Doing God’s Laundry

There are a few things you need to know about Megan Meyer. First, her father works on a pier fueling fishing boats. He has the “coolest job ever,” if you ask Megan. Her mother works in a bikini factory. She also has the “coolest job ever,” according to Megan, who gets a bathing suit for her birthday every year.

You might also want to know that Megan has more Olympic gold medals than Michael Phelps. “I counted them one day, but now I forget how many I have,” Megan said, nonchalantly. But the volleyball/tennis/basketball star didn’t make the trip to China last summer. She was too busy folding towels and sheets at Woodleaf (Young Life’s camp in California).

“I was doing God’s laundry,” said Megan. “Kids love clean stuff. Why would anyone want to come to camp and have a dirty bed?”

Armed with that simple logic and a love for Christ and kids, Megan set a few personal records this summer in Young Life. She became the first young woman with Down syndrome to serve on summer staff at camp. Like her able-bodied peers, she worked without pay to serve the campers coming each week. She folded more towels and sheets than any person with disabilities at a Young Life camp ever. And she stood and shared her story in front of the largest crowd of campers with disabilities that she had ever seen.

More than 180 deaf, lame and developmentally disabled kids sat riveted at Megan’s feet as she talked about her faith one night at club. Autistic kids who normally roamed randomly around the room stood still. Kids with cerebral palsy stopped straining their arms and hands. Kids in wheelchairs leaned forward if they could, and kids who couldn’t hear listened with eyes wide open to the interpreter on the stage.

“I turned my face to Jesus,” Megan said, concluding her touching story. The club room was completely silent. Then, when Megan said, “Thank you,” the crowd went wild.

Megan might have never made it to her moment on stage without her mentor, Jessie Hynes. “We were looking for ways to go deeper with kids,” explained Hynes, who teaches kindergarten and leads Young Life. “I was thinking, what would be the next step for Megan? She has one of the greatest servant’s hearts. She loves community and is kind of independent. She’s emotionally strong. And I knew I had the summer off.” So Hynes spent the month with Megan at Woodleaf, working in the bakery, setting Megan free to serve across camp.

If you’re writing celebrity bios for the Special Olympics, there’s one more thing you need to know about Megan. It’s not her many gold medals that make her feel important. “I know that I am loved,” said the summer staff all-star. Which makes folding God’s laundry Megan’s favorite sport.