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Standing on the Rock

In Winter/Spring 2016, With the President by Erik Hoekstra

Last summer, I had the opportunity to visit recent Dordt College graduate Chris Bylsma, an agricultural educator at Ebenezer College in Mozambique. Ebenezer is the educational arm of Communities of Fusion Mozambique—a unique group of companies, schools, and churches seeking to drive vibrant, Christ-centered community development in that part of Africa. As we stood together on a rock overlooking the …

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Community Within Alumni Chapters

In Alumni, Winter/Spring 2016 by Sarah Vander Plaats

ON A CAMPUS KNOWN FOR ITS SENSE OF COMMUNITY, WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE CONNECTIONS WHEN ALUMNI GRADUATE AND SPREAD OUT ALL OVER THE WORLD? THE COMMUNITY LIVES ON IN ALUMNI CHAPTERS. One of the biggest benefits of attending Dordt College is the community created on campus. “You live with your closest friends, and others are just a few footsteps down …

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Alumni in Jakarta

In Alumni, Winter/Spring 2016 by Aleisa Dornbierer-Schat

RYAN AND ERIN GROEN MAKE THEIR HOME IN INDONESIA It all started in Dordt’s bowling alley, where Erin (Attema, ’98) and Ryan (’96) Groen struck up a conversation with old friends that eventually landed them in Indonesia. It was 2014, midsummer, and the two Dordt alumni were in town visiting Erin’s parents. While knocking over pins and chatting with Bethany …

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“Welcome the Stranger”?

In Features, Winter/Spring 2016 by Aleisa Dornbierer-Schat

DORDT RESPONDS TO CONVERSATIONS REGARDING IMMIGRATION Across campus, first-year students in Dordt’s Core 100 course—Kingdom, Identity, and Calling—processed Soerens’ talk in written reflections and group discussions. Students in Dianne De Wit’s section of the course admitted that, before hearing Soerens speak, they didn’t know enough to take a firm position on U.S. immigration policy. Afterward, she says most students felt …

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Who is my Neighbor?

In Features, Winter/Spring 2016 by Aleisa Dornbierer-Schat

STARTING DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE AND IMMIGRATION On the first Monday morning in November, Mark Charles stood before a crowd of hundreds in the B.J. Haan Auditorium. When he opened his mouth to speak, no one in the room understood. The unfamiliar words were Navajo, and comprised a traditional Navajo introduction that placed Charles in a genealogy connecting him to …

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Global Education

In Features, Winter/Spring 2016 by Sally Jongsma

Off-campus and study abroad programs can be transformational experiences. Students live among people they come to know and respect who live differently than they do, think about issues differently, hold different things important, and believe differently. Over the years, Dordt College students have studied around the world in countries such as Spain, Egypt, Nicaragua, China, England, the Netherlands, Uganda, Zambia, …

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Praise Him with Organs

In Features, Winter/Spring 2016 by Aleisa Dornbierer-Schat

RINGERWOLE WRITES HISTORY OF THE DORDT CASAVANT ORGAN In her written history of the Casavant organ at Dordt College, Dr. Joan Ringerwole depicts the instrument as having voice and breath. Fittingly, Ringerwole refers to her work of organ history, “Praise Him with Organs,” as a “biography,” and in it the organ takes on the quality of a living being—complex and …

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Analyzing Student Growth

In Features, Winter/Spring 2016 by Aleisa Dornbierer-Schat

Each year in August, before a single class has been held or a single syllabus distributed, the new crop of first-year Dordt students spends two hours taking a test. Anyone passing the classroom would see students in costume—cartoon characters and superheroes—gripping their number two pencils and filling in bubbles, trying to keep their minds on the test (next in their …

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Looking at Paul’s “Language of Zeal”

In News, Winter/Spring 2016 by Aleisa Dornbierer-Schat

DR. BENJAMIN LAPPENGA HAS ALWAYS BEEN DRAWN TO THE STORY OF PAUL. HIS NEW BOOK DESCRIBES THE FIRST-CENTURY APOSTLE AND PROLIFIC LETTER-WRITER AS “A FIERY CHARACTER.” “Paul was a zealot before he met Christ on the road to Damascus,” Lappenga says. “He was a radical, holding the cloaks of those stoning Stephen.” Lappenga wondered if Paul had left his zealotry …

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Helping Special Needs Children

In News, Winter/Spring 2016 by Sally Jongsma

WHAT BEGAN IN 2010 AS A TRIP TO OBSERVE DORDT COLLEGE STUDENT TEACHERS IN NICARAGUA HAS TURNED INTO AN OPPORTUNITY TO HELP CHANGE THAT COUNTRY’S EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM Last spring, at the invitation of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education, Dr. Kathleen VanTol led training sessions to help teachers across the country begin to include children with special needs in their classrooms—students …