The Talon

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South Suburban Revival

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Students meet in The Pit for Thursday morning Bible study.

Students meet in The Pit for Thursday morning Bible study.

Jacob Martin

Jacob Martin

Students meet in The Pit for Thursday morning Bible study.

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It’s Thursday morning at Apple Valley High School.  You walk down the halls and you see something strange:  about 40 kids are gathered in “The Pit,” circled up, holding each other’s hands with their heads bowed.

You might wonder, “What in the world is going on down there?”  Well, that would be the weekly Bible study held every Thursday morning.

Students pray at the start of the Bible study meeting.

Jacob Martin
Students pray at the start of the Bible study meeting.

While this Bible study is going on at Apple Valley, that is not necessarily the case for many other schools around the nation.  The Bible and public schooling have not mixed very well in the past; in some cases, they don’t mix at all.

A public school in East Setauket, New York, for years had denied a student-run Christian group from meeting.  The school said the reasons for it were that the club did not meet the minimum number of students, as well as financial limitations.

These were both found to be faulty reasons.

After taking the matter to court, the club was granted the right to meet on campus.  This was a highly publicized case, but very similar, not-so-publicized situations have taken place for years.

However, a trend in the South Suburban area seems to be heading in the opposite direction.

Two years ago, Maddi Engel, a former student at Apple Valley, had the idea to start a Bible study.  “I wanted to start something that helped my peers grow in their faith, and have a solid group of friends around them to help them live a life for God,” she said.

It was held every Thursday morning at 6:30, a time usually unthinkable to high school students.  But that time didn’t stop kids from ruining their sleep schedules.  At one point, as many as 72 students attended.

Students lead the discussion during morning Bible study.

Jacob Martin
Students lead the discussion during morning Bible study.

It was a small action that sparked a revival in the school.  “It started out as a crazy idea, a ‘what if’ thing, and grew to be something still going on two years later,” said Engel.

This crazy idea turned into a study that continues to thrive today.  Senior Tony Lee says its success comes from a “unique mix of a social event and an environment to dive deep into our faith.  It’s something a lot of students are looking for.”

“It’s the fellowship that all of us share,” says senior Henry Luetje. “It’s one of the only places where freshmen and seniors are completely equal and comfortable with each other.”

Every Thursday morning, students continue to gather in The Pit to hang out with friends and come together in fellowship.

The Bible study is in its third year now at Apple Valley, and has become a commonality in the South Suburban area; Eastview, Rosemount, Farmington, Lakeville North, and Lakeville South all have weekly Bible studies of their own now.

Students listen during a discussion.

Jacob Martin
Students listen during a discussion.

All of these schools are having great success with their Bible studies, as well.  Eastview reaches upwards of 70 students each week; Farmington is getting turnouts of up to 80; and both Lakeville North and South have 100+ kids show up every single week.

When Maddi started the Bible study almost three years ago, she didn’t think it would be much more than some kids getting together to drink some coffee and talk about their faith.  Little did she know it would turn into something that would reach hundreds of kids all across the South Metro.

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1 Comment

One Response to “South Suburban Revival”

  1. Theresa Kuhn on April 16th, 2016 10:01 pm

    This is another wonderful example of the beauty that can come from student-lead initiatives. Maddi Engel and Leanna Moy had a vision for this, and their vision has grown. I love seeing and hearing the prayers and messages from this group. Carry it on!

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