Nick asked Jesus Christ to become his Savior as a DL camper in 1985. He then led his mom and sister to the saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Continuing at Deerfoot, Nick became a Guide in ‘91. In 1994, when Nick was 19, 6’4’ 220lb, he agreed to have me as his assistant counselor on the Allagash River Trip. This was the beginning of our 18 year friendship. Nick returned in ‘95 to counsel and be welcomed into the Lone Eagle Fellowship.
Nick had missed two summers, due to required training in the Army, when I asked him to be a Guide leader for the summer of ’97. This would have required him to delay his plan to enter the Army in June of ’97. Nick stuck with his plan, and today Nick feels his “rush into Army training over the chance to be a Guide Leader” was one of the worst decisions he has ever made. Soon he was deployed to the border between South andNorth Korea – a lousy place to be. Alcohol and sex were the norm, and these months were really tough on Nick – no Christian fellowship, even with the chaplain.
During these months Nick set the goal of getting into the U.S. Army Special Forces. He knew the challenge to get in and to go through the initial and on-going training would be incredibly tough. After acceptance, only 15-20% completed the training. He also knew that the quality of the soldiers in the Special Forces would be exceptional. Through these years Nick would come to DL for a week to teach survival to staff and campers, and occasionally for work weekends. We communicated often, and the frustration with being unable to meet the girl he would like to have as his wife was real – very real. He was approaching 30.
One Memorial Day Work Weekend Saturday Nick saw a 115 lb girl, baseball cap on backwards, dripping with sweat, ripping apart a wall in the barn. She was impressive To Nick! On Sunday morning, when people were being introduced, he learned that Martha was John Foley’s daughter, and getting married in early September. Heart sank, once again. That afternoon they were working together dropping a 200’ spruce tree by Dun Loggin when Nick learned that it was not Martha, but her sister Karen, that was getting married to Tim in September. Telephone numbers were exchanged and Nick and Martha managed to get together every weekend through the summer. Their relationship was charging forward. John, and his wife Mary Jane, were increasingly concerned about this mysterious soldier sweeping their daughter off her feet. On changeover weekend, when John came to lead the father/son weekend, and Mary Jane to help with camper registrations, Martha and Nick met them at DL. John and Mary Jane came to talk with Sally Jo and me about the situation. I remember telling John and Mary Jane they could trust Nick, and Sally Jo reminded them that either they could get on board, or get run over. That evening the four of them had dinner together at Melody Lodge. The Foley’s swallowed hard and gave Nick and Martha their blessing.
Nick learned he would be deployed to Iraq in March, so in August they both moved to Colorado, Nick to the base he had been assigned, and from which he would be deployed in January. The morning after arriving at the base, Nick bought a house where Martha would live, and into which Nick would move after their December wedding. That afternoon Nick reported to his commanding officer – and learned he would be deployed in August!!! Nick requested and received permission to be one of the last to deploy – he could catch up with his Unit late in September. Nick and Martha decided to get married, and received permission from the Foleys to have the wedding on the Sunday afternoon following sister Karen’s wedding on Saturday night – but no one was to know until after Karen’s wedding except me and Nick’s immediate family.
During the Karen and Tim’s reception, Nick and Martha quietly invited each member of Foley clan to their wedding in the Foley’s back yard the next afternoon. The weather was perfect, the neighbors brought over plants to beautifully decorate the yard, and the wedding was incredible. Nick’s vow to Martha took several minutes, for he had lots to vow to Martha due to the military life they would be living. I think everyone was in tears…except Nick. Sally Jo and I sang the benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you, may his light shine upon you, and give you peace. Then Nick scooped up Martha and walked down the aisle…as we cheered.
After their wedding, I began writing letters to Nick and Martha – which morphed into the current In Partnership With God.
Today Nick and Martha are stationed near Washington DC, are active in the “Image Church”, a new start up, and have 3 healthy, wonderful children. Nick Dotti is first of all God’s Man…then an Army Man.
Major Nick Dotti’s military responsibility today? Nick, and his staff of 23, fill time sensitive, mission critical requests for special operators deployed world wide. If Nick and his team fail at their job, the mission may fail and/or lives are lost.
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”1 Corinthians 15:58 True for me, for Nick, for you!