Opportunity

By Hannah Trautwein, Partnership Coordinator

In January our Clendenin, WV blog was all about an obstacle: We were needing to connect with a new host church for the upcoming summer. But instead of focusing on the obstacle, I wanted to focus on what opportunity God had waiting for us. When things don’t make sense immediately, it’s easy to give up and throw a pity party. “Of course this didn’t work out.” “Why does this always happen to me?” Those thoughts, and words, have been mine many times over the last few years.

But this instance really didn’t make sense.

Last summer we had an incredible time at our home church. The last Sunday of the Summer Staff’s stay in WV, they led the Sunday service, and it ended in tears. Tears of joy and thankfulness for what God had done, and tears of sadness that the summer was over. So when we got the news in January that we wouldn’t be back “home” we were eager to see what exactly it was that the Lord had for us next.

Well friends, we now know what it is.

Less than a week after we started looking for a new housing partnership, a friend from Clendenin asked me to come meet with his pastor. Their church had been damaged in the flood, but was back in working order and they were interested in hosting volunteers for the summer. Now this may seem like an average series of events… I needed assistance, someone reached out and made the connection, and I went and had a meeting with a church. But this is the first time in 5 years that I have had a community member approach me and insist that Next Step Ministries to stay at their home church.

When community members invest in their community, and get involved with organizations like Next Step, we see this amazing sense of advocacy form. After a few planning meetings, and a unanimous church vote, we have a Yes from Clendenin First Baptist Church as our new home for this summer. In this season God has taught me to 1. Keep trusting Him. 2. Bring others into this journey with me. I don’t have to do this alone. And 3. Be patient and wait for obstacles to turn into your next opportunity.