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Now this one is hard for me to write. Where do I even begin? How to I accurately capture all that Stillwater has meant to us in a short blog? I'll do my best....

Many of you already know, but for those of you that don't, Jen and I are moving to Austin, Texas as I have taken the Area Director job in NW Austin. July 1st will be our last official day in Stillwater and are hearts are certainly full with an array of emotions. We made Stillwater our home almost 5 years ago in August 2008 and started our five year journey with Young Life Stillwater. In our naive minds, we had no idea what the next five years had in store, but we knew this is where the Lord wanted us. So we went and we have never regretted it. 

         We have certainly had our ups and downs here (like anyone else) but what a gift the community of Stillwater and the people that live here have been to us. We make the transition to Austin only with thankful hearts for this opportunity. We are sad to leave our Stillwater family as so many of you have loved Jen, Riggins, and me so well. There are literally a hundred names that Jen and I could write to say "thank you" and "we'll miss you", but I'm trusting that each of you hear that from us. Thank you for opening your homes, your hearts, and for all you done for us. We will be eternally grateful.   

         Jen and I came here because we believe in the mission of Young Life Stillwater and the impact it can have on this community. Along side our volunteer leaders, we have spent hundreds of hours with high school, junior high, and college kids and there is no doubt that the mission of Young Life has a place here. There will always be kids and adults who deserve to hear the Gospel. They deserve to KNOW. They deserve to know that God loves them deeply, just as they are, and wants nothing more than to be in relationship with them. We believe that is the deep longing of each of our hearts and we love telling people that unmatched and life changing truth. Just as we knew that Stillwater is where the Lord had us in 2008, we believe that Austin is where he has us in July 2013. We are starting our next journey there but there is no doubt that we will never forget Stillwater. 

How could we forget? How could we forget the late nights laughing with our college friends? The leader meetings where we prayed for kids by name. The trips to Frontier Ranch and Crooked Creek where we saw our high school friends accept the great love that their heavenly father offers. The times where we wondered where our funding would come from and caring adults gave generously. So many memories that we will cherish for a life time. 

The comfort we have is that the Lord has always been in control of Young Life here, and He won't stop now. The region is searching for my replacement and we're hopeful to have someone here by August to lead the next chapter of Stillwater Young Life. We have 40 incredible college leaders, a great staff, and supporting adults who will continue to tell the Gospel. They will continue to chase after the disinterested, broken hearted, and searching kids of this community. I truly believe that Stillwater's best YL years are still to come, and we're trusting the Lord had us here for this part of the story. The greatest gift that you can give Jen and I is to continue to share the Gospel and your lives with kids throughout Stillwater. After all, it's the greatest thing we can do as believers. 

Thank you again. You all have meant so much to Jen and I and while we won't be living here, Stillwater will always be on our minds & hearts. Please know our house is always open in Austin for our Stillwater friends. 

With thankful hearts & Go Pokes,

JD, Jen, & Riggins Dillender


 



Clear Water Cove  - Work Week 2013

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This past week 30 Oklahoma State Students, Katelin (YLC Director), and myself went to Clear Water Cove for Work Week 2013! Clear Water Cove is a Wildlife and Small Towns camp in Missouri that needed some help getting ready for the summer. 

We painted, mowed, and built trying to make Clear Water Cove the best that we could for the many kids that would come there this summer for "the best week of their lives." We had a incredible week together as we worked throughout the day, prayed over the camp, and each night talked about how we set our hearts in line with Jesus in college. While Clear Water Cove certainly looks better, I always believe that the best "work" that is done is what Jesus does in each of our hearts throughout the week. 

Thanks for your support and making trips like Work Week 2013 possible!








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