Re-Connecting Cultures

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Re-Connecting Cultures

I visited America when I was in sixth grade. In 2006 my dad and I traveled along the west coast of the United States. Five years later I decided to come to the USA again with a different purpose, to attend high school at Hillcrest Academy in Fergus Falls. 

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So Much More Than Just a Mission Trip

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So Much More Than Just a Mission Trip

On the fifteenth of April twelve students will leave for the Dominican Republic on a seven day mission trip. It is a chance for students to not only minister to those less fortunate, but it is an opportunity for these students to minister to those who may never have heard the story of Jesus Christ. Although they may encounter some adversity and challenges, the students will make the most of every opportunity to share the gospel.

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Comets in the Classroom

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Comets in the Classroom

The worries of college and graduation are close at hand for Hillcrest students. Preparing for post-secondary studies doesn’t mean a student can’t enjoy high school, but headaches are avoided for students who start thinking of their transition to adulthood early. College discussions help students consider what they should pursue in life and what steps to take in attaining their goal. Mrs. Ruth Juliot, Hillcrest’s guidance counselor, gave suggestions for where high school students should prepare in their steps toward college.

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Hillcrest Softball Season Preview

With the one-two pitching punch of Kelsey Nersten and Laura Tungseth returning for the 2014 season, the Hillcrest softball team will be in a position to challenge their opponents every time they take the field.

"Watching Kelsey and Laura develop ino effective and consistent pitchers who walk few batters was one of the highlights of last season," said fourth year Head CoachCraig Nersten...

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Falcons Top Comets in North Sub-Section 6A Title Game

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Falcons Top Comets in North Sub-Section 6A Title Game

The Park Christian Falcons topped the Hillcrest Comets 47-39 in the North Sub-Section 6A title game on Tuesday night at Concordia College in Moorhead.  The loss marked the end of the season for the Comets, who finish with a record of 18-9.  The Falcons will now face undefeated, defending Section 6A champion Battle Lake at 7:00pm Friday at Concordia College...

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Comet Boys Advance with 70-55 Win Over Waubun

The Hillcrest Lutheran Academy boys basketball team posted a 70-55 win over Waubun on Saturday afternoon at Concordia College in Moorhead.  With the win the Comets advance to play Park Christian School in the Section 6A semifinals at six o'clock Tuesday night at Concordia.

Hillcrest shot 60% (26/43) from the field and made  6-of-16 (38%) from beyond the arc...

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Lowell Quam: God's Faithful Agent

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Lowell Quam: God's Faithful Agent

Few students have the opportunity to be taught by a man who has many similarities to the Apostle Paul. While Mr. Quam’s story isn’t an exact page out of Paul’s epistles, his experience did have a shapring effect to his view on life and his role in presenting Christ to the world. 

In northern Minnesota Mr Quam, a Spanish and bible teacher at Hillcrest, was born to two parents who passionately loved God. He was raised in a very conservative and strict home, and at a very young age he knew he wanted to do something great for God’s kingdom...

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Christian Education Celebrated

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Christian Education Celebrated

Comets vs. Park Christian Marks Storied History of Celebrated Education 

There’s a special significance in connecting around the game of basketball. Maybe that’s why each year players and fans look forward to the Hillcrest versus Park Christian basketball double-header. This year everything about the night created excitement - from the game of basketball, to the fundraising, the special announcers, and the evening dinner that took place...

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Comet Sports Recap

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Comet Sports Recap

On January 30, the Comet boys’ basketball team traveled to Parkers Prairie and picked-up an earned win with a score of 79-56. Daniel Nersten, Chris Tungseth, and Evan Malmstrom all scored in the double digits, as well as Evan Newman who put up a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Malmstrom and Jake Isaac distributed 5 assists...

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Erkenbrack Builds Legacy at Hillcrest

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Erkenbrack Builds Legacy at Hillcrest

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An era is coming to an end. For the past thirty-eight years God has worked in the lives of many students and faculty through Dean Erkenbrack. With a servant’s heart and the ability to reach those who seemingly could never be reached, Dean has exemplified what it means to be a follower of God. One whom the Lord will call, “My good and faithful servant.” 

It was in a jail cell in Chicago where Dean came to Christ. Until that point, he lived a different life and didn’t follow the Lord. But God worked in Dean’s life in unseen ways. When he hit rock bottom in jail he realized what God wanted to do for him, and from that point on he has walked with Jesus Christ as his Savior. 

In 1976 Dean was looking for a job. A pastor at his church told him about Hillcrest , explaining the school’s need for a custodian. He still remembers the day of his interview when he showed up in bib overalls and a white t-shirt. Although the years have passed quickly, Dean thinks often of the many lives God has given him to serve at Hillcrest. 

One of the things that Dean cherishes about Hillcrest are the close relationships with students and faculty that he has developed. God gave Dean opportunities to reach those who couldn’t otherwise be reached, and these relationships are still strong. He has seen generations of families walk the halls of Hillcrest Academy, and has felt it a privilege to be a part of these lives. 

Being at Hillcrest gives Dean an opportunity that not many jobs can match. Dean shares about the Lord openly as part of his job. As Dean says, “a job is a job,” but when this job creates opportunities for him to further God’s kingdom, then it becomes much more than just a job; it becomes a ministry. 

Everyday Dean asks himself, “How can God use me today?” And many times the answer is to help those who have problems, offering a word of encouragement and being there to talk. These are small things that make all the difference. Dean believes, “It’s the small things in life that pay big dividends.” 

The mission of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy is to equip students in a Christ-centered, Bible-based environment for a life of significance, and Dean fulfills this mission daily. He takes time to remember the song Amazing Grace because it reminds him of the grace and forgiveness that Christ has given him. He takes every opportunity to help and encourage those around him. He does this for the sake of others, not for the betterment of self. In this way, he fulfills the mission statement daily. 

Over a period of nearly forty years there are bound to be changes, and Dean has seen some major ones that have helped to make his job a little bit easier. Some of the most memorable ones include the renovation of the boys’ dorms, the remodeling of the classroom section in 2013, the addition of the football and soccer fields in 1981, irrigation systems in the fields, and the addition of the west parking lot. When Dean’s job requires him to keep the campus running, every little bit helps. 

Over the years, Dean has been involved in other activities around the school, aside from custodial work. He enjoyed coaching football and baseball, and still finds himself helping out with softball. Driving bus throughout the years has given him countless opportunities to be involved in students’ lives and cheer on the Comets at many different venues. 

When Dean isn’t working, he spends his time doing a variety of things. Being an avid outdoorsman, he loves to camp, fish, and hunt. Being a husband to his wife for over forty years, a father of two, and a grandfather of seven, he has been greatly blessed with a wonderful family and takes every chance to spend time with them. He enjoys making time to help his neighbors and church family. He does this with a servant’s heart, without expecting anything in return. 

The end of May will mark Dean’s retirement from Hillcrest. His last day is going to be sad for him, but he is looking forward to what the Lord has in store for him for the rest of his life. He knows that the Lord will continue to provide opportunities to be a blessing to others, and that he will use these opportunities well. Hillcrest is going to miss him greatly as well, and his years of service will not be forgotten. 

If there is one thing Dean has learned over the years it is that no one should ever underestimate the power of God. He provides us with opportunities to help and encourage those around us, and these opportunities may be the ones that save someone’s life. God has given Dean a great blessing, his testimony of service serves as a call for others to minister to those around. His example shows these actions are all for the glory of God.

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Boys Soccer Season Recap

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Boys Soccer Season Recap

This year the Hillcrest boys soccer season was like no other. Not only did they dominate their conference, but they were great leaders on and off the field. Even though the boys ended in defeat, they had an extremely successful season, and grew closer as a team...

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Crossing Cultures and Finding Christ

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Despite heartache and questions, Han Gao found comfort and peace by studying the Bible and establishing a family at Hillcest Academy.

Born and raised in China, Han had a different upbringing than most of his western friends. Han had no opportunity to develop personal faith being raised in China. Because of this, he didn’t think about religion or religious ideas, commenting that the topics were never introduced to him. 

In 2011, Han went to an American boarding school in Boston, Massachusetts. The school was not religious, and the ethnic groups were isolated from the American students.  

While in Boston, Han received news that his father had a heart attack and passed away.  While trying to cope with the pain and sorrow, Han returned to China to be with his mother. The next school year Han and his mother decided he should go back to America, but to a different school.  Searching many different American schools, Han’s mother found Hillcrest and thought it would be a good fit for him.

Even though she is not a Christian, Han’s mom thought a faith-based environment would be comforting as he grieved the loss of his father. 

Now a senior, Han has learned the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Through his two years attending Hillcrest he understands the Gospel and God’s love, and has accepted it as truth.  

Han’s father’s passing still occupies his throughts. Han’s father was a generous and hardworking man who did many great things. In working through the void left by his father’s passing, Han finds prayer and discussion with his brothers in the dorm encouraging. Han shares that he has peace and answers despite facing uncertainty and hard times. 

Because of Han’s faith in God, he has grown to experience peace and comfort in Jesus Christ. Worrying about things occupied Han’s thinking before his time at Hillcrest, but now he has a focus on other people after finding purpose through faith in Christ. Han spends most of his time caring for his fellow Hillcrest students, especially those working to assimilate from other countries. 

Han is also ministering to his mother, notably by sending her a Bible last year in the mail. Han has had meaningful conversations with his mom following this act of love, finding his mother honestly serarching and testing the Scriptures. Han hopes that she will understand and come to know the Heavenly Father. 

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Comet Cagers Gear-up For New Season

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Comet Cagers Gear-up For New Season

While many are dreading the cold Minnesota winter, Hillcrest students look forward to basketball season. Many Hillcrest athletes look forward to the start of the winter sports season, while others see it as a time to show their school spirit by superfanning at the games...

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Boys Soccer Experiences Incredible Season

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Boys Soccer Experiences Incredible Season

The excitement and hope for the HLA boys soccer team was like no other this year, especially since the boys broke the school record for goals scored in a season. Not only did the Comets hold an undefeated season, but their defense made it close to impossible for any opponents to score on them. As the victorious season came to a close, the Comets stood with a record of 14-0-1. This incredible record is made even more impressive by taking into account the season score tally. Opponents could only rally 3 goals against the Comets but gave up a record-shattering 135...

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