My experience with Next Step started in 2013 with what I thought would begin and end with a summer internship in Milwaukee, WI. Little did I know those 10 weeks in Milwaukee would change my life. These 10 weeks were the first steps on my journey to Lorain County, OH. The following summer the Lord pushed me a little further on this journey with another summer internship with Next Step- only this time I would be serving in Ohio. What began as anticipation for what awaited in this new community soon turned into a deep passion for how I saw the Lord caring for and working in His people in Lorain County. It was through meeting many incredible new friends, hearing them share the history this community holds, and listening to their vision of what it would be restored to, that sealed the deal for me. Although my internship ended, the Lord held my heart here in Lorain County and only a few short months later I moved back to the community I feel privileged to now call home.


Since then, life in Lorain County has been a whirlwind. The Lord has introduced me to so many passionate and brilliant people here, He has linked me to countless organizations who have been changing lives for years in this county, and has really cast a community-wide vision for restoration. But let me be clear, though the Lord is doing incredible work here in Lorain County daily, my days here are typically not filled with hyper-spiritual or glamorous moments. Most of my days do not include epiphanies on community intervention or revelations of spiritual outreach tactics. In fact, my daily agenda looks pretty similar to any other resident of Lorain County. Everyday I spend a few hours working at the local Head Start Preschool, sometimes I go grocery shopping or catch up with friends over coffee, I very often get stuck behind the Bascule Bridge as it raises and lowers to let ships in and out of the city, and in the fall I spend my Friday nights at the local high school football games cheering on our team. But that’s where I find I feel most privileged with the opportunity to live here- it’s in sharing the everyday tasks of life with my fellow community members. It’s through this I’ve been able to have the privilege of joining my neighbors in the Lord’s vision for our community- to create a place that looks a little more like heaven here in Lorain County, OH.

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