Meet Kelsey

By Leah Swank Partnership Coordinator

In 2014, Next Step first set foot in Moore, Oklahoma. It had been one year after the tornado and our summer staff had hit the ground running meeting the community, learning about our partnerships, and getting to know our host church, Southpark Baptist. We were introduced to several members of the church. This blog is about one of the families that became just that, family. 

Kelsey, Austin, Tanner, and their mom Nicole have become what we like to call Next Step “regulars”. The kids love hanging out with the staff and Nicole loves to help out where she can while at the church. This family has adopted staff members during the summer and even participated in trips serving their community through Next Step. Each summer our interns are incredibly blessed by this family, but this summer there is a twist.

Allow me to introduce you to Kelsey. I first met Kelsey when she was a quiet and shy 7th grade student. While she didn’t have much to say in the beginning, she was always (and I do mean ALWAYS) helping in various ways around the church. By the end of the summer Kelsey, along with her brothers, had become a part of the staff and enjoyed helping us serve students in whatever ways they could.

This was only just the beginning.

Every summer after that, Kelsey found more ways to get plugged in with Next Step. Be it helping prep food in the kitchen, setting up tables and chairs for the community BBQ, or getting the church ready for the next group of students. Kelsey was always ready to help wherever there was a need. It was during Next Step’s third summer that Kelsey began to blossom among the staff and we learned of a special talent of hers that she hadn’t told us about. Kelsey loves to worship. It was during this summer that we got to pair up with Kelsey and have her play and sing with our worship team.

Fast forward to this upcoming summer, drum roll please, Kelsey is on our worship team! Next Step could not be more excited to have this incredible student participating in our summer programming this summer! I’m confident that God is going to stretch and grow her, but I can’t wait to see all the ways he is going to use her as she invests in her own community.

We could not be more excited to have one of our Southpark members joining our team this summer and all the continued community development we get to do together. Friends, as we are nearing the start of the summer, would you join me in praying for Kelsey as she prepares for this summer. Pray that her faith would be strengthened and sharpened throughout the summer, that God would use her to make an impact in the community alongside her teammates, and that those who meet her will see Jesus shining bright in and through her.