WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published October 16, 2010, 06:03 PM

A Conference Helps People In Grand Forks

One woman's faith is challenged leaving her hometown of Wahpeton for college.

One woman's faith is challenged leaving her hometown of Wahpeton for college.

But a conference in the northern valley is helping her and others learn from one another.

The first day of school at the University of North Dakota was a challenge for Heidi Carlson.

"Coming to school has definitely changed me. I guess it's kind of opened my eyes to what the world is like and what people are missing." Carlson said.

Heidi has gone to church her whole life and is used to people with her same beliefs.

"I grew up surrounded by Christian friends and coming to school and not seeing as many has definitely changed my views and definitely woke me up." Carlson said.

Joining Hope church inspired Heidi and others to be a part of a conference bringing churches closer to their communities.

This is the first time the Thrive Spiritual Life conference has been held in Grand Forks, bringing more than 30 churches from all over the Midwest together.

"It's a great way to just come together, together in unity, in Christ to worship together, grow together. So we can get refueled to go back and serve our communities and churches." youth leader Jay Ostgaard said.

The two-day conference has dating workshops, live bands and several speakers from around the country. Giving people like Heidi a chance to see faith from different perspectives.

"When I got connected to people who weren't of the same faith that I was here it definitely changed my views of the world...I'm in the process of trying to get some friends that don't usually go to church to come to Hope." Carlson said.

More than 4-hundred people attended the THRIVE conference organizers hope to hold the event again next year.