God is Planning for the One

By Kinsey Minschke, Partnership Coordinator

When this summer started, I had big plans in mind. In the 9 months of preparations before the summer began, I worked to create plans to help students and staff reach the most people possible in Joplin. I worked hard but God was working too. He was pulling things together and creating a space for one person this summer. I quickly learned that sometimes God is planning for the one. This summer, He had one in mind.

We met Shaneika through Watered Gardens, Joplin’s rescue mission and homeless shelter. Struggling with a meth addiction, prostitution, and a transient lifestyle, she was far from walking in the promises God had for her. We had an opportunity at Journey Church (the local church that hosts all Next Step summer teams) to pour into her life and begin walking alongside her in her spiritual growth.

Our first group of the summer was Journey Church, serving in their own community! On the first night of the trip Shaneika asked me if she could join in working alongside them for the week. I was so excited that she wanted to do this.

Shaneika continued to come to worship every single night of the summer, learning more each week about what it meant to be a true follower of Christ and devote her whole life to Him. She was staying busy, staying away from meth, and the Lord was using her to impact the lives of students who, like me, had probably never encountered someone like Shaneika.

Shaneika just started Ozark Christian College in the last couple of weeks. She is doing incredibly well and shared she gets emotional when she thinks about where she was and where she is now. She frequently shares her testimony with her classmates. She goes to Journey Church every single Sunday, participates in prayer meetings and Bible studies, and continues to become a woman of God.

Working day in and day out in community development, I can sometimes get lost in big visions and dreams and forget about individuals right in front of me. God loves and cares deeply for the community of Joplin, but that community is comprised of thousands of individual people that God loves and cares for deeply, as well. My friendship with Shaneika has reminded me, and hopefully all those her life is touching, that God is asking us to dream big and have great visions but to also remember the individual people we meet every single day who need to hear the truth of Jesus. If the work we do reaches one person, it’s all worth it.

Next Step Ministries