Thank You and See You

by Nick Cocalis, Missions Director

To Our Friends,

On February 1st, Mel and I will be leaving our positions at Next Step and moving to Phoenix, Arizona to
start a new adventure in our lives. After serving in full-time ministry for the past ten years we have
decided it is time to step out in faith and experience what God can do in our lives in a new culture and
context. We are leaving Next Step with full hearts and love for this amazing ministry, along with a
childlike anticipation of how God will continue to work in our lives personally.

I would like to start and end this short letter by saying thank you. This organization and all those that are
part of our Next Step family have been an instrumental part of my life that I will forever be grateful for.
This ministry is where I learned to serve. Where I was forced to rely on Christ.. Where I was challenged
to live recklessly and selflessly. Where I was pushed to lead like Jesus. Where I met Mel. And where
my worldview and theology was shaped. At the end of the day, it is where I fell in love with countries,
cultures, people, and Jesus.

There are countless co-workers, summer staff, pastors, community members, students, supporters and
above all, friends, that have poured their lives into Next Step and into my life personally. Thank you.

In the coming days, we will introduce our new Missions Director, Barak Tschirhart. I am so excited about
the future of Next Step. This ministry has never been stronger and the team here continues to push this
ministry as a true trailblazer for missions done the right way. There are exciting things on the horizon for
our continued growth in community development, discipleship, and our passion to create the best
possible student mission trip experience.

Over the past ten years I have learned many things from many people. But one of the things I will always
hold dear to my heart is the way our Native American friends speak their salutations. Whenever we
depart from a visit, our friends don’t say “goodbye”. They share a simple “see you”. This indicates it’s not
goodbye and it’s not even see you later. It’s a simple, see you. Whenever that is, wherever that is, the
friendship will continue. So, to all our amazing friends and partners, a warm and heartfelt ‘see you’.

The best is yet to come,
Nick

You may connect with me going forward at nick.cocalis@gmail.com

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