Conner’s persistent joy in the midst of his pain has been an inspiration to many. He found restoring solace in his devotion times with God. In the midst of the cold and lonely winter Conner saw God spring to life a renewed personal relationship with his heavenly father. Conner notes that he placed more trust in God’s promises. A profound passage he clung to during his lonely trial was Romans 8:18. “I Consider that our present sufferings are noth worth comparting with the glory that will be revealed in us.
On Sunday, a dozen Hillcrest students from 5 countries in Africa traveled to Fargo to enjoy native African cuisine. The group visited a restaurant owned by a pastor and his wife from Ghana. The experience united a growing population in the Hillcrest community, highlighting special historical ties to the African continent.
15 Hillcrest art pieces held a superior sticker next to their display at Alexandria Technical College after the 2019 MSHSL Visual Arts Festival in March. Hillcrest students submitted 17 pieces by 12 students, with an amazing four students earning the best in category at the regional art competition. That many awards held by one school is nearly unheard of. It’s a testimony to students excelling in Hillcrest classrooms.
Hillcrest Alumnus Daniel Berge brought his Junior-Senior (JS) banquet date from twenty years prior to JS this year. Daniel reflected on his Hillcrest experience to lend formation to the JS theme Into the Woods.
The reference caught Principal Isaac off guard. The immediate benefit of the classical program in defending the resurrection was evident. Not only were students using their logic class, but the cross-discipline reference to their Bible and literature courses displayed a level of mastery. Students have gained confidence to build reasoned thought, even in the face of challenges from their Principal, and hold a posture of educating to inform others with a heart for truth.
Hillcrest picked up where they left off last year. Momentum built in Hillcrest’s relaunched golf program was built in sending John Vall to State last year. Work over the summer had Comet golfers perfecting their swing during the final snow storms of the spring. The first meet of the year was held on Thursday, only a few weeks after the spring thaw receded snow drifts from the fairways at Balmoral Golf course.
Hillcrest unloaded three math teams from the bus at the MSU-Moorhead campus on Wednesday, March 6. The Comets have a tradition of performing well at the Tri-College Mathematics Competition, and a certain level of expectation follows students each year. Wednesday was no exception, and the Comets delivered a top team and top scorer again.
The game didn’t change seedings for playoffs, but is sending Hillcrest into playoffs with a renewed vision for what their season could be in the coming month. Thanks to lock-down defense by the Comets, aided by a career shooting night for Nick Foss, and some last minute heroics by Micah Foss, Hillcrest ended their regular season with a 13-10 record. They will play New York Mills in the first round of playoffs on Thursday at New York Mills at 7pm.
“Why did Jesus talk about money so much?” The question from Donovan Rogness hung in the air during Big Boss Monday in Economics class. Donovan is a 2001 graduate of Hillcrest who owns and operates a construction management and land development company. Students were reeling after Donovan’s lead question. Donovan referenced that Jesus spoke to money over 2300 times in the Bible. Donovan said that Jesus talked about money more than love, heaven, and hell combined. Donovan continued, “It’s something that He knows if we abuse it, can take over His role in our lives.”
Students stood in unison as Trevor started strumming his guitar in the unconventional chapel service. The students lifted their voices, some raising hands, before they ventured out of the chapel to Hillcrest hallways where they sat with a sheet of paper. It was an active practice that is fighting the newest drug captivating students’ hearts and minds. Screen time.
The atmosphere was electric as students were filing in and out of the office in the front hall. The volume of teenage voices grew exponentially as one after another the students fought for attention. One shared excitement overflowing from a package from home. Another was sarcastic about his second period class. He always finds corrective banter in the front hall offices. Then a small voice cut through it all with a simple question. “Could you help me talk to a friend about euthanasia?”
The worship team wrapped up their first of three sessions with Dr. Pribbenow with a debrief of the presentation. In their hand students held notes and a packet of the Hillcrest worship program. The packet closes the vision of the worship program in saying, “We desire to equip and raise up young musicians and leaders to fulfill the call on the Church to be a sending community.” This first session with Dr. Pribbenow is representative of an active arm of the Lutheran Brethren in being a disciple-making movement.
“The fatigued mind would rather categorize a conversation about God as another superficial distraction, requiring little cognitive attention.” That’s a finding by Dr. Alan Noble of Oklahoma Baptist University. He believes we’re unknowingly training our students away from a faith-filled life.
Tuesday morning students sat in their first period economic class with a paper laid out before them. Doug Hansen nervously laughed as Mr. Garvin explained the purpose of Big Boss Monday, “Will they be tested on what I’m talking about?” Throughout the presentation the students practiced actively listening. They write down concepts and phrases that presenters share, building a concrete perspective of being a business person in todays economy. “Write three things you learned, two things you’d like to learn more about, and one question you have. So, let me pray, and then Mr. Hansen will speak for us.”
1st year coach Marcos Holzner walked his teams into Zion Lutheran church to test their skills against schools three to four times their size. Holzner is finding growing interest in the Hillcrest student body, forming two teams for Friday’s meet.
Walk into the Comet boys locker room and the first thing you’ll see is Bibles laying on benches that are facing the whiteboard. Pages are dogeared in Proverbs. The team reads a chapter a day as a part of practice. The result of these habits was forefront in an away game against Underwood this week.
Creating a culture of caring--that is what we are about at HLA and this was the subject of our most recent Bread & Jams Girls Event. Girls in pajama pants and slippers gathered in family group clusters on blankets and pillows on the chapel floor fostering a slumber party-ish atmosphere. Such venues lend themselves to deeper levels of comfort and vulnerability and that is just what happened. Many of the girls had brought along their knitting, currently all the rage in the girls dorm. Others helped themselves to warm bread and hot beverages from a cocoa/coffee bar at the back of the room.
Sander Frustol unleashed a career performance in the Comet gym Tuesday night as Hillcrest controlled the Pelican Rapids Vikings. Coming off their worst loss of the year, falling to the Oak Grove Grovers in a Saturday afternoon match, the Comets rebounded, literally. The team pulled down a season high 33 rebounds, with Frustol grabbing 20 boards.
For many teenagers the Dunning-Kruger effect is active. They believe they know how the world should operate. They are tempted to engage in destructive behaviors. At Hillcrest we see our role as adults as not only giving direction and guidance, but instruction on why destructive behaviors are not beneficial.
“Tell them, ‘I have this annoying teacher who said I have to go out and ask people questions. Could I ask you a question?’” Wayne gave them instruction. He went on to say, “Just ask them what they think about when life begins.” He told them to keep the conversations light and fun, to work to gather perspectives for why people think the way they do. He encouraged them not to make judgements, but instead to truly understand what some ideas are for people to be pro-life or pro-choice. He then gave them the SLED acronym; size, level of development, environment, degree of dependency, as a simply way for them to explain why they logically support a pro-life position.
The Comets started the game down early. Park Christian attacked the paint, using Tanner Brunsberg in isolation to beat the Comets off the dribble. Brunsberg found soft spots in the Comet defense ten feet from the hoop and scored the Falcons first eight points. Hillcrest called a time-out down six points after two minutes of play.
The Panthers chipped away at the Comet lead, finding hard shots in the paint as the Comet big men had their foul totals increase. The Panthers tied the game on a turnover by Hillcrest with thirty seconds left. A quick inbounds by Micah Foss to Gabe Preston earned Preston a foul. With the Panthers in bonus the game was placed in the hands of Preston, who would take three more trips to the line in the final seconds of the game, making all six of his attempts in the final thirty seconds to seal the victory for Hillcrest, 46-50.
The Lady Comets ended their soccer season yesterday to East Grand Forks, 5-0. A comment from an EGF fan to our office this morning was worth more than a trophy. Proud of the way our students are strengthening character in their athletic training. We're blessed with great coaches who teach resiliency and sportsmanship.
The Comets didn’t have their fourth win handed to them Thursday night in Ashby. The Arrows served well through five sets, hitting their mark on 92% of their serves. In the end it was Hillcrest’s scrappy play and relentless pursuit of the ball that tipped the win to their column.
Christian young people want to make a difference in their world. They are deep thinkers and observers of their culture. Polls have shown that today’s youth are more pro-life than their parents. They are not swallowing the lies that extremists are pushing in the name of Choice. Here at Hillcrest, we want to make room for discussions of what is right and wrong, and juxtapose truth with what is current and culturally relevant. We encourage them to ask the questions that are hard, wrestle with issues that seem uncertain, listen for the voice of God in matter that are, ultimately, not political but moral. Character is forged in clubs like these.
Weeks before the huddle groups were announced Hillcrest’s Local Missions class was outlining the program. The daily Bible class is learning how to organize and coordinate Bible studies. In their class they outlined the format for the study. Student body leaders helped to organize the format and structure, how the Bible study would be communicated to the individual groups. The class experienced their first exam of sorts in the huddle group meeting. Their assessment is how well they communicated the Gospel in their study on faith. They’re turning to surveys to learn what they can do better next time.
When Mr. Isaac finished closed out the meeting he reiterated the hope, that teachers would feel briefed on some of the things God is doing at the school. In dismissing the teachers a few started to applaud. It was an apt response to hearing inspiring things happening in classes that are equipping students for lives of eternal significance.
Mervin Makundi slid to kick the ball out of the box as the Comets were in a 2-2 tie with Pelican Rapids in the final minute of Tuesdays game. Pelican kept pressure on Makundi all day, and after some strong saves the Hillcrest keeper wasn’t going to let his squad down in the final seconds. Nearly the entire Pelican team was inside the box, keeping pressure on Makundi and looking for a window to kick the final goal and beat a friendly rival. Makundi’s sliding kick left the net open after the ball ping-ponged around before finding a Pelican offender. The game looked to be over.