Energy Meets Sustainability

By Liz Powers, Partnership Coordinator

It’s around this time of year that, as a Partnership Coordinator, I get the pleasure of following up with every homeowner, organization, and individual Next Step volunteers were able to work alongside in Lorain County this summer. In some ways, this is the most life-giving time of the year- the time where I get to hear the true impact of the past summer of missions trips.

For many who interact with Next Step, the time following a summer of service is one of renewed hope. Whether the individual is engaging their faith for the first time or a dormant faith was awakened, many of our Next Step friends are now entering this season with a different energy and excitement to experience the Lord. This is the profound role that short term missions so often has in faith development. Flooding a city with hundreds of visiting volunteers over a 9 week period has a specific and unique way of jump starting a new adventure with the Lord.

As we consider long term spiritual growth for our new friends, the importance of collaborating with a sustainable local force becomes quite evident. We begin to identify a need for an entity with the capacity to walk alongside folks for the long haul, to engage in year round spiritual investment, and to offer opportunities to serve others within their community. Here in Ohio, we see that opportunity through the local church.

Friends, this is a vivid example where ever-so-plainly we witness short term missions colliding with long term community development. The energy and hope brought by short term missions groups combined with the sustainable capabilities of the local church releases the potential for communities and individuals to be deeply impacted by the gospel.

Join me in praying for opportunities to connect each of our summer contacts with local church congregations here in Lorain County this fall!