DAY OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Bill Adams serves as director of World Renew’s Disaster Response Services program. World Renew is a relief, development, and educational ministry of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in North America.
Aaron Baart is the dean of chapel at Dordt College. Baart was previously the pastor at Bridge of Hope Ministries in Sioux Center, Iowa.
Jon De Groot served as the worship pastor for nine years at The Crossing (an RCA church plant) in Sioux Falls. He helped build a culture of worship by training worship leaders and teams. Now campus ministries coordinator at Dordt College, De Groot trains worship leaders through the worship arts program, oversees worship events on campus, and leads worship in weekly chapel.
Lee De Groot is the youth coordinator for MINN-I-KOTA Youth Ministries. She works with and encourages young people and their leaders in 50 different churches in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa.
Karen DeMol has been involved in worship planning for 20 years. Currently co-chair of the worship committee at First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Center, she has taught courses in music and worship at Dordt College and is the author of Sound Stewardship: How Shall Christians Think About Music? Recently retired as professor of music, she continues to work at Dordt part-time.
Ron De Weerd is the director of development for the Foods Resource Bank, encouraging rural and urban communities to begin community projects in which they raise crops and livestock as well as funds for food security programs in developing nations.
Rick Droog is the ministry coordinator for the Siouxland Diaconal Conference. A member of World Renew’s (formerly CRWRC) North America ministry team, he works with churches throughout the Midwest.
Dale Ellens is the executive director of Bethesda Christian Counseling Midwest. He is a licensed professional counselor and a marriage and family therapist.
Jill Friend serves on the CRC Faith Formation Committee. She is a music educator at Sioux Center Christian School and worship coordinator at Covenant CRC in Sioux Center.
Paul Hansen is the pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Artesia, California.
Syd Hielema serves on the CRC Faith Formation Committee and is the chaplain and a professor of theology at Redeemer University College in Ontario. From 1996 to 2006 he served as a professor of theology at Dordt College.
Sam Keyzer helped start a church called the Northern Lighthouse in Lincoln, Nebraska. Keyzer is currently a chaplain to the Lincoln, Nebraska Re-Integration Program (RIP), a ministry that grew out of the Northern Lighthouse to serve inmates transitioning from prison to society. He has specialized training in Christian Caregiving (Stephen’s Ministry), evangelism (Training 2000 Network), leadership development (Strategic Global Assistance), and family systems (Clinical Pastoral Education).
Troy Kooima is a worship leader and “youth guy.” He has led numerous junior and senior high youth events, camps, conferences, conventions, and mission trips around North America. Troy has been a youth pastor for more than a decade and has led worship with young people and congregations for more than 18 years.
John Lee holds an M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary including graduate studies in Israel. He has served as a missionary in Latin America and currently is senior pastor at Bethel CRC in Sioux Center.
Kurt Rietema, his wife, Emily, and their family live in the Argentine neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas. The Rietemas lead Christian community development efforts for the CRC in this lower income, ethnically diverse neighborhood, hoping to help a new faith community emerge as they seek God’s shalom for Argentine.
John Rottman is professor of preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is an American by birth, having grown up in Muskegon, Michigan, and a Canadian by choice. He worked as a pastor at two CRC churches in Toronto, Ontario, living in Canada for almost 20 years. He loves Iowa for the students it sends to the seminary and for the opportunities it provides for pheasant hunting.
Dawn Ryswyk is a keyboardist and worship leader. She has worked in a youth ministry/networking position for 20 years. Ryswyk has written materials for groups and retreats, and she is a worship leader in her church in Edgerton, Minnesota.
Jay Shim teaches theology at Dordt College. He has a Ph.D. from Calvin Theological Seminary. Before coming to Dordt, Shim was dean of research and professor of theology at Cheonan University in Seoul. He has been a multi-cultural liason for the Christian Reformed denomination for many years.
Mike Vander Berg is a native of Sioux Center and currently lies in Waupun, Wisconsin. Vander Berg co-owns and operates a software development company called Dynamic Internet Solutions, a ministry-based business dedicated to the website and software needs of churches, Christian schools, and other ministries.
J. William “Bill” Van Der Heide is the pastor of Ocheyedan Christian Reformed Church in Ocheyedan, Iowa, where the elders are attempting to rekindle the ministry of visiting with the families of that congregation. Van Der Heide was born and raised in the Hudson River Valley in New York. He attended Goshen Christian Reformed Church where he experienced family visiting. He has served churches in Iowa, Michigan, and Montana and has a spiritual passion for a “Master-Apprentice” teaching style matched by a desire to talk to people about their faith journey and how to make it stronger.
Deon Wynia is a church health professional and mental health therapist with Bethesda Christian Counseling Services. He has been a licensed counselor since 1994, working with churches for the past 17 years. He has served as an elder for nine years and assisted in two church plants. Wynia has training and experience with life coaching, mediation, conflict coaching, and reconciling church conflict.
Todd Zuidema is pastor at Hope CRC, Hull, Iowa, where he has served since 2005. Zuidema is thankful for the dedicated elders at Sully CRC who took the time to teach him the value of the Heidelberg Catechism as he was growing up.