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Huddle Leader Don Roberts learns decades later of his impact on Jill Stluka

Huddle Leader Don Roberts learns decades later of his impact on Jill Stluka


A survivor of three cancer surgeries, Don Roberts didn’t back down when he faced more health challenges after a stroke in April 2015.

But Roberts had no way to prepare for the blessing God had in store for him one morning at a transitional care facility in St. Paul.

Jill Stluka, a registered nurse, recognized his face but couldn’t quite place from where.

Watch the video below to see how Stluka knew Roberts, a member of the FCA’s state leadership board.


A talented athlete and student at Simley High School in the 1980s, Stluka admittedly struggled with depression.

"My teen years were pretty horrible," Jill said. "I was an overachiever, but I was very unhappy in my life."

Jill ended up at an FCA meeting, along with 15 to 20 other students, in the basement of Don and Ardi's Inver Grove Heights home. They talked about sports. They talked about Jesus. 

And they prayed.

"It was all very new to me," Jill said. 

Led by Don, Jill and other female students headed to an FCA camp in Fort Collins, Colo.

She reveled in the beauty of the area, she learned more about Christ, and she found something she desperately needed.

"Hope," Jill said. "In a way, it saved my life, not only spiritually but perhaps physically."

Ardi said it's hard to know how many students have been influenced by Don, who sometimes had 80 students in his basement for FCA meetings.

And though Don doesn't seek anything, he was thankful to hear Jill's story, especially as he's rebounding from his stroke. 

"It was very moving," he said.

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Paul Hintermeyer wrote:

Fri, September 4, 2015 @ 10:54 AM

2. Doug Kingsriter wrote:
I first knew Don in the early 1970's and he was as much an inspiration then as he is now. His faithfulness in leading huddles, serving on the board, being a role model for coaches, attending camps and financially supporting the work of the FCA has had an enormous impact in our state. Thank you for being an influential follower of Christ.

Fri, September 4, 2015 @ 11:12 AM

3. Lu Gronseth, Jr. wrote:
If you want to know what it means to follow Jesus and serve him in your vocation look no further than the example of Don and Ardie. If you want to know how the FCA ministry should and can look like look no further than the example of Don and Ardie. They have faithfully and selflessly served Jesus and the ministry of FCA for decades. They are truly 'good and faithful servants'. We appreciate you both so much.

Mon, September 7, 2015 @ 11:16 AM

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