During Dig, high school students benefit from the mentorship of our Coaches. Dig Coaches are the small group leaders, prayer partners, skilled mini-van drivers, and all around incredible individuals who supervise and mentor Dig participants throughout the program. Here are the Coaches from the 2018 program:
Meet Natasha, one of the passionate Coaches to join the Dig team this Summer! Natasha grew up in Singapore but has started to call Grand Rapids home. Some of her favorite activities include basking in nature with some good worship music, watching cute baby videos, listening to podcasts about the Enneagram, reading good books about life, love, and God, and learning how to be a loving neighbor. Natasha has just completed her senior year at Calvin College majoring in speech pathology and minoring in ministry leadership with an emphasis in community development. She will be continuing in Calvin’s Speech Pathology graduate program this fall and is excited to discover the intersection of speech pathology, community development ministry, and the relationship between church and place. Over the last four years, God has beautifully and intricately shaped her love for the Church, young people, neighborhoods, and people in need, and she is excited to walk alongside other young people as they discover how God may be calling them to participate in His work in the world.
Meet Chadd, one of the legendary coaches who will be joining the Dig team this Summer! He grew up just outside of Chicago near Gary Indiana. He is one of 6 children, so family get togethers are always crazy. He enjoys camping, hiking, reading, watching movies, collecting and listening to records, and talking about all that stuff with other people. He just graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary with my Masters of Divinity. He is currently waiting where God is calling him next. He feels called to go into pastoral ministry to help people better understand where God is calling them in their lives. Chadd is passionate about walking with people as they journey in faith, and so excited to do just that with this years students!
Meet Jon, a returning coach for this summer’s Dig program! Jon grew up in Zeeland, Michigan as the third of four children in his family. Whether hanging out with friends, eating waffles, watching the Chicago Cubs, or playing ultimate frisbee, Jon seizes every chance to be active and have a good time. Currently, Jon is a Calvin Seminary student working toward his Master’s of Divinity degree. Throughout his life, Jon felt God’s call upon his life to pursue ministry work. Eventually, Jon hopes to become a pastor somewhere in the United States because he loves walking alongside of individuals in their faith stories. Because of this, Jon is especially excited for the opportunity to work with this summer’s awesome group of Dig students!
Meet Zack, one of our fantastic returning Dig coaches! Zack grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario with two loving, Christian parents and three brothers. To this day, Zack’s family is very close, and he continues to grow and learn from them. In his free time, Zack loves to engage in many different activities: playing board games, wrestling (with his brothers), playing FIFA 17, grinding coffee, and especially hanging out with his wife. Zack is currently attending Calvin Theological Seminary in pursuit of his Masters of Divinity degree with a focus on Church Planting and Entrepreneurial Ministry. One of Zack’s greatest joys is working with youth. He loves forming meaningful relationships with young people and helping them recognize their full identity in Christ. Zack’s heart for youth makes him all the more eager to begin Dig and meet each one of this Summer’s awesome students!
Meet Javonna, one of the incredible coaches to join the Dig staff this Summer! Javonna was raised along the lake shore in Muskegon, MI. She always knew she wanted to serve in ministry and has been blessed to do this in some capacity since she was twenty-one years of age. She is currently serving as a youth leader at New Life Community Church in Artesia California. Javonna is currently at Fuller Theological Seminary, finishing her studies in a Master’s in Theology with hopes of using the knowledge I have gained to continue to serve God’s community by working with youth and young adults.
In her spare time she loves to read, listen to music, and hang out with my friends, family, and the many youth that refer to me as “Mommavonna”. She passionate about leadership development, community development, and racial reconciliation. She is looking forward to serving the students that will be apart of the DIG program this summer and is praying that this will be a opportunity for everyone to grow in their faith journeys as well as be able to discern if God is calling them to serving in some type of ministerial capacity within the Christian community.
Meet Derek, the Dig Co-ordinator this Summer! A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Derek is the oldest of two boys. This past summer, Derek’s family grew when Derek married his wife, Jillian. In his free time, Derek engages in many different activities such as eating sushi, playing the ukelele, wakeboarding, thrift shopping and spending time with family and friends. As a Calvin Seminary student, Derek is currently working toward his Master’s of Divinity degree. He hopes to be a pastor within the next few years which flows out of his heart for people—especially those with disabilities. Because Derek enjoys forming meaningful relationships with those around him, he is eager to begin this summer’s Dig program. He cannot wait to meet the Dig students and kick-off an incredible three weeks together!