I'm experiencing some of the capstone experiences at Hillcrest. When the school says we send students into the world, we really do!
This last week our worship teams returned from a weekend of touring other churches. The goal was to help them see themselves in worship and church ministry, using the skills and talents developed at Hillcrest this year in their home church. I can attest to the fact that our students have a heart to worship. Friday worship chapel is one of my favorite parts of Hillcrest thus far. Standing in a room of teenagers who are singing out to their Lord is inspiring. You can hear some of the things they're wrestling in our podcast this week. Listen to it here>>
Our Evangelism club also returned last weekend from a quick trip to Minneapolis. The group has been in training on initiating conversation, listening lovingly, and offering hope through the Gospel. They ride the light rail in Minneapolis to practice their skills by engaging in conversations. Their club leader tells me that public transportation is one of many places the students will find themselves next year and he really wants them to have confidence in Christ to start conversations anywhere. There is a story that is reported below that will give you a picture of what the students are doing in their time learning to evangelize.
This weekend our Dominican Mission team will board the plane and venture to their capstone Senior experience in the Dominican Mission Trip. They will share the Gospel on the streets of San Pedro. I am not sure that I would have had the courage as a high school student to go to a foreign country, engage the culture, and then share my personal testimony. However, I've seen a spiritual maturity in our students that will encourage you. One of those students came to an alumni gathering this week and shared her testimony. As she started to talk her demeanor seemed timid and her speech was interrupted by pregnant pauses. She was detailing her past and the road that led her to Hillcrest. But, when she started talking about the way the Lord is working in her life, her eyes lifted. She grew more confident in her speech as she started sharing about Jesus and what He is doing in her life. I was in awe of the significant difference in her posture and presentation as she shared her confidence in the Lord. I'm excited to invite you to hear Ashley's testimony below.
In a few weeks our choir is leaving for the East Coast. You can see the itinerary here>>. There is a group of young men who will travel from Brainerd, Minnesota down to the first concert at Oak Hill because they earned an opportunity to represent Hillcrest in the State Knowledge Bowl meet. Hillcrest has sent a team to the State's academic competition five of the past six years. I'm really excited to hear how the team does in this capstone academic experience for our students.
Thanks for taking time to catch up on your school today. I'm energized by the hope in the Lord, made most evident as we enter Holy week. The reality of Easter is alive in our students, and I am honored to share some of these simple stories with you.
I invite you to reach out to me, through email or phone, to connect on some of the ways you can support Hillcrest; through prayer, financial giving, or volunteering. Thank you for supporting your school, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy.
President Brad Hoganson
Diane Ihrke Memorial Bread and Jam Dash
One year ago we lost a very dear friend and Hillcrest supporter. The Bread and Jam Dash is a fundraiser inspired by the memory of Diane Ihrke who passed away last year. Diane was a Hillcrest parent who loved the school. She sacrificed financially to enable her children to attend Hillcrest. Sam and Zeke have been inspired by her hard work and diligence to want to raise funds for other families to attend Hillcrest in honor of Diane. Diane found that Hillcrest is a place where spiritual, emotional, and academic transformation occurs in high school students. She created a warm and loving home where many students enjoyed fresh baked bread and strawberry freezer jam while receiving mentorship. After her passing in March her legacy continues. Sam and Zeke have created a memorial endowment, and are using the Bread and Jam Dash to fund the account and build community. The funds will allow other students to experience the love and joy of being in community, something that continues at Hillcrest and something that Diane partnered with Hillcrest staff to create. READ MORE>>
Hillcrest quickly bounced back in the first oral round, scoring a meet high 18 points to move into second place where they would battle Park Christian for the next three rounds, retaining their second place spot and punching their ticket for State. READ THE FULL STORY>>
Evangelism Club Stories
One man lowered his newspaper, raising an eyebrow at what the young woman in the hijab volleyed to Molly in response to her question. "I am a Muslim. What religion are you?" the young Somali woman asked. "I am a Christian," Molly said matter of factly. A young man within earshot of the conversation pulled his headphones down, seeming to take notice of the unusual conversation between the Christian and the Muslim that started to define beliefs in the world's oldest religious conflict. READ THE FULL STORY>>
Alumni Hear Students
This week Hillcrest visited the home of John and Annie Jacobsen for an alumni gathering. Two seniors, Sam Ihrke and Ashley Jarvi traveled three hours to share some of the things the Lord is doing at Hillcrest before they hopped back in the car, traveled three hours and went to school the next day. Their stories revealed to alumni that God is clearly at work in the halls of Hillcrest, causing some alumni to retell the lessons they learned in the Castle. We invite you to hear part of Ashley's story that she shared with the alumni. The video is from chapel this year where Ashley told her story. LISTEN TO ASHLEY'S TESTIMONY>>