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Minnikota Youth Hunt for ‘Bigger and Better’


If you start with a pencil, a Frisbee, or a water bottle and trade it several times for something bigger and better, what will you end up with? For 105 junior high students and 18 college leaders from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, it meant acquiring a piano, a clothes washer, an antique desk, and much more.

The young people were participating in a Bigger and Better Scavenger hunt on April 23 outside Inwood, Iowa, as part of an annual weekend retreat. The event was organized by the Minnikota Youth Network, an organization that supports local youth ministry of Christian Reformed Churches in Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota, and neighboring states.

After selecting their “start-off” items, each team traveled in vans to area communities. There they knocked on doors asking neighbors if they had an item “bigger and better” to donate than the object they had in hand. Lee De Groot, youth coordinator of of the youth network, said, “These students were not afraid to ‘go do it,’ which was our theme for the weekend based on James 1:22: ‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.’”

Many of the items were donated to Justice For All, an organization in Rock Valley, Iowa, that provides household items to people in need. “Before we loaded back into our vans, we shared a prayer over JFA and the many people who would be blessed by these items,” said De Groot.

Isaac Baart, 12, of Sioux Center Iowa, said, “The whole weekend was a very spiritual experience. In the Bigger Better game, it was so enjoyable to see so many people’s willingness to help as soon as you showed up at their door. They all just wanted to serve. It was inspiring.”

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