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Iowa Community Enjoys Day of Encouragement


“How can we sing the songs of Zion while in a foreign land?”

John Lee, pastor of Bethel CRC, led a talk on the end times.

This question from the fourth verse of Psalm 137 became instrumental to Thor Swanson, doctor and father, as he battled cancer.

Swanson was one of the speakers at Dordt College’s ninth annual Day of Encouragement in Sioux Center, Iowa. The idea that it’s OK to be angry with and sometimes question God was one of many shared at the event, which brought together 280 church members for inspiration as they fill various roles and callings in their local churches.

“I thought it appropriate to attend, given the fact that learning about leadership is one of the principles espoused at the Day of Encouragement,” said Herm Van Den Hul. Van Den Hul had just started a three-year term as an elder at Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Center.

He said he learned about the power of listening. “The second element was learning to listen from your heart, brain, and mouth as well as your ears. In other words, listen so that your response is appropriate to what you heard. I pray that I may be able to do that sincerely.”

Under the theme “A Day to Inspire, Encourage, and Equip God’s People for Ministry,” participants chose from many workshops, including end times, teaching the Heidelberg Catechism, and having an effective church website.

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