Archive for October, 2010

Warsaw 11th In Forbes’ Best Cities

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Originally printed in the Times Union on 10/28/10

by Daniel Riordan – Times-Union Staff Writer

Looking for a great place to raise a family?

According to Forbes magazine, if you live in Warsaw you’re already here. released a report on the Top 15 small cities to raise a family and Warsaw was ranked 11th.

Forbes took 126 cities with a population of less than 100,000 and ranked them in five different categories.

Those categories were: commute time, median household income, home ownership, cost of living and high school graduation rate.

Of the 126 cities ranked, Warsaw ranked highest in median household income at 16 and home ownership rate at 18.

The Lake City ranked lowest in high school graduation rate at 78.

Warsaw ranked just behind another Indiana city, Columbus, and ahead of Minot, N.D.

Dubuque, Iowa, was the highest-ranked small city.

“It’s quite humbling,” said Warsaw Mayor Ernie Wiggins. “It’s flattering that someone from the outside recognized what a great city this is. The people that live here, that raise their families here already know.”

The Midwest dominated the rankings with four Wisconsin cities making the top 15. Eleven of the 15 top cities are from Midwestern states.

The full story can be found at

Grace College Receives Grant from National Science Foundation

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Thanks to a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Grace College and researchers at three other institutions, including the University of Michigan, will participate in a research study analyzing the potential effects of climate change on the Great Lakes’ water quality.

This prestigious grant competition received 119 grant proposals but rewarded funding to only three of them. Dr. Nate Bosch, professor of environmental biology at Grace College and director of Kosciusko Lakes and Streams, a community water-quality program centered at Grace, was one of the researchers who helped develop the proposal.  Bosch said that as a grant recipient, Grace will receive $75,000 for the next five years in order to use watershed models and previously collected data to explore how climate change in the Great Lakes region may impact land use activities, nutrient export to rivers, sediment erosion, and nutrient transport to lakes.

According to researchers at the University of Michigan, the Great Lakes hold 84 percent of North America’s surface fresh water, and their drainage area is home to 10 percent of the U.S. population.

“This will be a great opportunity to keep Grace College connected to cutting-edge research with a high degree of relevance for Indiana and other Great Lakes states,” said Bosch. The northern part of Kosciusko County, as well as much of Northern Indiana, is part of the Great Lakes basin. Bosch’s research will include analysis on how Great Lake climate change affects agricultural aspects of this region, which relies heavily on agriculture, and other Great Lake basin areas.

In conducting research on climate change’s effects on the Great Lakes, Bosch will collaborate with other researchers from the University of Michigan, Heidelberg University, the University of Toledo, Michigan Sea Grant’s Great Lakes Observing System and the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research, which is a joint institute between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U-M, and LimnoTech Inc.

The National Science Foundation grant is among the largest and most prestigious grants Grace has ever received.

Grace College is an evangelical Christian community of higher education which applies biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence, and preparing for service. The academic, residential, athletic, and social aspects of the college are designed to encourage intellectual and spiritual growth in a supportive campus community. The 165-acre campus is located in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, near Warsaw, Ind. It has historically been among the top schools of its size and listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges. The Princeton Review has regularly awarded it the title of a “Best Midwestern College.”

Grace mourns student loss.

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Mallori Lin Kastner, 18, of rural Wabash, Indiana died late Friday night, September 17, 2010 at Winona Lake, Indiana. She was born March 6, 1992 in Wabash to James “Rob” Kastner and Shelly “Marie” (Dayton) Baucco.

Mallori was a student at Grace College and Seminary at Winona Lake, Indiana. She was a member of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Wabash.

She was a 2010 Wabash High School graduate and statewide volleyball standout. Standing at 6 foot, Mallori was a middle hitter and a four-year player for Wabash. She was an Indiana North Volleyball All-Star (2009) and Wabash High School MVP (2009). She was named to the All-State 2nd Team (2009), Three Rivers Conference (TRC) 1st Team (2009), Wabash County 1st Team (2009), Wabash County 2nd Team (2008) and was a TRC Honorable Mention (2007, 2008). She led the TRC in attacks in 2009 with 379 kills and was at the top of the TRC in blocking in 2008 and 2009.

Along with her success on the volleyball floor, she also played basketball and ran track for four years. On the hardwood, she was a member of the team that reached the regional finals, was a TRC All-Conference Team Honorable Mention (2009), and she broke the school record for blocked shots in a single season. In track, she participated in the high jump and the long jump. She chose Grace because she really liked the campus, the Christian values, the volleyball team and the program. She wanted to be a key player for Grace volleyball and help the team succeed.

She is survived by her mother & step father, Shelly “Marie” (Andy) Baucco; father, James “Rob” Kastner; and 2 sisters, Heather M. Kastner and Katy Baucco, all of Wabash; brother, Michael J. Kastner of West Lafayette, Indiana; grandparents, Darlene “Grams” Smith, Jennifer Dayton, Robert & Sandi Kastner, and Vince & Judy Baucco, all of Wabash.

Funeral services will be held at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 188 W. Sinclair Street, Wabash on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 10:30am with Father Sextus Don officiating. Burial will be in Falls Cemetery, Wabash. Friends may call 2-8pm Tuesday at Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service, 1241 Manchester Ave. Wabash, with a rosary service at 8:00pm at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials are to the Wabash High School Volleyball Team or Grace College Volleyball Team.

The memorial guest book for Mallori may be signed at

Presidents Address – September 18

The sounds of Paris: screaming babies, honking horns, Grèving Parisians

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

"Long live the Strike: Together, everything becomes possible"

Welcome back to the wonderful world of France. For those of you who don’t keep up with international affairs, France is going through a bit of internal upset right now. The government wants to change the retirement age from 60 to 62, and the French have, to put it mildly, freaked out. They have been grèving the change for about 2 weeks now ( grève means to strike- but not in the American sense of the word- in France, a grève includes slow or stopped public transportation (metro, trains, buses), protests in the streets (mostly in parade format), stickers and flyers posted all over the city, trains and roads blocked by people and/or car/trucks, and occasionally riots. To a lot of Americans I have talked to, it’s a bit ridiculous to protest, strike, and riot about a two year retirement difference. But, to understand their point of view,  you really have to try to understand how much the French love their “jours de congés”, or days off work. The French, unlike most work-aholic Americans, prefer to work as little as possible even if it means losing money . Most stores here are closed on Sundays and Mondays for the shop owners to spend time with their families. That would almost never be the case in America (with the exception of really small stores and the few Christian based stores who are closed on Sundays) because business owners know that every day they aren’t open is another day without profit. In the French mindset, family is more important than that small additional revenue. The French also get 5 weeks vacation every year. A few years back the government considered lowering it to 3 or 4 weeks and, just like right now, the French freaked out and started grèving. Just like with the store owners who don’t mind losing money on Sundays and Mondays, the French don’t mind leaving town for 5 weeks every year. It’s their government-given right, and they take it. In the States, I don’t know about everyone else’s families, but its hard for my family to get even 1 week of vacation (that’s not to say my dad couldn’t have more time off- he can have 2 weeks if he wanted, he just can’t stand to be away for that long). But, back to this current grève; since the French are very picky about their days off, it makes sense to me that they would panic when the government wants to make them work for two more years. Things here are getting interesting though. Apparently, the oil refineries have started striking as well, so no new petrol (gas) is being refined, so small towns are running out of petrol and it could eventually effect the airport big time. Between that and the metro strikes, truck strikes (they refuse to transport anything, and are blocking roads and train tracks), school strikes, manifestations in the road that cause the buses to be late everywhere, and the overall madness going on all over the country, I hope they vote on the issue soon so life can get back to normal.

ACT:S Walks for Water

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

by Emily Armstrong

The “Water Walk,” which raised awareness for the need of drinking water in Africa, was carried by the ACT:S club on Oct. 16. Participants walked approximately 1.75 miles carrying gallon and half gallon jugs of water in order to help them understand, in a small way, the hardships many African families deal with every day.

Unlike American women, many African women and children must walk several miles each day in order to get clean water for cooking, drinking and bathing because there are no clean water wells in their villages.

The idea for the Water Walk came from Blood:Water Mission, a grassroots organization dedicated to encouraging communities to get involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and the water crisis. According to the ACT:S members, digging wells in villages benefits each member of any African village community because access to clean water not only helps prevent diseases, but it also eases the workload for children who could otherwise be focusing on their education.

Wells also benefit missions work, acting as gathering places in the villages and giving missionaries a focal point at which to build relationships.

ACT:S club is Grace College’s chapter of World Vision’s activism network and has been in existence since 2006. Formerly the club was known as Acting on AIDS, but when World Vision changed its vision, so did Acting on AIDS. Each semester the ACT:S club chooses a different issue to focus on. This semester’s focus is clean water.

This year the ACT:S club’s vision is “God’s year to act,” which is taken from Acts chapter four. The club seeks to fulfill its vision by not only raising awareness and funds for popular social issues, but also by using the platform of social issues to spread the good news of Christ said Connor Park, one of the club administrators.

For more information about the need for clean water wells in villages and how to donate to the digging of clean water wells, visit Blood:Water Mission, Charity Water or ICDI’s websites.

This article originally appeared in The Sounding Board.

All I Really Need To Know…

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Oh hey… I’m back. “No! Not this guy again!” You might be thinking.  I challenge you to be nice for once and give me a shot. Sheesh.

So, since it honestly only feels like yesterday that I wrote to you all, I don’t have much to say.  I will do my best though to briefly entertain.  Here’s what I’ve been learning this week: All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.  And more than that just being the script that I’m memorizing for the fall play (you faithful readers already knew this), it’s been a journey of ideology that has caused me to question my current way of life.  Now, those of you who know anything about my past (it’s short and kind of boring, so you don’t have to ask), know that I was in this show already in high school.  What it did for me then was not nearly what it has the potential to do for me now.

Then, I was only 17.  What did I know about life?  Now, I’m 21.  I know all there is to know. *cough*  Yeah… I am obviously being sarcastic.  What I do know now though, is that we often forget to look at things through the eyes of children.  Why do I need to be 17 or 21 or even 53 to know as much as I can know about the world?  I am realizing that all I have ever needed my whole life long was taught to me at a very young age.  Why do we, as adults, forget to do the things that really matter, like sharing, caring for one another, believing in ourselves, playing, working and resting in balanced manners?  Why do we forget to just stop and look?  How much easier would our lives be if we stopped and looked at situations before we opened our mouths or took unnecessary action?  Think about it.  Matthew 18:3 says, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Now, I try to shy away from taking the Bible into texts that it doesn’t belong in, but doesn’t it just make sense?  Jesus was talking about dropping all of our adult “wisdom” and becoming filled with childlike faith. A level of abandonment of ourselves that is required to have full reliance on God.

I want to have that childlike approach to life.  I want to get back to the basics.  Try it.  Live, laugh, love and look. See where it gets you.

-Ian Christensen

Pac-man and Surfing

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

So this weekend has been quite unique for Karl Johnson during his stay in New Zealand. On Friday, the university he attends threw a “Tea Party” where there was live music, free food, and more costumes than you could shake a stick at. The following Saturday was spent surfing at Sumner beach near Christchurch, and napping for three hours from physical exhaustion. All in all, it was a great finish to a week of two all-nighters to complete papers.


That’s enough in the third person. The Tea Party was CRAZY! I counted close to six LEGO dudes, some Crayola girls, two sets of Power Rangers, Captain Planet, Old Gregg, twenty Goku’s from Dragonball Z, and the Cat in the Hat. It was almost as bad as a game of ‘I Spy!’ Of course, I went as Shaggy from Scooby Doo, although I had to leave Scoob at the door. 🙁  But my favorite costumes I saw at the concert was definitely the old school gamer group: four dudes had made legit Pac-man and ghost costumes, and the ghosts were appropriately chasing Pac-man around! Probably the funniest looking thing ever. Besides the blue avatars, the Avatar Airbender, and three Luigi’s, I think there were eight smurfs and some white guy dressed as an Arab carrying around a box with a cell phone and a detonator attached… Slightly disturbing. At any rate, the music was fun, the costumes even better, and the sun blistering hot. I have the tan lines to prove it. The day after, a Saturday, the other students in my program and I went to Sumner beach where we picked up rental gear that ‘our program’ had paid for. (p.s. I love how they trick you into thinking activities are free…)

Sumner beach, onshore wind, 3ft. waves

The man who owned the gear showed us the basics of surfing, and twenty minutes later, we were out in the cold, cold ocean punching into waves to get further out. It confounds me how much balance surfers must have to get up, let alone ride the waves. I am neither physically coordinated or graceful, and unfortunately, that combination does not end well. Nevertheless, I had so much fun just trying to get the hang of it! I think I swallowed close to two gallons of sea water, and by the end of the day my lips were pruned, my throat parched, and face burnt even more. I’ll tell you, the ozone Down Under really is lacking. I can sit in the shade and get goose bumps or stand in the sun and sweat profusely in the same hour. Not that I’m complaining!  It’s “sweet-as, bro!”  I can’t believe I have less than a month left in this gorgeous country. On one hand, I don’t ever want to leave, but at the same time, I cannot WAIT to see my family and friends again. I’ve learned so so so much from studying abroad, and it’s gonna be great returning. New Zealand is fantastic. Until next time,    -Karl Johnson, University of Canterbury, NZ

The Blevins Connection

Friday, October 15th, 2010

by Zane Gard, Sounding Board Staff Writer

Forget the Miami Heat. Grace men’s tennis has landed its own Big Three.

Hailing from Vancouver, Wash., are Michael Blevins, Aaron Blevins, and Jack Wang. While Michael may not be LeBron James and Winona Lake might never pass for South Beach, there is much to be excited about for the men’s tennis team.

The Blevins brothers and Wang met at a junior tournament called the Adidas Cup at the beginning of high school in 2006. During warm-ups, the players started talking and formed a friendship that would continue throughout their time together at the same high school. They had no idea where that friendship would take them then.

Four years later, all three are playing together at Grace. Last year, Michael came to Grace to help the program as a player, following his parents’ and brother’s footsteps, who also played tennis at Grace. Aaron an Wang joined him this year, mostly because of outstanding recruiting. Recruiting by Michael, that is.

Michael made sure to let his brother know where he should go to school. “He texted me almost every day saying, ‘Are you coming to Grace yet?’” Aaron said. Aaron soon gave in and decided to join his brother at Grace, completing the second of three steps in the process.

Wang, on the other hand, could have gone to Western Washington University to study art. “Trying to decide which college to go to for me was like watching a fat kid deciding between a Twinkie and a donut,” Wang joked. While still talking frequently with Michael, he was convinced to apply to Grace, which he “didn’t even consider” at first. While head coach Larry Schuh said he “didn’t really have to do much recruiting,” Wang said he too played an instrumental part in his coming, calling frequently to check up on him.

The climax of the recruiting process was when Michael convinced Wang to come visit Grace over his spring break. Wang left Grace impressed by how nice the people were, and after visiting Washington later, he saw the difference between the students. Wang decided to go with the Blevins brothers to play tennis at Grace.

The Blevins brothers and Wang bring a history of success with them to Grace. While playing together at the Vancouver Tennis Center in high school, Aaron and Wang went two straight years together without a team loss, and all three went Michael’s senior year without a team loss. After being district and league champions for three consecutive years, they wanted to see how well they would be together at the next level.

The goal of this Big Three is to turn Grace tennis into a top-25 program, win conference, and qualify for the NAIA tournament on a team and individual level.

“Coach Schuh convinced me that we will make nationals while I’m here,” Aaron said. The added accountability of having each other in practice allows them to know how to push and encourage each other.

This past season was somewhat of a disappointment for the Washington trio. Michael, who won the MCC singles tournament last year, missed time this year with ankle injuries. Wang and Aaron also had to play while battling illness. The goal of winning the conference will not happen this year after Grace lost to Indiana Wesleyan 5-4 in the MCC tournament, and was plagued with ankle injuries throughout the season. Despite losing, the players are ready to focus on next year and the promising future ahead of them.

Over 2,000 miles away, the friends have been a piece of home away from home. Scenic mountains and rivers of Washington have been replaced with Indiana’s flatlands. This is even as far east as Wang has been, who admitted to feeling homesick sometimes during the longest stint he has been away.

It is here in northern Indiana that the friendship of three West Coast tennis players has come. This new tennis trio from Washington has the potential to accomplish things never done before for Grace’s tennis program. Hopefully their success from high school carries over.

This story was published in the October 15 edition of Grace’s student newspaper, The Sounding Board.

The Pennsylvania Trio

Friday, October 15th, 2010

by Stephen Copeland, Sounding Board Staff Writer

The Pennsylvania triumvirate came to Winona Lake on a whim – because for some of them, Grace College was the last thing on their minds.

The PA Pact knew one another before they got here. Joel Bartholomew and Devin Kemmerer (Faith Christian graduates) had played against Emmanuel Lumbayi (Liberty graduate) in high school, which is crazy in itself considering the size differential in the schools. The three of them also knew Grace’s men’s soccer head coach Matt Hotchkin from a recruiting visit he made to Pennsylvania in April.

Their futures, however, were already seemingly decided. Lumbayi was supposed to attend preseason with Div. II Bloomsburg University; Bartholomew was highly considering NCAA Div. III Geneva College; and Kemmerer was pretty set on NCAA Div. III Widener University.

It looked as if the three Pennsylvania boys would end up at three different Pennsylvania schools – but three radical last-minute decisions brought them together in northern Indiana, of all places.

Emmanuel Lumbayi

Hotchkin’s complicated string of connections to Pennsylvania are as long as Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1 – so it’s going to go unexplained. All Lumbayi knows is that he was playing FIFA in his basement when his best friend and probable 2011 Lancer Marcus Sherper (just YouTube him and prepare to be wowed) came down to get him.

“There’s a coach here to see us,” Sherper said. So Sherper and Lumbayi walked outside, hopped in the car and met what-would-be their future coach, Matt Hotchkin.

Of the Pennsylvania crew, Hotchkin felt most confident about Lumbayi coming to Grace. Lumbayi’s decision, however, is still incomprehensible to most.

Without stepping on campus and without even getting accepted, the Liberty grad committed to the Lancer program. He knew nothing about the school and nothing about Indiana. Literally, nothing.

“My mom said, ‘Where is Grace College?’” Lumbayi recalled. “I said, ‘It’s toward Texas…Probably the reason why I have a C in geography.”

Lumbayi managed to avoid any departures to San Antonio, thanks to Google, and found himself flying to a place that, from the research he gathered, was rampant with corn (a strange transition for a city boy) and was the home of the KKK (not real encouraging for a Congo native).

And that’s all he knew.

“You really have to trust God with your life for you to make a last minute decision as such as one I made,” Lumbayi said. “I have never looked at soccer as a way to glorify God until I played for Grace.”

Joel Bartholomew

Toward the end of each summer, most high school graduates go into freak-out mode as they prepare for their freshman year at college. Not Bartholomew and Kemmerer, however. They couldn’t prepare because they were still going on campus visits. Redefining procrastination.

Hotchkin had called Bartholomew throughout the summer but could never get a straight answer. On the brink of giving up on the Faith Christian duo, Hotchkin stopped contacting them for a week and a half – then decided to make one last phone call in July.

“I just kind of went with the flow,” Bartholomew said. “He (Hotchkin) called me, so I went with it. For some reason, I just felt led to come out.”

So there they were, two kids making the painstaking (although Joel claims that Devin slept the whole time) 10-hour drive to northern Indiana just two weeks before Grace’s preseason soccer festivities began. “I don’t know why, but we were just like, ‘Let’s go check it out,’” Bartholomew said.

Bartholomew was never exactly psyched about playing for Geneva, the frontrunner of schools he was considering. But God provided a school for Bartholomew and a steady player for Hotchkin that has started in all 11 games this season.

“It was God’s will for me to be out here,” Bartholomew continued. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t have driven out here. It just took a lot of faith to be okay with it and realize that this is where God wants me to be.”

Devin Kemmerer

When Kemmerer got a phone call from Bartholomew late in the summer about visiting Grace College, he had to have thought his best friend was sniffing glue.

“I was like, ‘Probably not. I already have my school,’” Kemmerer laughed, considering the ridiculousness of the situation.

Right when he hung up with Bartholomew, Hotchkin called. And before he knew it, Kemmerer was making the journey, too, traveling to Grace College with Bartholomew to see a coach that he hardly even remembered.

Just getting the two of them to merely visit was huge for Hotchkin, considering the predicament he was in. Darrell Goff, last year’s leader in goals and assists, was not returning to Grace, and Sherper (Lumbayi’s best friend) could not play in the fall. Offensively, the Lancers were hurting.

And Kemmerer was the solution. Through 11 games, he leads the Lancers in goals (4), assists (3), points (11) and has already earned his first collegiate hat trick.

“It took a lot of faith,” Kemmerer said. “I’d never even heard of Winona Lake. And I’d never been to Indiana. It was pretty crazy. God definitely planned that.”

Despite the whirlwind of the last few months, the Pennsylvania Trio is here…somehow.

“They trusted me to a large extent with this whole idea of coming out here,” Hotchkin said. “And they trusted the Lord with the whole process. That type of faith and comfort in trying something new – those are the type of players you can really build a program around.”

Whether it’s switching colleges weeks before, driving 10-hours to meet up with a coach you can hardly remember, or booking a flight to a campus you’ve only seen on your computer screen, it was faith that brought the Pennsylvania trio to Grace.

Faith the size of Texas.

This story was published in the October 15 Edition of Grace’s student newspaper, The Sounding Board.

S’il vous plaît

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Bonjour de Paris! I know I haven’t posted in awhile, but no news is good news right? So this will be short (yay because you probably don’t have a lot of time!)  Not a whole lot has been happening in my life.  My roommates and I have found a church here that we absolutely love.  The people have welcomed us into their lives and it has just been great to get to know everybody!  The paster is 100% French and he married a woman from Kentucky (who has the best southern accent when she speaks French, it’s awesome!)

On to the title of this blog.  As many of you know, s’il vous plaît means please in English.  However, if you translate the phrase it literally means “If it pleases you”  This thought hit me like a rock.  One could say “If it pleases you, could you hand me that book”  Keep following me on this.  When we ask God for something, our attitude should be of that. “Lord, if it pleases you, could you (insert whatever you’re asking for)”  Saying please in English to me feels like saying “this is what I *emphasizes on the I* really want, can I have it??”  But instead our attitude should be “Lord whatever pleases you is ultimately what I desire.”  Hm….just think about it! This concept just came to me today.  Thank you French language!  C’est tout!  (That’s all!)