for the summer started to bump back the league’s start date. First, from June 1 till the 10th and then a few weeks later until the end of June. When this happened, baseball was gone for me for the summer. I was good with it, though, because I was more excited about my internship anyway.


Then Mark started Emailing saying that they were considering other options if needed.  At that point, I knew it might be over and thought the IOKDS was going to shut down the internship altogether. So I waited, and I started putting in job applications for the summer so I would have something to do and be able to make some money.


Then came the news from Mark that we weren’t going to be in person come the end of June, but we would be online!


Now I write this blog from my Michigan house as a pioneer of the virtual internship for the IOKDS. Who knows what lay beyond for the IOKDS and the Learn & Discern program? Perhaps this isn’t the last time this internship is virtual? Hopefully, the virtual intern work completed has the same impact as it would have if done in person.  Looking back, I realize we pioneered communications in a way no one has ever had to do before– virtual phone and zoom interviews and countless virtual meetings. It is remarkable the relative ease with which we have operated throughout this internship period.


Looking back now on the whole thing, it is truly amazing how the next few weeks played out. God did take care of me, and I realize just how blessed I am for my summer. My employer for my summer job couldn’t be more understanding and willing to be flexible around my IOKDS work as well as Mark and Dianne Foglesong being understanding and flexible with when my internship work gets done too.


It is with a heart of thanks that I reflect on this time now. I have been genuinely blessed even in all the chaos of the days we have all experienced. God has taken care of me through everything and has helped me prioritize what is valuable in life.


While reflecting on this blog the past few days, the verse on my mind is Philippians 4:8.  Paul wrote, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”


I feel that at this time, it is essential we do what Paul says here to the church at Philippi. When the world around us is in disarray and life seems to be out of control, dwell on the good things. Find peace in them and know that God is ultimately in control.


What is a verse you have found peace in during this time? Please share it and a little about what it has meant to you down in the comments I would love to hear, and perhaps someone else reading this needs to listen to it!


As the Houghton Chapel Dean always says at the end of the service, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”







  1. Jared
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. To have seen God’s hand in your life and felt His guidance through the COVID chaos is an amazing blessing for you. To write about it so clearly takes courage and blesses us. One day we will see you at Chautauqua!
    Christine Dawson

    • Christine,

      Thank you for your comment and kind words. I do hope to be at Chautauqua someday soon! See you there!


  2. It is wonderful that you relied on God to make everything work out so well for you this summer. You have given The King’s Daughters and Sons many good challenges to consider for the future.
    The Bible verse, which is my favourite is John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
    I enjoyed reading your great blog, especially after hearing and seeing you presentation this week.
    Many years ago we had the privilege of attending a graduation at Houghton College when my cousin was a student.
    Many thanks Jared, In His Name

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