Stories of Inspiration

Stories of inspiration: From Dana Kocka …


The Estate of Dean Hayes:  Thank you for the very generous gift given to Calvary Youth from the Dean Hayes Estate.  Dean was a great man. We have many wonderful youth at Calvary and the money will be used to impact their faith through our programming, curriculum, mission trips, etc…  The gift will impact today’s youth, which will in turn impact the future generations.  (This gift from his estate is many thousands of dollars.)


Second, this is part of an article to be submitted to the Enterprise …

“This summer I was able to experience another mission trip. Miami is a big city and you would be amazed at how quick I could see the face of God in the city. I had a good idea of how this mission trip was going to go and what to expect from the previous to LA. But my prediction was wrong but in a good way. The agencies we visited were very eye opening.  It’s amazing how many people they were helping.  The Chapman House for example housed hundreds of homeless families and helped them find a job, get insurance and health benefits. That one program changed thousands of lives in just the past few years. Everyday we worked were long days but I knew we were making a difference. After being in the city I learned to always help people and not to judge people because everyone has a story.”  ~ Maddison Steffel


“I saw God all over Miami, especially in the volunteers. The workers that volunteer a lot, you could really see God in them. It changed me in understanding that there was some stuff to do in Miami.  Miami’s not just a wonderful city. It needs Christ just like every other city. It’s my third mission trip and every single one has been a big experience for me.”   ~ Tristan Brietweser


“I saw God at work in all our youth that were so willing to work hard and help others….I loved it! Tori’s favorite moment was working with the kids at branches, but she also loved serving at Chapman. We both realize how much we have to be thankful for. One moment that stuck with me is how tough that head nun was on us, but how she smiled so sincerely when serving some of the homeless. We were told to remember that they are people who have souls. It was very rewarding to serve others less fortunate than me and to work with others who volunteer on a regular basis.”   ~ Leah (Chaperone) and daughter Tori Hilmanowski


Here is a list of the participants:  Youth:  Drew Hilmanowski, Tori Hilmanowski, Madison Steffel, Tayah Otterness, Bailee Hoffard, Katelynn Warmbold, Arianne Warmbold, Alex Kirlin, Paige Poehler, Anna Crist, Jasmine Cease, Heidi Lageson, Chelsea Swenson, Tatum Mercer, Lexi Stevenson, Zach Tretbar, Zach Nelson, Tristan Breitweser, Tyler Breitweser, Luke Kosel, Isaac Kosel, Bradley Graham, Jack Bateman, Zach Behrens, Dylan VanDerstad, Darien Simon   Chaperones:  Dana Kocka, Glen Breitweser, Heather Steffel, Leah Hilmanowski


Third:  We have been praying for Evan Johnson who is Dana Kocka’s cousin.

Here is an amazing update:  Evan Johnson (24) has been at Mayo in Rochester for the past 17 months.   He has endured a great deal throughout the last several months including once being told he had 48 hours to live, survived multiple infections & complications, 2 stem cell transplants, etc.  The Doctors were amazed today when they were able to give him his amazing biopsy results revealing 0% cancer!!!! The Mayo doctors are amazed & said Evan is a true miracle!!!   Evan is one of three to survive this rare form of Leukemia.  Praise God, & praise the Mayo doctors & medical staff!!!  He hopes to be home at the end of the month.


(We also pray for Jesus to bless Dana and Tia as they approach the birth of their 4th child!)


Fourth:  Claudia Shogren visited our church Sunday July 12th.  We are and will be praying for her.  She shared this ‘miracle’ with me …

Claudia has battled a debilitating joint disease and has had many surgeries placing joints into her arms, legs etc.  Her elbow needs to be replaced and the inventor/designer flew from Warsaw, Poland to the Mayo Clinic to see if a new design would be possible.  He is developing the new design with other newly invented hardware that is hoped to restore her mobility.


We pray for the healing needed so that this newly designed elbow may be installed successfully.

Claudia considers it a miracle for this designer to make a special trip from Poland to help her case.  May the design help her and others!


Finally:  Eric and Jennifer Bervig are partnering with benefactors to “Journey to Haiti as full time ministry partners with Intercession Haiti (I:H).”  They will “live and serve as house parents at their boarding school in Jeremie, Haiti. … Our desire is to one day see self-sustainable ministries funded through these non-prophet business operations that work to create the funding for our boarding schools, agricultural training, community development and evangelistic outreach.”  If you have questions I invite you to call Eric at 218-929-9692.


Our Lord is amazing and his grace sustains us all.  May these stories of hope, joy and service inspire your summer as they have inspired mine!


Sola Deo Gloria!

Pastor Steve