Our Stories

Bethel is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-generational congregation filled with people from around the world who have unique stories to tell. Below you will be able to read some of them. They can also be accessed through our LIFEline section, which is a bi-monthly publication authored entirely by "in-house" writers. We hope you enjoy finding out more about us through our stories.

  • Reflections on a Cross-cultural friendship

    By Rebekah Jacobson

    On the morning of November 8, I woke up to find two text messages sent by friends with the same grave news. My friend and former co-worker Paw Boh Htoo had been killed the night before.

    I couldn’t believe it. Just two weeks before, I had seen Paw Boh Htoo at the annual fundraising event for the nonprofit we both worked at -- The Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM). She stood behind a table of handwoven Karen clothes and bags, shining brightly in her Karen dress with a smile on her face. Everyone who walked past that table was greeted by her warm presence and kind words, “Hello! Ha luh a ghay!”  

    Click HERE to read the rest of the story.

  • Elodie's Story

    When you are from Congo, you know about the war and how we fled to be refugees.  We don't like to bring it up and talk about it.  It makes me overcome with emotions that are too intense!  With the gang rape, the violence and atrocities, we are too ashamed to talk about it.  We have an unspoken story, as women who have fled the war.  To speak about it opens old wounds. 


    Click HERE to read the rest of the story.

  • Deja Vu...All Over Again

    By Rich Doebler


    It started on Iglehart Avenue, when BCF was known as Bethel Temple. Sharon and I found our way there while attending North Central Bible College (now known as North Central University).


    We loved Pastor Lloyd Jacobsen’s preaching, which was both practical and inspiring. We enjoyed the touch of class provided by his wife, Janna. On Saturday we canvassed neighborhoods, and on Sundays we sent out buses to pick up children. Those were exciting times.

    Click HERE to read the rest of the story.


  • blessed are those who mourn

    By Speciose Sinyigaya

    My journey toward acceptance of my losses began some 22 years ago following the war in my native country of Rwanda. I remember feeling like a small leaf left alone on a branch of a tree shaken by a strong sandy wind from the desert. I was in college in Dakar (Senegal).  I remember feeling a heavy weight on my shoulders pushing me down sometimes. I also remember going on my knees and telling Jesus my Savior, who thankfully kept His promise to never leave me, that my life was in His hands. Sometimes I was just mumbling and lacking words to use except expressing anger and frustration regarding what was going on. I became numb. 


    Click HERE to read the rest of the story.

  • God's ultimate plan

    By Jemimah Mawande

    At the apex of our self-prescribed “success” and ambitions, we often neglect seeking out God’s plan for us. Thus, we find ourselves in humbling situations. The biggest challenge, moreover, is the fact that, as humans we are constantly seeking to better ourselves. While this God-given quality is admirable, our judgment can be clouded when we limit our aspirations to worldly things such as wealth, education, fame, et cetera.


    Eventually we are unsatisfied with realizing the futility of these superficial aspirations. We also realize how insignificant we are to the vast world. (Without us, the earth would keep revolving!)  In this insignificance, we experience rejection--a hint from the world that there will always be someone better and more accomplished than we are.  This constant craving for evasive success is detrimental to our self-esteem and even our faith.

    Click HERE to read the rest of the story.

  • Saying Goodbye

    By Liz Kimmel

    My sister’s husband is dying.  We’ve known for a few weeks now, and have been told that his time with us is short. Bob took very good care of this body that has been his home for 80 years.  He was strong, but now is weak.  He was vocal about his faith. He loved his wife out loud so that all would know how well he thought of her. Now it is hard to even hear his words, for he doesn’t have the breath to push them out.


    Click HERE to read the rest of the story.


  • When God Broke Through

    By Peace Sinyigaya


    I always wondered what it would be like to have a family; family beyond having my parents and my young brother. Since my parents are refugees from Rwanda, we don’t have that. When the war tore Rwanda apart, it also tore apart my family. Of the small portion of my family that survived the war, everyone was forced to separate. People fled all over the continent of Africa, some to Europe and Canada, and just us to the United States.

    Click HERE to read the rest of the story.