I am speechless. This week has been powerful for me. I have my own Hillcrest story, where God took a self-conscious senior and implanted a heart of care, concern, and confidence in His Son at school sponsored spiritual formation events of Prayer Days, the Spiritual Emphasis Week and a Mission Conference. Today, I am seeing the Lord move in the lives of students as they are interacting in a spiritual environment that is different, but somehow the same as when I was a student.
Below you’ll get a chance to read about our recent Prayer Day. I was able to lead a small group of junior high boys in prayer. It was humbling, but such an honor to sit with young men and be used to direct their attention to the cross. We all carry particular burdens, but I have seen something unique at Hillcrest that was present when I was a student and I have recently learned was present in the founding years. Friends care deeply for each other’s spiritual standing here. I encourage you to read a brief history of Prayer Day, and how the most recent Prayer Day is a reprise on a foundational call to prayer from 1907.
Also, below you’ll get a chance to watch a chapel presentation that our Marketing Director, Wayne Stender, and I did on Friday as a transition from Prayer Day. Students have been going through the theme “Square One”, where Chapel Coordinator Ryan Garvin is walking students through the metanarrative of Scripture. Prayer Day marked the transition from Creation to the Fall. Please watch the video to understand that our students are wrestling with the big questions of God, and how they will relate to His plan.
You’ll also see a quick testimony video from Senior Danny Isaac. Every student is special and has a special story that God is using to impact the student body, but for some reason Danny’s story gets me. Danny sings in the praise team, lifted on and off the stage by his friends. He is working with Craig Nersten to get a wheelchair basketball game going for HITs. He is pursuing finishing Hillcrest with academic honors. I’ve heard from his friends that they sometimes forget he’s in a wheelchair, which was scary for me to watch my first few weeks on campus as Danny flipped out of his wheelchair into the river with students at Phelps Mill, and my heart skips a beat every time I see him rolling down the hill to the Student Union, racing friends to the lunch line. But, God is doing something amazing through his story. I hope you are blessed as you watch a video created by a Hillcrest student, Inga-Liese Hantho, that communicates Danny’s story.
I am gearing up for some more travels this month, looking to visit areas in North Dakota after some alumni gatherings in Seattle and the East Coast. Please, contact me if you’re interested in connecting. I’d love to grab a cup of coffee with you and share more stories of what God is doing in our school.
Grace and Peace!
President Brad Hoganson
Hillcrest Continues 110 Year Tradition in Prayer Day
Some groups at Prayer Day experienced scenes similar to that documented by R.S. Gjerde in 1907. At the recent Prayer Day, one group closed a prayer time with a huddle, tears being wiped from their eyes as they closed in prayer. The staff member gingerly walked to a group of colleagues to say her group was emotional after praying for a few students who are questioning their faith, struggling to understand the Bible. She said the students were praying for God to intervene, eerily similar to the prayers that started the Prayer Day tradition in 1907. READ THE FULL STORY>>
This week we were reminded of a video Hillcrest Senior Inga-Liese Hantho completed last year telling the story of Danny Isaac. It's a video that speaks to the way God works in circumstances we don't understand. WATCH THE VIDEO HERE>>
Chapel Takes A Turn
President Hoganson and Wayne Stender helped students make the move in Chapel on Friday as we moved from Creation to the Fall in the progression of our school theme Square One. Watch a video of the Chapel to hear how the students are digging deeper into God's big story. WATCH THE VIDEO HERE>>
Alumn Refocus in Visit
This week a couple who met at Hillcrest visited a family member attending Hillcrest. While they thought they were simply greeting old friends and teachers, they discovered that the trip was a refreshing time to refocus as they face some challenges at home. READ THE FULL STORY HERE>>