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Class holds fundraisers for fellow student

By Sally Jongsma

Kae Van Engen's GEN 100 class raised enough money to send a classmate home for Christmas.<br />
(front, from left) Alison Tjoelker, Josh Dykstra, Etson Williams, Benjamin Witte, Dana Vanden Hull (row 2, from left) Rachelle Kruisselbrink, Sam Doty, Sarah Teunissen, Marne De Bruin, Caryn Nydam, (row 3, from left) Professor Kae Van Engen, Jon Van Dixhoorn, Joseph Buhlig, Jesse Houweling, Tim Hoekstra.

Kae Van Engen's GEN 100 class raised enough money to send a classmate home for Christmas.
(front, from left) Alison Tjoelker, Josh Dykstra, Etson Williams, Benjamin Witte, Dana Vanden Hull (row 2, from left) Rachelle Kruisselbrink, Sam Doty, Sarah Teunissen, Marne De Bruin, Caryn Nydam, (row 3, from left) Professor Kae Van Engen, Jon Van Dixhoorn, Joseph Buhlig, Jesse Houweling, Tim Hoekstra.

They're a class with a mission: a group of fourteen Dordt freshmen worked to raise enough money to fly a classmate, Etson Williams, home for Christmas.

Williams is a twenty-four-year-old international student from Barrouallie, St. Vincent, an island in the Caribbean. He was married less than a year ago.

Participants in the effort to reunite Etson with his wife and family during Christmas were class members in a seminar called "Kingdom, Identity and Calling," a class for first-year students that focuses on mentoring students as they make the transition from high school to college. In it students learn about the vision, expectations, and community they will find at Dordt College and are encouraged to discern who they are and what they are called to in God's kingdom.

During class discussions on building community, students were challenged to come up with a way of helping someone in their community. Class member Caryn Nydam proposed helping their fellow classmate and got an enthusiastic response.

Their advisor, Kae Van Engen, approached Etson about his willingness to receive this gift, and with that hurdle cleared, all that remained were the fundraisers. By early November, the class had purchased Etson's ticket and had money left to donate to needs of other international students.