It all began over 15 years ago when the Lord put this vision in our hearts to create a wholesome, positive, loving and safe environment for our youth to hang out after school. At the time, we were raising a teenager and realized the real need. Our vision was to provide an alternative to existing recreation and entertainment, to offer a safe haven for students. Our idea was to promote respectful attitudes, be uplifting, encouraging, but most of all committed to sharing the love of Jesus with our youth. Our hearts hurt for the generation we were losing to this world and all the influences that surround them. We decided to do something!
In July 2007, with the help of several parents just like us, with a building graciously given, $75 in seed money, and the Lord as our partner; we opened an afterschool drop in center for youth, 6th grade and up in Washington, IA. This faith-based, non-profit is called ONEighty Teen Center and continues to serve the community faithfully, now under new leadership. Deb served as Pastor and Executive Director for over 9 years, Jim on the board of Directors as well as ‘maintenance’ person. We were so blessed to watch how Jesus could change lives and families, students changing their life direction, leaving destructive habits behind and striving to become who God created them to be! Thank you, Jesus.
In April of 2016 after much prayer, we decided to relocate to New Prague, Minnesota to live closer to our children and grandchildren. Jim had a new job, we had found a new church home and we began getting involved in our community. We were feeling like youth ministry was a thing of our past but we soon realized that the needs of youth in this area were the same or even greater and God wasn’t finished with us yet! The Lord has renewed our vision, reignited our passion to develop a youth facility here in the New Prague area. We have spent much time in prayer, the Lord has united us with many like-minded community members and the campaign has begun. We are excited to see what God has in store here in New Prague.
God bless you all,
Jim & Deb Bodensteiner