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The Bunker in Winkler now reaches youth every weeknight. 

"It's something we've been envisioning for a long time," Executive Director Kevin Hildebrand says.

Programming runs every weekday from game nights (video games and board games), junior and senior youth programs, and a slot car drag racing night that staff say has become an effective multi-generation mentorship program.

Most recently, The Bunker is hosting a new Russian/German language night. "There's that demographic of young people that don't feel like they fit in with our Mennonite youth groups, and a lot don't fit in with their German and Russian church groups," Hildebrand explains.

The Bunker has also become more visible around the community thanks to new staffer Harold Espinosa. He explains local schools have reached out with requests for youth pastors to visit students during the day. In response, Espinosa connects with students at local schools, including "smoker's corner" at Garden Valley Collegiate, playing board games in the cafeteria during the lunch hour at Northlands Parkland Collegiate and speaking with students at Winkler Elementary School.

The Bunker also supports many of its ministries with their food truck service. "We're out there, we don't want to be stuck inside these four walls," Hildebrand says.

bunker2Going even further, The Bunker has forged ministry partnerships in Puerto Rico. Volunteers are currently preparing to leave for a missions trip this spring.

"These are kids that want to stretch, to have a purpose and feel they're doing something more than just sitting on their phones," Espinosa says. "And with all the support and prayers we're getting into the hearts of kids, and that's exciting."

Local volunteers also helped establish a community centre in the country. After the devastating Hurricane Irma, the centre has been a beacon of hope, serving free community meals.

"It's the same thing that Central Station does, we just took that and translated it for Puerto Rico."

Ten years ago, Hildebrand says he never would've thought they would be organizing mission trips, later this spring they'll be commissioning their first missionary to Puerto Rico.

"It's super cool seeing the way God has grown and developed this ministry."

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