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Dordt College News

Dordt College students work with junior high students at MINN-I-KOTA retreat

May 2, 2012

A weekend spent with junior high students proved to be rewarding, inspiring, and God-honoring—not to mention energizing for seventeen Dordt students who served as mentors, teachers, music leaders, t-shirt designers, and Christian examples to the retreat-goers.

“It was awesome to see so many junior high boys and girls get together and praise our Savior. It was an experience I wouldn't trade away,” said Kendall Stroeh. 

More than 75 junior high students participated in the three-day retreat held at Inspiration Hills in April. Because she was at the retreat last year as well, Nicole Scholten thought she knew just what to expect. “But God surprised me and blessed me more than I could imagine. I took more from the speakers this year, learned more about myself as a leader, and I believe the kids learned more about what it means to be ‘ONE in the body of Christ.’”

The theme for the weekend was “One” based on I Corinthians 12:4-6: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”  Participants got involved in small groups, service projects, games, praise and worship times, and the Talent Show. They also worked with Justice for All in Rock Valley, Love Inc. in Canton, Hope Haven International in Sioux Falls, Destiny's Horse Ranch in Alvord, and collected food for the food pantry in Inwood. 

The students left the retreat with a renewed sense of the tremendous love that they have through Christ Jesus. A text message sent by a junior high student to a leader after the retreat said, “That was one of the best weekends I have ever had. It was so much fun. Thank you!” 

“The girls that I worked with were willing and searching for ways to serve God every day and at their schools. I realize I was supposed to be mentoring them, but I don't think that they know they encouraged and challenged me to live an authentic life,” said Laura Schrotenboer.

The “ONE” weekend was the 2nd annual junior high retreat in a partnership between (CRC) Classis MINN-I-KOTA Youth Ministry and Dordt College. Even though, most of MINN-I-KOTA Youth's work throughout the year is primarily for high school youth groups and their leaders they are hoping to continue this Jr. High Retreat each spring for years to come. 

Next year’s retreat is already being planned. The MINN-I-KOTA youth ministry team hopes that these events and partnering with young adults from Dordt College will help equip, enrich, and empower the faith and spiritual growth of the adolescents in the tri-state area.

Kandace Brands and Lee De Groot are the Youth Coordinators for MINN-I-KOTA Youth. Dordt student leaders included student directors Bryce Van Deraa (Crete, Illinois) and Laura Schrotenboer (Sunnyside, Washington). They were joined by Bekah Ahrenholz (Orange City, Iowa), Jon Bakker (Hingham, Wisconsin), Sarah De Jong (Hospers, Iowa), Krista De Vries (Orange City, Iowa), Janelle Kuiper (Luverne, Minnesota), Matt Weinert (Lynden, Washington), Kyle Van Otterloo (Rock Valley, Iowa), Darrin Lammers (Centennial, Colorado), Abby Helder (Holland, Michigan), Nicole Scholten (Inwood, Iowa), Joe Lammer (Centennial, Colorado), Lindsay Hannick (Modesto, California), Micah Applegate (Arvada, Colorado), Kendall Stroeh (Luverne, Minnesota), and Sam Ashmore (Arlington, Texas).  Dordt College Professors Jason Lief and Pastor Mark VerBruggen served as the retreat directors.

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