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Called To More

Published on August 24, 2017

Sarah Rennicke

Duluth Denfeld High School in Duluth, Minn., had a vibrant, growing FCA Huddle under the leadership of Dukes Knutson. But when he retired in 2007, so did the Huddle.

Fast-forward to summer 2012. Newly appointed FCA field representative Erik Lofald had a heart for FCA since attending Huddles at DHS, his alma mater. As Lofald thought and prayed about the campus, his heart stirred. He attended a mission trip prep retreat, where he reconnected with a young soccer player from DHS named Jacob Faynik, whom Lofald knew from a church youth group. When Faynik’s turn came to share his testimony, Lofald knew his next steps.

“He spoke of how he felt God calling him to speak and share his faith, but he was nervous, too. God put him on my heart, and I thought about FCA and approached him.”

Jacob Faynik Fields of Faith Web
Jacob Faynik sharing his testimony at Denfield High School's Fields of Faith.

Lofald asked Faynik to share his life story at Twin Port’s first Fields of Faith in October 2013. “It was more of talking about what God was doing in my life,” Faynik clarified. “With moving to West Duluth with my family for a church plant and Erik approaching me about FCA around that time, God has moved in my heart to be a minister there.”

Still, Lofald pressed, the message impacted hearts and opened a desire for God to develop FCA at DHS. “God used Jacob’s testimony in a super powerful way at Fields of Faith, which was a launching for the Huddle he started with his friends.”

At first, they scheduled Huddles for Tuesday mornings at 7:30. The time has since transformed into planning sessions, as the group is now prepping to switch Huddles to a weeknight.

“We had a ping pong tournament at my house for church and we ended up inviting the FCA guys, too,” Faynik stated. “It turned out amazing and turned into a really good time of fellowship. I talked to Erik about the Huddle and he was thinking the same thing - a group of people hanging out and playing games, and if we added a devotional to it that would be a really good start for this FCA.”

Faynik envisions the Huddle’s future and is hopeful for what develops. “I want it to be where we can share a meal together and have a time of worship and a lesson, and every once in a while, we’d have more of a fellowship game night where we can come closer together as a group.”

The desire to reach their student body, Lofald reasoned, triggers from an outpouring of service in Christ. “They started meeting and it’s kind of a small core group, but they already have a heart for their campus and are looking for ways to serve.”

Denfeld Huddle
Denfeld High School Huddle members and FCA area representative Erik Lofald (center)

DHS FCA will host a spaghetti dinner for its winter sports teams in late March. “One of the guys in the core group came up with the idea, and we all thought it was a really cool way to reach out to athletes at Denfeld and let them know it was through FCA and that we just want to serve them,” said Faynik.

“I’d really like it if we do more things like the dinner and minister to the athletes, but also do service projects for the community and help out with other clubs,” Faynik offered. “We want to be a presence in the school that models the behavior of Christ.”

Faynik’s faith has developed throughout the school year, bringing fresh opportunity to share God’s love. “I always find it a challenge to talk to people, mainly because my style is talking about God to people who are close to me. When you talk to people you kind of know like, ‘I’ve kind of seen you in the halls before,’ they might brush it off as ‘Oh, this guy’s talking about religion.’”

“It’s different than going on a mission trip,” he continued, “where you’re meeting someone for the first time and you talk to them about Christ. But with someone you’re really close with and you talk to them about faith, it feels more personal, like I care for you enough that I want you to know this. You can tell it impacts them differently because they know this isn’t just a checklist kind of thing, and that tied in to why God called me to do FCA - He’s calling me to do more. He was calling me to talk to more kids about God.”


Originally published March 20, 2014