By Deacon Erica Larson
They did it! Congratulations to high school seniors Gina Bolstad, Gus Botz, and Neil Grube!
Gina is graduating from Upper Mississippi Academy, a charter school in St. Paul. She says she this summer she is hoping that things will get better with the pandemic and that she’s looking forward to visiting her family and friends. Gina’s future is wide open! She will finish up her senior year of high school and see where life takes her. She says that God has given her many blessings, and it seems she has a bit of a travel bug! “I would love to buy a van, fix it up into an RV/Camper and hit the road.”
When asked about special people and moments over her years at Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church, Gina says, “When I think of LNL, I think of Erica. She has been there for all our confirmation meetings, parties, overnights, and mission trips with a welcoming attitude. Mission trips have been the best. I liked learning new skills and meeting new people both in Kentucky and Montana.”
Neil will graduate from Roosevelt High School, continue working at Fireroast Cafe, and travel this summer.
“I plan on majoring in Environmental Studies at Luther College, with a possible double major in either Communications or Political Science. However, I will not start college until the fall of 2022, as I plan on taking a gap year through the AmeriCorps NCCC program, where I will volunteer for communities in need and work on environmental restoration projects. I have a passion for protecting the outdoors and the environment, and I hope to one day become some kind of activist or policy maker.”
When asked about significant people and experiences in his faith journey, Neil shares, “One person from Lake Nokomis that has meant a lot to me is John Walsh.He was my confirmation mentor and I learned a lot from him about creativity and following your passion. I still remember so many of the meaningful conversations we had back in my freshman and sophomore year. John and his wife, Lynn, will occasionally stop in to Fireroast while I am working to say hi. These impromptu visits always make my day.
"One of my favorite memories from LNL is from the 2019 service trip to Haver, Montana. The youth group had a bonfire and went on a walk along the winding roads of the reservation we were staying at. We watched the sun set and told hilarious stories, particularly about embarrassing ourselves in public. It was a profound bonding moment in our group, and I could definitely see God working through all of us. I still cherish that evening to this day.”
Gina, Gus, and Neil, precious children of God, we bless you and thank God for the gift of you in the life of this church. Wherever you go, you will always be a part of us. Wherever you go, our love goes with you. Wherever you go, may you be reminded of God’s comforting love. Amen