Our Statement of Faith
We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers.
Itasca YFC’s Statement of Faith
- We believe the Bible to be the divinely inspired, authoritative Word of God, in all matters of faith and life.
- We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
- We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, empowering Christian life and growth.
- We believe in the resurrection of the believer into eternal life.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers.
Board of Directors
- Chairman: Brad Nelson
- Past Chairman: Dan Fiala
- Vice Chairman: Charlie Sherman
- Treasurer: Krislyn Watson
- Secretary: Sandy Lanzo
- Greg Lanzo
- Michael Hagley
- Nancy O’Toole
- Joe Rust
- Shirley Snell
Duane grew up in Pine City, Minnesota and is a graduate of Pine City High School. In 1969, he graduated from Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji, MN, with a major in Bible. While attending Oak Hills he met Caralee Ostrom and they were married in November of 1969. Duane has four adult children, three sons and one daughter. He has 12 wonderful grandchildren and 2 great-grandsons.
Duane began his ministry with Youth for Christ in the summer of 1969, in Virginia, Minnesota. He moved to Grand Rapids in 1971, where he began the Itasca Youth for Christ chapter and became its first Executive Director. Duane is a member of Community Presbyterian Church of Grand Rapids and a lay-preacher for the Presbytery of Northern Waters. In December 2000, he graduated from Bethel College with a B.A. in Community Service and Leadership.
By being in direct contact with teens in Campus Life Clubs, the Juvenile Justice Ministry, and the Ground Floor Youth Center, his work for more than 50 years has been a major contribution to Itasca YFC and the community.
Caralee grew up in Hammond, Indiana, and graduated from Hammond Technical/Vocational High School. She then moved to Bemidji, Minnesota, where she graduated from Oak Hills Christian College with a major in Bible. While there, she met Duane Geisler and after graduation they were married in November 1969. She joined her new husband in Virginia, Minnesota, as they became a team in their work with YFC. In 1971 they moved to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, with their infant son and began the Itasca Youth for Christ chapter. They added to their family two more sons and one daughter. Caralee was a stay-at-home mom, doing volunteer YFC office work from home until their children were all in school full time. She was then hired as the part-time Administrative Assistant. Her responsibilities include running the day-to-day office work, helping with YFC events, chaperoning a number of Campus Life activities and trips, and helping to staff the Ground Floor, most recently taking on the position of interim Ground Floor Director. She communicates with the board of directors and also serves on one of the functioning board committees. She thoroughly enjoys spending time with her children, 12 grandchildren and 2 great-grandsons.
Deer River Campus Life Director
Heather began her work with Itasca YFC on May 1st, 1997. She graduated from Bemidji State University with a B.A. in Social Work.
Heather is married to Lance Schjenken. "Lance is an amazing man; it's not easy being married to a spouse who works with teens." Heather has a son, a daughter and a step-son. Heather says, "In looking back over my years of youth ministry, my life has been blessed by the opportunity to spend time with Deer River kids.
Lennetta (Nettie) Yunk
Nettie is a long time resident of the Deer River, Cohasset and Grand Rapids, Minnesota areas. She was married to the late William (Bill) Yunk for 61 years. Together they have 4 adult children, 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Nettie's duties include: helping- with monthly mailings, miscellaneous office work and soliciting some local funding, which she loves to do. Nettie has a “big heart” for teens and will do all that she can to help reach them with God's love and forgiveness. She feels her work in the office and the contacting she does frees up a time to enable the ministry staff more direct contact with the kids in the YFC programs. Nettie has served Itasca YFC since 1986, as a volunteer for two years and then as part-time paid staff.
“YFC is not about the programs, it’s about the people in the programs.”
The majority of all funds donated to Itasca YFC are invested in people who spend their time working in full or part-time positions. They are YFC’s number one asset. Staff must have their B.A. degree and go through internship training in their first year. Additional training is required every two years.
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