Impacting Kids at Woodward Academy

By Shane Vander Hart 

I visited the Bible discussion group held for Victory Hall & Triumph Hall at Woodward Academy last night. The leaders for this group are in the picture to your right (From L – Dixie Boyles, Dennis DeGroote, and Josh Yingst – all are from Woodward United Methodist Church). Ten kids came into the dining area where the groups meet after having intermurals . I recognized a few from Polk County Youth Services and vice versa – that is always cool when that happens.

Dennis DeGroote started off the evening by asking, “What are your joys this week?”

Some of the kids responded:

  • “I’m positive again!”

  • “I’m positive and I made phase III.”

  • “I made it to nationals!” (Weightlifting competition Woodward does).

  • “I had a very fun home visit.”

Dennis then asked, “What’s pressing on your hearts?”

  • “My mom’s fiancee has lupus.”

  • “My JCO says if I don’t do good here I’m going to Eldora (State Training School)

  • “I’ve done a lot of wrong things for several years and not sure what to do.”

At the end of the study that Josh Yingst led, the kids did a popcorn prayer where they prayed for getting through the program at Woodward, prayed for family members who don’t yet know Christ, family members who were sick, and then as a group along with the Woodward Academy staff stood in a circle and prayed the Lord’s prayer. It was an awesome time!


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