Dordt College News

Dordt students help junior high students find God in the chaos

May 3, 2011

A weekend spent with junior high students proved to be rewarding, inspiring, and God-honoring – not to mention energizing.

Being around the junior high kids reminded me of when I was that age and how much energy I had,” said Dordt College senior Eric Heynen about his experience as a counselor at the Christian weekend retreated called Finding God in the Chaos. More than 90 junior high students participated in the retreat held in Inspiration Hills on April 8 through 10.

It was a time for sharing the love of Christ, singing praises to God, and meditating upon his word. The retreat focused primarily on the text of Romans 5:3-4 which talks about suffering, perseverance, character, and hope.

Fourteen Dordt students served as mentors, teachers, and Christian examples to the retreat-goers who are at an age where the world often seems to grow more confusing and chaotic.

“It was so great ministering to 7th and 8th grade students because I feel they are easily influenced by so many other things at this point in their lives. So it was good to be a positive influence for them,” said Nicole Scholten, a Dordt College senior.

Some highlights from the weekend included small group time, service projects, and games. They visited people in the nursing homes, held a canned food drive, and assisted at Justice for All.

The students left the retreat with a renewed sense of the tremendous love that they have through Christ Jesus. “We were informed from a parent that one girl went home and said, ‘I knew God loved me, I just didn’t realize he loved me that much.’ I get chills every time I hear that,” said Scholten.

Finding God in the Chaos is part of a long-term partnership between Minn-I-Kota and Dordt College enabling collaborative work with the local church in the discipleship among junior high students. It is part of a bundle of events including a youth minister conference in the fall and a high school conference in spring 2012. These events equip, enrich, and empower the faith and spiritual growth of adolescents in the tri-state area.

Dordt student leaders include student director Bryce Van Deraa (Crete, Ill.), student director Nicole Scholten (Inwood, Iowa), Bekah Ahrenholz (Orange City, Iowa), Jon Bakker (Hingham, Wis.), Sarah De Jong (Sheldon, Iowa), Krista De Vries (Orange City, Iowa), Eric Heynen (Sheldon, Iowa), Kim Hiemstra (Salem, Ore.), Janelle Kuiper (Luverne, Minn.), Joe Lammers (Centennial, Colo.), Thomas Stepanek (Hudsonville, Mich.), Matthew Weinert (Lynden, Wash.), Kyle Van Otterloo (Rock Valley, Iowa), and Matthew Vryhof (Sioux Center, Iowa). Assistant Professor of Theology Clinton Lowin served as the retreat director from Dordt College.

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