Friday’s are free days during mission trips at Next Step and we got to choose what we want to do. This group decided to go to Garden of the Gods and White Water Rafting with the Royal Gorge. It was a day filled with nerves and excitement. When booking our rafting trip, we decided to do the easy route. Our trip consisted of class 2 & 3 rapids. If you know anything about rafting class 2 & 3 rapids are pretty simple. Once we got off the river everyone in our group was filled with excitement and joy from going. They all said they would have loved to try the higher class rapids.
After we finished rafting, we headed back to the church we were staying at for our last night. It was a night filled with happiness, sadness, and goodbyes. Our church group bonded and made connections with kids from Kansas and North Dakota. We had a great time playing and worshiping together before departing ways.
We’re currently making our way back to Minnesota, with a stop in Nebraska tonight. Once we return, we can’t wait to tell all of our stories!
We wanted to go on this mission trip to grow closer with God, experience something new, and help people in need. Today we decided to wake up at 5:30 am to watch the sun rise over the mountains. After that, we went to the house we are working on and primed and painted her bathroom and bedroom. Then, we came back to the church and played games, such as Spicy Uno and Tips. Finally, we had worship. It was a very deep and emotional service that helped us grow closer with God and many other people here. It was overall a very fun day. Although many people dislike car rides, we’re very excited for the ride back because it’s another 15 hours to grow closer with our church family. We’re both nervous to White Water Raft. I’m sure it will be fun (hopefully), but as of right now, we’re terrified.
-Carissa Nascene and Maddy Elliot
Today we got up and had breakfast, for breakfast it was egg bake. We had VBS in the morning, we had a fun time dancing and doing crafts with all of the little kids. At lunchtime, we went to the worksite and had devotions with our crew. We had a really good talk with our crew during devotions. After that, we started to scrape paint off the walls and painted some panels. Later, we went with our crew to BJs Velvet Icecream and got some ice cream. When we got back it was our crews turn to clean the showers, suprisingly we had a blast. When we got back to the church we had AMAZING worship and played games.
- Grace Jahnz and Abby Elliot
We started the day by waking up and getting to our worksite. We greeted Sherry, the lady whose house we are working on, and she was happy to see us. We worked hard painting and made a lot of progress before lunch. At lunch, we started our devotion. Sherry decided to join us along with other kids that lived in the trailer park. It felt good to interact with these kids facing challenges and put a smile on their face. We finished up and went back to the church for dinner and worship. After worship, we met as a church and had a good discussion about how we can spread God’s love every day.
-Tanner and Sully
First, we woke up at 7 in the morning! We then packed up and got ready to go to Sherri’s house where she needed new flooring and some remodeling. After we got ready, everyone held hands and prayed together for a great day and then went on to their sites. We got to the house and right away all of us wanted to meet her. We worked most of the morning and some in the afternoon. After we got done helping her, we went back to the church and had a BBQ with everyone at the church. Then it was time to play some games and after the games, we went into worship and it was so moving to all of us. We sang songs and listen to a guy who told us about a message. Lastly, we all went into our little church groups and talked about how much that message moved us.
Today we left Paxton, Nebraska for Colorado Springs, Colorado in a 5-hour drive that most likely turned into 6 hours with all of the stops we made 🙂 The first thing we did when we arrived in the city was visit the natural formation Garden of the Gods. This landscape is incredibly cool and was formed by the mountain building forces of the Rockies. The sandstone-based rock formations were formed millions of years ago and have eroded into different shapes over time. After our visit, we drove 15 minutes to the church that we are staying at for the week. We were welcomed, ate chicken and potatoes, and met with our crew groups for the week! I am excited, as is everyone else, for this week to come! We will be seeing God work through us in amazing ways!
June 15, 2019.
We left Our Redeemer at an awful hour of 6 AM. We started our journey to Colorado Springs packing the vehicles at 5:30 with a departure time of 6 AM. We were up but not quite awake. Today really consisted of driving and bonding. We spent time in the vehicles playing music, talking, eating, and getting ready for our week together. We have spent a lot of time snacking and we are so thankful for everyone who donated food for our trip! We will never go hungry!
Today’s drive mostly consisted of food, bathroom, and gas stops. We drove over half way to Colorado to get the most of our driving done today. However, we made one random stop that mostly I, Leigha, was excited for. I mean it was hard for the kids to get excited or disappointed because they had no idea where we were stopping. I made our group stop at the World’s Largest Ball of Stamps! I mean it was pretty cool (check out the pictures below). Some even listed it as their high during family time! I would like to call that a win.
Finally, we made it to our hotel for the night to get some decent sleep. Our journey continues tomorrow morning at 8 AM. Stay tuned for more updates each night!
The group has been hard at work bonding and fundraising for this summer’s trip to Colorado. While we are on this journey together and want to keep everyone updated below are a few fundraisers coming up.
Soup and Sandwich March 13 and April 10 serving from 5 to 6:30. We will be working hard in the kitchen making soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Come after or before worship for fellowship and food! A free-will offering will be taken and all proceeds will go towards the costs of the trip.
Grounds for Change Coffee and Tea: We are partnering with an organization that creates fair trade, organic, shade crown, carbon-free coffee and tea. We will be selling coffee and tea March 10 – 24 in the back of the narthex or you can find someone going on the trip and buy directly from them. Coffee sells for $10 a bag and tea $7 a box. A little bit more about Ground for Change below
Grounds for Change is an organization that provides Fair Trade Certified, Organic Certified, Carbon Free Certified and Shade Grown, which means the possibility of a real livelihood for coffee growers, a breath of fresh air for the planet, zero net carbon emissions from “crop to cup” and healthy forests for migratory songbirds. By choosing to use our coffee as your fundraiser, you will join us in these efforts. With our unique offering, Cafe Femenino, your sales also directly support an exceptional group of women producers in Peru. This is the first project of its kind and, since its launch in 2004, has been tremendously successful. For more information about the Cafe Femenino Peru coffee and project, visit:
June 2019 fourteen students and adults will be traveling to Colorado Springs, CO for a week to serve alongside the community. We are preparing for our trip through various fundraisers, events, service, and worship.
We want you to get to know the group better so each month you will find a blog post that introduces some of the group. Today we start our first post for the upcoming trip.
Hello, my name is Katelyn L. I like to travel and spend time with my family. Some reasons why I’m going on the trip would be that I do want to travel more and also to help out people because I love to help out a lot for some reason. I also want to spend time with friends and to grow a better connection with God. I look forward to helping out people and maybe construction work. The one thing I’m nervous about is what it will be like there and how everyone will work together but I do believe we will all work together and have tons of fun.
Hi, my name is Abby E. A fact about me is that I have a twin sister. Some reasons why I am going on the mission trip is because I am excited to travel and be with my friends. I am also excited about this mission trip because we get to help people. I am looking forward to this mission trip to grow a better relationship with God. Something I am nervous about the trip is what it’s going to be like there, but I’m thinking that we are all going to have a lot of fun and work well with each other.
Today (7/19), working on the deck of the old middle school was successful. Our group (Janae, Kristina, Calle, Madi, and Leigha) continued to work on the picnic tables and putting boards back down on the deck alongside the other half of our group from Illinois. We got a lot accomplished and we were all super happy. We have three main projects going on at the moment. We have a group of people on putting the deck boards back in, another working on the 4x4s, and the last working on picnic tables. Each of the projects requires drills to complete what is needed to be done. One of our two drills started smoking so we were eventually down to one drill. Instead of being stressed and argumentative towards one another, we were all calm and still happy. We rotated the drill around to the different groups working. Over this, we made a lot of progress despite our desperate need for more drills. We also bonded even more during our lunch. It’s been a great week and I am so thankful to have met the group from Illinois.
Today, Dale and Mel’s crew (Jolie, Nikki, and Grace) continued work on the roof. Our mission was to lay at least 10 tin sheets. We accomplished that and much more. We put down around 15 sheets! The day continued to get hotter, but luckily, we scheduled some group breaks and were able to stop for water and a little taste of peanut butter for an extra boost of energy before going back to work in the hot sun. A cool thing that happened today was a member of the community named Nancy came by and gave us bracelets that say WVstrong. The woman hands these bracelets out to many of the volunteers within the community. One way I saw God today was when we gathered for breaks and lunch with our group. I feel as though we have bonded, and we bonded much better today with our Next Step leader Dee. I am excited to see what the rest of the week brings and to see all of the progress our group makes on the roof! -Nikki
Leigha’s crew (Janae, Madi, Calle, and Kristina) along with a group from Illinois have been working on building a deck. Today we got to start putting together picnic tables which was really fun. We’ve become masters with hammers and nails. Through working together and opening up to each other during lunch devotionals, we’ve grown closer and gotten to know each person of our crew in new ways. We are very thankful that part of our worksite is in the shade! Whenever we get too hot, we can take a step in the shade and instantly feel a little refreshed. I’ve seen God through the new people we’ve met, the open conversations we’ve had, and through our evening worships where we sing, praise, and learn more about God’s love! We’re definitely looking forward to what the rest of this week will bring! – Kristina