New Beginnings in Oklahoma

By Devin Swank, Partnership Coordinator

Four years ago at this time, I was just another college student rushing to my next class when I glimpsed a flyer that had the words “construction” and “missions” written in the title. I stopped immediately and found a ministry that would take me to places I never thought I would ever go. First to New York to aid in the recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy, and then to Moore, Oklahoma only 3 hours south of my home in Kansas. It started as just a summer job needed to fill my degree requirements, but turned into God showing me the next part of the plan He had for my life.

After my second summer interning in Oklahoma with Next Step, I started to feel a desire to learn more about this city that I felt I was randomly placed in. The people, the community, the hospitality, and the food trucks were all things I wanted to learn more about. My time during the summer was too short for me to grasp concepts of truly neighboring people through the love of Christ… something happening everyday here in Oklahoma City. I wanted to know more and continued to pursue the idea of moving down here after college.

With construction being my major in college, I started to think of employment and ways I could use construction to pursue God’s plan in my life. While I was investing into building projects at house after house during my first two summers, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a connection between the building I was doing and long term community development. How can these projects continue to spur growth within a community and neighborhood? This is where my passion for the city, and the heart of Next Step’s vision came together. I was blessed to be offered the position to serve in a community I was already so eager to learn more about.

As of today I am two weeks into my role as Partnership Coordinator in the Oklahoma City and Moore area, and have officially been a resident of Oklahoma City for the last 3 months. During my short amount of time here, I have truly felt at home and am beyond excited for the work God is doing here in this city. God has awesome plans for this community and I am excited to see the ways He uses me in my role to help serve and love on the people of Oklahoma. As I step into this new adventure, in a new city, and with new people, I can only thank God for the work He has done in my life and for His guidance as He leads me in my new home in Oklahoma. And to think it all started with a flyer at my school…

Next Step Ministries