Listening to the Community

By Travis Hendershott, Partnership Coordinator

My previous work was with “at-risk” youth as we called it. Though what I found through my experience in my previous job, is that we are all “at-risk” in a way. The only difference is that some of the ridiculous fleshly things I do don’t send me to jail or keep record on paper. Seeing these kids find joy in attaining a job, maintain sobriety, or celebrate a birthday or holiday for the first time, is one of my life’s most sacred memories. I began to see a fire in some of the kids who struggled with life, rather than the ones that were apathetic and didn’t seem to care; letting the weight of life finally consume.

And there I was, a 20-something white male who never interviewed for a job, as they were all handed to me. Oh privilege. What room did I have to speak into their lives? With Next Step Ministries and Colorado Springs; what room may I have to speak into its life?

The first step will be spent listening to the community. The same way I learned to speak into the life of a jail committed youth, will be the similar process of getting to know Colorado Springs. How dare we enter a community and begin telling them what they need, rather listening and hearing their needs first?

I am grateful for the opportunity to dig deep into my hometown. Next Step in a way is an excuse for me to be nosy; find out what’s going on in the community. Pray for doors to open and opportunities for Next Step and I to serve the city. I’m excited about what God has in store!

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