Friday, June 19, 2015

Roll Credits...

From the desk of Cathy Harvey, Administrative Assistant to the Deans of Shepherds College

Whenever I see a modern day movie, I marvel at the list of credits that roll by detailing all the people it took to produce the film including the song list and artists.  Name after name flows up and off the screen, crediting all those lending a role in the production.  I always feel bad for the worker bees who garnish but a breath of space for their invaluable part in the completion of the piece.  The names often roll by so quickly, there is barely time to read their full name and job title, so I have made a point to sit through all the credits attempting to read their names as a nod of respect to the work they also did beyond the big name actors who played leading roles—and besides, some of best music flows with the credits.  Without this roster of blue collars, there would simply be no film to enjoy.

With that in mind, I would like to script a nod of thanks to all the folks who helped create the Shepherds College graduation events and give paper applause, at least, to their good work and dedication.  This is my attempt to remember everyone over the last five months who crafted their piece of the puzzle that so beautifully shaped Baccalaureate and Commencement 2015.  If I missed your name, I sincerely apologize, and please know how appreciated you are!

Roll credits, please!

Cue Lift High the Lord Our Banner from Integrity Music as you read the credits.

In alphabetical order:


Dennis McNabb – Resident Song Leader (all 5 years)
Mark Mulder – Chose the resident Baccalaureate Prayer Commissioners
Nate Peterson – Audio & Sound
Daniel Smith – Oversaw and guided the resident Baccalaureate Prayer Commissioners
Aaron Solomon – Program Greeter
Gary Spiegel – Opening prayer
Samuel Zdancewicz – Scripture reader

Faculty/Staff Ensemble
Jordan Debbink – Ensemble music arranger, singer and Baccalaureate pianist
Elyse Cyr
Amy DeBurgh
Andrew Kolkman

Hand Bell Choir
Kim DeVrou – Director
Gail Bartman
Jamie Flower
Susan Frail
Gayle Freeman
Becky Henline
Rebekah Marvel
Seth Peters
David Rich
Lisa Wetzel


Resident Prayer Commissioners:
Dan Condor
June Furman
David Koss
Gary Spiegel
Corrie Vanderhenght


Friday Celebration Dinner Reception
Jordan Debbink – Pianist
Audrey Oswalt – Caterer
Student Servers:
Abby Grabinski
Isaac Helfrich
Micah Muma
Ashley Nelson
Becci Terrill – Table Decorations

Graduation Day
Audio, Sound
John Andrus
Kit Luchterhand

Color Guard
Michele McGarry – Coordinator
Gloria Dahlberg
Dave Fantl
Sue Frail
Andrew Gilchrist
Gloria Pavuk
Aaron Solomon
Dave Slye
Melba Wright
Trinity International University – Flag poles and stands

Cupcake Reception
Chef Cassandra Comerford
Sue Kurschner – Culinary Arts Paraprofessional
Second Year Culinary Arts Student Servers:
Abby Grabinski
Kirsten Graybill
Isaac Helfrich
Jonathan Ingram
Joshua Maher
Geovanni Melendez
Julian Melendez
Micah Muma
Ashley Nelson
Torrey Ryan
Grant Ugolini

Greeters, Ushers, Escorts
Nancy Amstutz
Sherri Collicott
Dan Dark
Amy DeBurgh
Jonathan Ingram
Bill Kraiss
Pam Kraiss
Willetta McVicker
Donn Mogford
Gary Spencer
Gary Spiegel
Cindy Weitzel

Grounds, Domestics & Parking Lot Team
Dave Slye, Facilities Administrator
Steve Gillmore, Maintenance Supervisor
Denise Gillmore, Domestics Supervisor
Warren Beth, Volunteer
John Caldart, Volunteer 
Faith Davidson
Gayle Freemen
Sue Frail
Jessica Gobeli
Becky Henline
Dick Koehn
Jocelyn Monroe
Jo Ellen Paul
Seth Peters
Tess Spahr
LouAnne Stevens
Bob Theilig
Gerald Warriner


Corrie Ladd
Abby Wohlgemuth

Plant Decorations
Owen Lackey, Horticulture Instructor
Second Year Horticulture:
Andrew Bickelhaupt
Suzanne Dean
Tommy Hayward
Joey Martin
Willetta McVicker
Olya Porth
Cherokee Thompson

Student Choir
Steve Jensen – Director
Sandy Jensen – Pianist
Michael Bayer
Nathan Ford
Abby Grabinski
Andrew Gummow
Jonathan Isaac Helfrich
Jonathan Ingram
Karilyn Johnson
David Jones
Katalin Lehman
Joey Martin
Rashard McCoy
Jonathan McGowan
Willetta McVicker
Geovanni Melendez
Julian Melendez
David Moran
Micah Muma
Ashley Nelson
Kathryn Norton
Crystalanne Nystrand
Olya Porth
Wade Philips
Torrey Ryan
Amy Spieker
Nee Dow Too
Ellie Treiber
Zachary Wandel
Gretchen Winter

Brian Canright
Guilia Hoke, Union Grove High School Media Arts student volunteer

Judy Anderson – steamed all new flags and graduation gowns-no small task!
Julie Anderson – Processional/Recessional door holder and graduate line guide
John Andrus – Music for Class of 2015 electronic yearbook
Johnnie Mae Evans – Ironed color guard shirts
Gretchen Hansen/Gigi’s Joy Photography – Photographer for Senior Photo Day, Baccalaureate and the Graduation Celebration
Miranda Kasprzak – Class of 2015 electronic yearbook, “From Dream to Reality”
Pam Kraiss – Stapled the commencement programs
Kathi Sawyer – Processional/Recessional door holder
Karen Seifer – Cleaned and disinfected the closet designated for Color Guard uniforms, hand addressed all the graduation invitations, put together flags

I Peter 4:10 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, thereby administering the grace of God in its many forms,” and at this exciting time of year when we have an opportunity to showcase the hand of God during Baccalaureate and Graduation, it’s Shepherds Ministry community at its best, plus many volunteers, all working together as one unified family.  

So thank you, everyone, who contributed your part(s) of the puzzle that fashioned the whole glorious finished product!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…
to him be glory…”! 
-Ephesians 3:20

Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Office: Book Review of A Thorn in My Pocket by Eustacia Cutler

From the desk of Cathy Harvey, Administrative Assistant to the Deans of Shepherds College

We were recently blessed with an book and resource shower by some very caring supporters of the college who have had their eye on us for the last few years and shown incredible support in time, talent, and resources.  The faculty have been giddy with delight waiting for all the materials to be catalogued and available for check out, but I have a confession.  I cheated – just a little. Because I am the one assigned to catalogue and shelve all the materials, I already took one book home and read it cover to cover. Small perk of my job! And it was a pager turner!

Because I can be so verbose, I sometimes challenge myself to summarize a book, movie, or character in one word.  For Eustacia Cutler’s biography, A Thorn in My Pocket, Temple Grandin’s family story as told by her mother, I can think of one word; one word to summarize her life as matriarch of the Grandin family and mother to an autistic child before autism had a viable definition:  Gutsy.  Or how about “Courageous?” “Intelligent” also works, as does “Spent” or finally “Rewarding,” although in all honesty that is not the overall thread weaving it’s way through this book.

Gutsy.  I’m not sure what I was expecting when the appeal of learning more about Temple Grandin tempted me to pick out a book written about her family from her mother’s perspective.  Perhaps I was thinking of humorous family anecdotes, neat happily-ever-after vignettes peppered with scientific research that helped solve Temple’s peculiarities.  By contrast, it was more of a “shock and awe” telling. Cutler (her name by a 2nd marriage) chose raw honesty in portraying the demeaning habits of her first husband and the fear he struck in all of them as he practiced physical and emotional abuse, journalling for years a twist of lies to acuse his wife of insanity.  It’s a page turner as the reader wonders if and how Mrs. Grandin will live through that relationsip in addition to raising four girls, including Temple who regularly battles her undiagnosed autism.  Bullying, screaming, meltdowns, constant care, finding nannies, divorce, and advocacy wear on the mother and the reader. Is there hope this could possibly turn out well?

Courageous.  How does a mother keep her sanity in such exhausting circumstances?  Temple’s mother sought the fine arts, and found respite from abuse and renewed energy successfully auditioning for theatrical poetry readings, Class B jazz bar singing gigs, and acting, until shredded vocal cords forced her voice into silence for at least six weeks for speaking and seven years for singing.  Minus a physical voice, her writing and constant research to figure out her daughter who would not accept a mother’s hug or touch pushed her toward constant and progressive goals.  Not losing her sanity or herself so she could be there for her children and as an example for Temple kept her strong.

Intelligent.  Woven throughout is an intelligent script about the history of medical and psychological thought and practices from the “Leave it to Beaver” era through modern breakthroughs.  As a Harvard graduate, her advanced vocabulary and parallel examples from classic literature create a literary banquet for the mind.  I had to defer to a dictionary numerous times to understand her vocabulary in targeted explanations of philosphy and thought as she tried to understand her husband, herself, and Temple and the family dynamic woven between all of them.

Spent.  I appreciated her raw, gutsy honesty in spelling out this excruciating journey without giving it a syrupy sweet ending with rainbows swathed across the background.  Her transparency about her difficulties offer a bond of understanding to others plodding a similar rocky path of unknowns with their children. Parents might come away from this book feeling more grateful to God that their journey is easy compared to hers, thankful for a support system unlike anything Cutler had, especially in the era in which Temple was born. 
Finally, Cutler types a curious bibliography that includes: history, psychology, science, ethics, biographies, Temple’s works, public television programs, research and education, plays and fiction, and a few organizational references.  All of these add to the credibility of her writing, research, and the journey of her thought processes through her nightmare years, but what an ending.

Her daughter went on to create such a successful system of herding cattle that 1/3 of the ranches in the US today use her system. She writes for magazines and books; she tours, speaks, and is quite an amazing overcomer in a man’s world of husbandry and ranching.

I guarantee you will be caught up in this monsoon from page one.  Gutsy.  Courageous. Intelligent. Spent.  And finally—rewarding! 

Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at

Friday, May 15, 2015

Day by Day - Final Thoughts

Thank you to the MIE 2015 team for the continuation of their story in Jamaica. Read the May 11 blog to start at the beginning.

Wednesday, April 8

Wednesday, we left Jamaica.  While we were sad to be leaving this country our hearts had come to love in such a short time, we left knowing that we had faithfully spread the love of Jesus and that the relationships we formed will last for a lifetime.  It was a long flight day, but God was certainly with us in every little detail.  We arrived back on campus at 2:30 AM on Thursday, exhausted but beyond thankful for God’s faithfulness. 
From our journals: 

It was very tough leaving the kids that we taught VBS to.  This missions trip has brought me closer to God and also my Shepherds College family.  A story I want to take home about today is that my Jamaican experience was very exciting and fun.  I like swimming in the pool at downtime.  Also, I liked the work projects that we worked on in Jamaica.  Buckets for Jesus, buckets for the Lord.  Yeah yeah!  Also I liked the devotions that we did at night time.  ~Wade

Some of the ways this trip impacted my life… I connected and made friendships with older kids as well as younger.  I was amazed at how I handled situations outside my comfort zone.  The team was hand-picked by God.  I met new brothers and sisters in Christ.  Sharing in the work the Terroades do for the body of Christ was a priceless experience.  I’m willing to wait and rely on God for all my wants and needs.  I’m excited to do more work for Christ.  Next year there will be another opportunity to serve God on another missions trip. ~Jonathan
One thing I learned about myself today was that I love God more than ever.  Today, God taught me to be happy and pray for the kids.  Some ways this trip impacted my life is that I got to tell the children about God and I got to know them more.  They just love seeing us and being around us. 
The best memory from today was riding with Raymond (our driver).  Today, God taught me to be patient.  Some ways this trip impacted my life… it taught me not to be materialistic and trust in God.  It also taught me that I love to teach kids about Jesus.  ~Andrew 

Some ways this trip impacted my life is all the kiddos, especially Jade and KaShawn.  Jade showed me that being quiet isn’t a bad thing and loving everyone even people I didn’t like.  KaShawn showed me that someone might just need someone to talk to or play with.  The Terroade's showed me to give everything to Christ and love him with everything I have and to praise Him in all situations.  ~ Nikki 

I felt sad going back and happy to see familiar faces.  This changed my faith on how to have a stronger faith towards God.  Today, God provided for me by taking care of our flights and our plans.  One way that I have been changed after experiencing this missions trip is by having far more faith and patience with God through his wonders, I can rely my true self to him.  Some ways this trip impacted my life… faith. Patience.  Love.  Kindness.  And most of all… A deeper love for God!  ~Micah 

One thing I learned about myself today was I am a different person from my experience in Jamaica.  Today God taught me I can teach the gospel without being afraid.  A story I want to take home about today is I am a servant for the Lord.  If he calls anyone to do his work in a different country, let him lead you.  Some ways this trip impacted my life… I have a better understanding of God.  ~Olya 

One way that I have been changed after experiencing this missions trip is by how much need there is in the world.  We should help and put away our own needs and help others in need.  The best memory from today was being with the group, the best group ever.  Today God taught me how to love more, better, and godly.  I know God better.    A story I want to take home about today is how awesome my group is.  We had so much fun together.  We all including staff are so close.  We have connected and been together for eight days which is so amazing.  ~Willetta 

Some of the sweet times as a team included coffee and tea time on the Terroade’s porch overlooking water/top of hill after lunch,  students leading devotions in the morning, team devos at night, nightly revamping of crafts, dance parties in Miss Pollard and Mrs. Cyr’s room, singing all the time, praise songs at our hotel with the open door and Caribbean right near us, sharing with the Terroades what we learned from them Sunday night, hearing the Terroade’s testimony,  swimming in the Caribbean together, carved butterfly gift from the Terroades in our favorite color, Aunt Eileen’s appreciation as we left VBS supplies… and many more. 

Final debrief thoughts: 

1.  How did you grow most from this trip?  

I need God’s word more in my life.  Reading God’s Word will help me throughout the day.  I need Jesus time and doing devos helped me put it into practice again. ~Willetta 

I told God I was willing to do anything.  He put challenges into the trip to make me think of other positive ways to accomplish his greater good.  ­~Jonathan
Just seeing how you don’t need to have everything in the world to be happy.  ~Crystal 

 God taught me how to rely on him far more.  My faith grew and I love to see how he can give me more wisdom and knowledge.  I did gain knowledge towards how much he loves me and the kids.  My growth was learning and seeing the love through the kids’ love.  ~Micah  

I grew closer to God.  ~Nikki 

The way I interacted with the kids. ~Andrew 

I think how I grew from this trip is trust in God in every situation that life brings you. ~Olya  

2.  As a result of the trip, what are some thing you can apply to your life back home? 

I can write down what I read in my Bible study.  I am happy to say that I have been doing that.  I have been  spending more time with God praying, reading and listening to devotional music.  It has helped my day and when I don’t do it I have not so good days so I know God wants a relationship with me and I with him. ~Willetta

The Terroades were servant leaders.  They showed me how to do it through their testimony.  My focus isn’t on myself but rather how I can serve God better.  ~Jonathan 
I would keep on reading the Bible and keep telling the word of Jesus Christ.  ~Crystal  

I need to have a better spirit – to be kind, a better leader.  To show my true value to God.  To always rely on God, trust him and have stronger faith.  I can apply my heart towards doing better to the students, teachers, and to always gain wisdom.  ~Micah

I want to witness to my sister.  It is going to be hard because I don’t know how to.  ~Nikki 

To trust in God in every situation. ~Andrew

I now know that a missions trip isn’t just to pass time in your life.   A missions trip is to serve others who don’t have as much as you do.  Let God tug on your heart to go someplace that you are afraid to go, let him use you as a tool for his purpose and kingdom.  ~Olya

Pray more and also spend more one on one time with God by reading God’s word, spending less time watching TV and more time in God’s Word.  ~Wade

3.  Is there anything else you’d like us to include in the blog? 
I am so happy I had this Jamaica experience with Shepherds.  It has changed my life.  ~Willetta 

God is good all the time and all the time, God is good.  ~Jonathan  

I really enjoyed going to Jamaica.  ~Crystal

I’m glad I went.  Thanks so much for letting me go.  ~Micah

All the kids were fun to work with.  ~Nikki 

I grew a lot spiritually. ~Andrew

God can use you no matter how old you are!  ~Olya 

That I had a blast in Jamaica and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my spring break anywhere else besides Jamaica with my shepherds college family.  I feel even closer to my Shepherds college family now more than ever.  ~Wade 

We are beyond thankful for God’s abundant faithfulness and kindness to us.  He showed up in ways more awesome than we could ever have asked or imagined.  We (the team leaders) are so proud of our students – of their selflessness, hard work, diligence, flexibility, servant’s attitudes, compassion, and love. 
Thank you to all who prayed, supported, donated, and cheered us on!  Our lives have been impacted and changed by this trip.  Thank you, God, for allowing us to experience a small part of your world and the body of Christ.  

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