Welcome to the New Digital Advance!
by Tim Hekrdle, Superintendent
Have you ever looked back on a life circumstance and saw God’s hand in it? Sometimes we know what He is up to, and sometimes we don’t. Patience for God’s revelation is a common pattern throughout Scripture. Listen to Jesus’ words setting the stage for this in John 13:7, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” God is busy doing wonderous things all over our campus, and we love to see Him at work. This is, in part, the reason for the move to a more frequent Advance newsletter. When we identify the Lord at work, we want to share it with the world! Each month this resource captures how God’s Kingdom is advanced through the happenings at our school. We are so blessed to see Him at work here and are excited to share the great things that the Lord is doing in the lives of our students, staff, and community. My faith is energized and invigorated when I have the opportunity to see and hear first-hand how God is at work, and I hope yours is too.
by Kristy Langemeier, Special Events Coordinator
Thank you to each donor, staff member, and student who helped make the Nebraska Christian Schools 2021 Benefit Auction a success! With concerns surrounding COVID-19 persisting into 2021, we could not restore the event’s usual dinner and live auction components. However, with a bit of creativity, technology, and our wonderful volunteers, we were able to have two well-received open houses along with 100% remote bidding on all items. On Friday, March 26th, our first casual open house welcomed individuals who wanted to get an in-person look at items to bid on.
The special open house on Saturday, March 27th proved to be a memorable evening for all who came. Attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, browsing items, and several student performances, including vocal and instrumental ensembles and a speech team presentation. Part-way through the evening, long-time international program director, Gib Killion, received the Hall of Faith Award for his years of selfless service to Nebraska Christian Schools. As the clock struck 10:00 p.m., all bidding came to a close and the hand-crafted items, trips, and much more went to to the happy, winning bidders!
We can’t say thank you enough to our donors, sponsors, and bidders who contributed to Nebraska Christian Schools’ general budget and scholarship fund by donating and purchasing items. Nebraska Christian is a unique community, and it was inspiring to see the outpouring of support once again!
(Watch for more information about the Auction and it’s proceeds in next month’s Advance!)
At this year’s Benefit Auction special open house, Gib Killion received the Hall of Faith Award. Gib is a man of many talents who has served in multiple roles since coming to NC in 2007. But most importantly, he loves the Lord and lives to serve Him. This is evident in the Lord’s work through him here at NC.
Gib, known as the “tall man” on campus, originally came to NC to help with the International Program. His previous English teaching experience in China and his ability to develop strong relationships with students and their families made him a natural fit. He has continued in that role but has added many others as well. A “jack of all trades,” Gib can be found all over campus helping and working wherever there is a need.
Gib’s deep love for Christ drives his desire and willingness to share that love with everyone he encounters. It is this very thing that makes him so loved on campus and around the world. We are blessed and honored to recognize him as the 2021 Hall of Faith recipient.
Lady Eagles Compete in District Final
by Head Coach Erin Mankin
This group of 21 girls was special! We had no graduating seniors last year, so our team grew pretty close over the last couple of years. The girls worked extremely hard individually and together as a team both during the season and in the off-season. We had a very talented group, which led us to have competitive practices.
It was a joy to watch our team improve during the season. Their common goals, teamwork, and basketball skills enabled us to compete well in some challenging games against some tough teams this year. We went two games farther than last year and made it to the district finals!
It was even more of a blessing to see how we all grew spiritually. Sport is a gift from God. The good games and practices and bad games and practices are tools the Lord uses in our lives to point us back to Him. There were many truths we grew in as we put them into practice together as a team. We focused first on going out and playing our very best for the Lord and second on having fun. We reminded ourselves that basketball (or anything we do, for that matter) doesn’t own us, but the Lord owns us, and we are His.
Coach Marty and I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to coach these girls. We had two great seniors this year, Tenny Sebek and Shelby Swanson, who we will miss a lot. We look forward to next season and will continue working hard to become a better team.
by Head Coach Adam Brock
In 2020, the speech season was canceled just before the state competition, so 2021 speech students were excited to have a season even though it had a few virtual tournaments and far fewer spectators than usual. The speech team had 19 participants, 5 of them being seniors. This year’s success had a great deal to do with the speech participants’ hard work and the volunteer coaching’s consistent assistance from Nicole Powell, Dyanne Medlock, Barb Hoff, and Donna Janssen. The team participated in seven tournaments and had four state qualifiers: Olivia Janssen in poetry, Xavier Herman in extemporaneous, Kaylee Powell in persuasive, and a five-person team consisting of Olivia Janssen, Cooper Schnell, Amanda Carlson, Chris Medlock, and Rachel Rathjen in oral interpretation of drama.
Participants and parents devoted time to help build up one another and gathered resources like scripts and display materials to set up the speech program for success in future years. The excitement and energy the team shared has been contagious, leaving other students wondering, “What is so enjoyable about speech?” Over 60 spectators supported the team by attending the Speech Showcase Night hosted on NC’s campus.
In this year of individual successes and building the program under the new leadership of Coach Brock, the team noticed the broader culture at work in numerous performances at competition. They noted that God was not being glorified through the subject matter covered. This left the team asking, “How can we use our spotlight to glorify God through subject choice in future years?” All of these growths leave us anticipating next year’s speech season!
Eagles Wrestling Says Goodbye to Three Oustanding Seniors
by Head Coach Terry Elge and Assistant Coach Scott Griepenstroh
In Eagles Wrestling, every year brings on a new team dynamic. The practice room leadership is different; the skill level of returning wrestlers is greater; each experienced wrestler’s intensity is greater; and the desire for improvement is more palpable.
In the 2020-2021 year, we experienced all the highs and lows that this sport can bring: the most bittersweet of which is knowing that our seniors will not be back next year. We will certainly miss the good times in the practice room, traveling to tournaments, and the wins and losses we lived through together. We appreciate the examples set by our graduating wrestlers, Elijah Green, James Thomas, and Carl Mundt.
Elijah’s career highlights include placing at state as a freshman (6th), sophomore (3rd), and junior (2nd). Unfortunately, Elijah’s senior season was cut short due to injury. Elijah continued as a vital member of the team by leading the wrestling room’s conditioning and training. Elijah often sat in the coach’s chair at tournaments to instruct and encourage his teammates.
Throughout his career, James frequently had to overcome injuries, and he often wrestled through setbacks. James’s senior year was exciting as his skills improved significantly, and he was victorious in defeating more experienced wrestlers. We will miss James’s humor, intelligence, and incredible work ethic.
Carl’s career highlights include placing at state as a sophomore (3rd) and capturing the championship both his junior and senior years. (Watch for a feature on Carl’s back-to-back championships in next month’s Advance!) Carl proved success comes from perseverance through adversity, as well as dedication to refining your skills. Carl often spent time sharing his technique with the younger wrestlers in the practice room and at tournaments.
We will never forget the 2020-2021 season. Competition and hard work forged relationships, built bonds, and refined the character of each young man. Each wrestler on the team showed up to work hard and challenge their teammate. We learned to respect each other. Together, we learned that, as famed wrestler, Dan Gable, stated, “Once you’ve wrestled, everything in life is easy.” Yet, we still had fun.
We appreciate the examples set by our graduating seniors. And to the young men who are returning to compete next year, we look forward to seeing your hard work pay off!
NC’s Elementary Musical, “Mystery Island,” Hailed a Success
The elementary students performed Patch the Pirate’s next adventure, Mystery Island, to great parental acclaim in March. Sixth-grader, Kaley Krug, had a lead part and claimed, “The best part was the experience of being with friends.” Fourth-grader Caleb Paul loved the song, “One Big Chance,” in which he and others got to use flashlights and be part of the acting. But perhaps kindergartener Olivia Conklin summed it up best when she explained that her favorite part was, “All of it!”
Boys’ Basketball Team Finds Success in Effort
by Head Coach Andy Perdew
The 2020-2021 Boys’ Basketball Team finished 7-15. That record may indicate an unsuccessful season, but that would depend on how you measure success. We have a saying on our team that “success is in our effort.” Success requires that you are willing to put forth the necessary effort to achieve your goal. Effort pays off in many ways. When we put in the effort, we learn. Whether that effort produces wins or not is less important to our team than that we improve and adapt based on what we learned from our efforts. If we go to every practice and game and give tremendous effort, we can succeed in learning and growing from our efforts. This principle translates into our spiritual life, academics, relationships, and many other aspects of our daily lives.
Four seniors will graduate from this year’s team. We will miss their leadership and abilities on the court, but we are excited for what the future holds for them. Three starters will return next year along with many role players. We will continue to play with a lot of effort as we learn how to become better basketball players, students, and young men pursuing Christ.
Quiz Bowl Teams Buzz to the Top at Conference
by High School Coach Dee Flynn
This year’s Quiz Bowl Team had eighteen members who came to practice every Tuesday morning at 7:15 throughout the year. We had an exciting season with a variety of meets.
We took two teams to the Central City meet in October, which the A-Team won. In February, we participated in the National Science Bowl’s Regional Competition sponsored by the US Department of Energy. This was a new event for us – it was a virtual competition with the students competing by Zoom from their homes. We again took two teams and were one of three small schools in a field of 20.
Later in February, we competed in the Goldenrod Conference Quiz Bowl meet at Heartland Lutheran. The students’ hours of practice and preparation paid off as we won the meet to become this year’s Conference Champions! We did not fare as well at the district meet in March at Central City. We were eliminated before the final rounds.
The underclassmen (no seniors) competed with two teams at a meet in David City, where Team A placed 4th.
The last meet of the season will be May 5th in Seward. We plan to take two teams of grades 9-11. With a large, enthusiastic team willing to come to school early weekly to train for competition, it’s been an excellent year for NC’s High School Quiz Bowl Team!
By Junior High Coach Tara Mundt
Nebraska Christian Junior High Quiz Bowl was led by two 8th graders this year, and only one of them had a previous quiz bowl experience. Isabelle Brumbaugh led the team as captain in the conference tournament at Heartland Lutheran in February.
The team lost their first round of competition. However, this setback did not deter these students; battling back became the day’s theme! The team went on to win the next five rounds in a row, earning their chance to win it all in the championship round. They fell a little short, but this predominantly rookie team walked away with Conference Runner-Up Honors!
Our team is excited for next year, and hopeful for the return of more consistent quiz bowl meets.
NC Alumni, Supporters, & Friends,
Nebraska Christian Reading Challenge
In a culture dominated by social media, TV, and Spotify, NC’s Media Specialist, Liz Gamblin, dares both students and staff alike to re-engage with reading outside of the classroom through Nebraska Christian’s Reading Challenge. The challenge commenced in January of 2021, with a new genre of literature covered every month. Each month, students and staff gather for a breakfast meeting to discuss what they gleaned from their selected book of choice.
In February, students discussed books they selected in historical non-fiction over a breakfast spread of coffee cake, fruit, and ever-popular breakfast pizza at the monthly gathering’s latest installment. The food is a perk, but students and staff in attendance experience the camaraderie and fun that comes with sharing what they garnered from their latest reading adventure.
Eighth grader Alyssa Springer expressed why she joined, “I enjoy reading books, but I mainly read fiction. I am excited because the book club helps me branch out into other types of reading.” Junior Kaler Johansen, added “I want to read more books. Book Club challenges me to search out books that interest me and then read them.”
March’s topic was Christian living, or as Liz put it, “a book that teaches you something about God.” With the new assignment in hand, students and staff were abuzz with ideas as they walked out the door. April’s genre of choice is Biography. It is safe to say that there are many great pages to be turned in in the NC Reading Challenge’s future!
Senior Trip Recap
by Senior James Thomas
At 8:00 am on the morning of March 16th, the Nebraska Christian seniors, chaperoned by Mr. Hekrdle, Mr. Amen, Mrs. Swanson, and Mrs. Strong, embarked on a worldview trip to Branson, Missouri. Along the way, we stopped at the Spurgeon Library in Kansas City, MO, and ended the night at Lambert’s Cafe. The second day of the trip started with an hour-long worldview session, as did the rest of the mornings. Fritz’s Adventure, shopping, and finally a Sight and Sound Theatre performance of Jesus’s life filled the remainder of the day. Other highlights included a Bigfoot Expedition, a fun-filled day at Silver Dollar City, and during the return trip, a Creation Museum tour.