Chapel and Dominican Republic Debrief

Dominican Republic 2012 | Trip Documentary Part 3 from Hillcrest Academy on Vimeo.

Faith Formation is a Priority

I’ve just returned from a morning chapel program at Hillcrest.  Chapel is a 30 minute time built into the school day, where time is taken for prayer, worship, and listening to testimonies of faculty members, staff and students.  Chapel is an obvious and important aspect of the school’s mission to equip students in a Christ-centered, Biblical-based environment for a life of significance.  The goal of this time is to minister to both mind and spirit and provide devotional and inspirational times for students in the nurturing of their faith in God.


Memorable Mission Trip

Today’s chapel program featured students who participated in a short mission trip to the Dominican Republic during the week of Thanksgiving.  Four of the 23 high school seniors shared personal reflections of their time in the Dominican, highlighting experiences that impacted them.  A group of seniors also shared a skit that they performed in parks while they were there.  The message of the skit was clear.   Teenagers struggle with temptations, but the good news is there is a Savior who has power to deliver us from making bad choices when we cry out to him.  The chapel time closed with comments from History instructor Gregg Preston and Art instructor Gaylen Peterson, who with 8 other adults accompanied the students to the Dominican.


It is clear that these student gained valuable insights that have changed how they think about life.  They spoke of their own fears being replaced by confidence, and a joy that came to them while they served others in humility.   They noted an obvious contrast between the poverty of those they encountered and their own personal wealth and daily blessings that are easily taken for granted.  All in all, they were grateful for the experience of a profound and unforgettable Thanksgiving time.


In the bigger picture, this 7-day mission outreach has created for Hillcrest a unique partnership with the Sante Fe Primary School in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  Santa Fe has grown in enrollment and facilities since the partnership began five years ago, bringing additional salary resources and upgraded classroom facilities for the small school in the Caribbean. According to the Santa Fe Headmaster, the elementary students get excited every October, knowing their Hillcrest visitors will soon be arriving.


Advent is Here

Sounds of the Christmas season have been heard from the Music Room since well before Thanksgiving.   Students are preparing for the upcoming Annual Christmas Concert Weekend to be held at Bethel Lutheran church on December 15th and 16th at 7pm.  This year the Saturday evening concert will be available to families around the world through LiveStream programming. (



Steven Brue is the President of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls, MN (

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