PC hosts annual Winterim Program

by Hannah Van Sant


Bible teacher Joel Rietema, 23 students, and three chaperones (Paul Van Beek, Cynthia Freeman, and Barb Gosselink) went on the trip to the Houston area to help with recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

          Another year of Winterim was completed at Pella Christian. Winterim is a program where students have the opportunity to take fun classes, go on trips, or do internships. Most took classes like Ukulele, Mythbuster Science, and History through Board Games. Some did internships at popular places like Vermeer, Pella Corp, and Pella Regional Health Center. Others went farther to eastern Europe, Spain, Haiti, and even Texas.

          Students who went on the trip to eastern Europe were there for thirteen days. They traveled through Ukraine, Hungary, and Poland and visited many points of interests, such as Auschwitz, castles, huge cathedrals, a waterfall, and a mountain. They also met students there and toured many cities like Budapest, Krakow and Warsaw. “Meeting the students was really awesome, and going to Auschwitz was very interesting to me,” said senior Brenden Six. “For me, those were the best parts of the trip.”

            Students in Spain were there for nine days. They visited many sites, such as the Alhambra in Granada and the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium (Real Madrid’s home soccer field), met with a Youth Group in Granada, and helped with an English Class at a church in Madrid. They also were able to meet many Spanish people and hear their stories and testimonies. “The major highlight of the trip for me was meeting the other students there,” said junior Emma Stravers. “We were able to share our faiths and school experiences. I learned that high school kids being stressed and super busy is worldwide. Most of them were the only or one of very few Christians in their school, while we have the incredible opportunity of attending a high school of Christians. That experience was definitely eye-opening for me and a good reminder that Christian education is a blessing I often take for granted.”

            Students who traveled to Haiti were there for seven and half days. They placed concrete floors in a house, planted plantain trees, painted a house, delivered PET carts, played with kids at the compound, visited orphanages, went to the Citadel, delivered food to families, and went to the market. “On the first day, we were outside at the compound, and a boy came up to me and wanted to play with me for awhile,” said senior Emma Keuning. “And then, the next day when we were driving by the compound, he was at his house and he yelled, ‘Bonswa, Emma!’ Bonswa means good afternoon in Creole. I thought it was amazing that he actually remembered my name. This boy also played cards with me a couple days later and still remembered my name.”

             Brazoria, a city near Houston that was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, welcomed PC students for seven days. Rebuilding homes that were severely damaged from the floods last year was just one job the students tackled. They also put up a lot of sheetrock in homes, built some trusses for a greenhouse, painted, helped build a bunkhouse for future teams, and did whatever was needed at the time. Unfortunately, some students got sick in the van during the trip.

              In spite of some illness, the group enjoyed their opportunity to help others. “Highlights of the trip were serving the people that had lost so much, the Sunday service at the church, and eating gumbo at the beach and bringing home a dog in the van,” said Bible teacher Joel Rietema.

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