Kids still call Minot Youth for Christ meetings "The Rock" even though they're now meeting at Jim Hill Middle School.
Executive director Larry Stenson said he tells the teens that "the Rock was in the river and now it's on the hill."
Like much of northwest Minot, The Rock, located at 318-5th Ave. NW, was inundated by flood waters from the Souris River this summer. The Minot Youth for Christ program has been in temporary quarters at Assembly of God Church in Minot since July. Stenson said he is grateful to the church for providing office space.
Larry Stenson is executive director of Minot Youth for Christ, which has been in temporary quarters at First Assembly of God Church since this summer’s flood.
Zane Sailor, left, and Larry Stenson stand next to a rock at site of “The Rock,”?318-5th Ave. NW, in the spring of 2011. Sailor has been active with Minot Youth for Christ since the sixth grade.
Stenson said the youth center had been remodeled just before the flood, but the building had to be gutted in the aftermath. Minot Youth for Christ has benefited from the kindness of church groups locally and nationwide, some of which sent in crews to help with the cleanup.
Stenson said Youth for Christ will gladly accept donations, which will be directed toward renovating the old facility or rebuilding in a new location. The organization is not entitled to any money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It did receive a Small Business Administration loan, but Stenson said he hopes to avoid using the SBA loan to rebuild. Instead, he hopes to rebuild using funding from fundraisers, donations and grants. Plans are on hold until the city has released a plan for flood recovery.
Stenson said some people have suggested it would be a good idea to rebuild in a different location. He hopes someone might come forward with a donation or partial donation of land. More people have donated at the organization's fundraisers this fall than in some past years, said Stenson, who said Minot Youth for Christ has been blessed.
Prior to the flood, the non-denominational Christian youth organization was a popular hangout for kids and Stenson wants the new youth center to be just as good, wherever it is built.
"We have kids from virtually every denomination," said Stenson, who said regular meetings and activities are held for different age groups. Since The Rock was located so close to Erik Ramstad Middle School, which also flooded, some students would wait at the school until after 6 p.m. and then go the activities at The Rock, bringing along some of their friends.
Minot Youth for Christ also organizes school assemblies at the local schools and other activities. Attendance has been down at some of the meetings held at Jim Hill, but Stenson hopes it will bounce back after the holidays.
The Minot Youth for Christ and area churches will sponsor a New Year's Eve party on Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. for middle school and high school students at Jim Hill Middle School, 1100-6th St. SW. Admission is $5. Activities include games and sports, table games. Refreshments will be provided. Youth pastor Brian Walz from West Minot Church of God, will speak about making a New Year's resolution that really matters. Stenson hopes about 90 kids will show up at the New Year's party.
For more information, call the Youth for Christ office at 839-4660 and leave a message.