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Registration Closed

Contact
Dana Neuenschwander
dana@firstchurchconnect.com

Registration closed on Tuesday, March 29, 2022

9 spots available
June 26, 2022 to July 02, 2022
Lorain, Ohio
On the shores of Lake Erie, about 15 miles west of Cleveland, sits the beautiful and unique Lorain County. As a blue-collar working county built on the backs of steel workers and ship builders, this is an area that finds deep pride in its rich history. In 2013, Next Step began a relationship with Lorain County after a local pastor extended the invitation to be a part of the community restoration effort that was taking place. Next Step's work here is led by local organizations who are working day in and day out to serve their community holistically.

Lorain, Ohio

Middle School Students

June 26 - July 2

We have partnered with Next Step Ministries for seven years because of their incredible passion for reaching people for Christ. Next Step Ministries is committed to providing a place where short-term teams collide with long-term community development.

History of Lorain

On the shores of Lake Erie, about 15 miles west of Cleveland, sits the beautiful and unique Lorain County. As a blue-collar working county built on the backs of steel workers and ship builders, this is an area that finds deep pride in its rich history. Drawn by a surplus of jobs in the early 1900’s, individuals from all over the world settled in to call Lorain County home. This created a beautifully diverse community that is still very present today.

However, as changes began to take place in these different industries, jobs began to dry up leaving several challenges in its wake. As families scrambled to find employment, basic needs such as adequate food and shelter proved hard to meet. Lorain County suffered another hit in 2008, when our country faced its greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Across the U.S. savings were lost, jobs disappeared, and poverty swelled. Lorain County was especially affected as Lorain’s poverty rate jumped by a third, claiming 33.7% of all county residents.

Meeting A Need

In 2013, Next Step began a relationship with Lorain County after a local pastor extended the invitation to be a part of the community restoration effort that was taking place. Next Step's work here is led by local organizations who are working day in and day out to serve their community holistically. In partnership with Neighborhood Alliance's Senior Meal Delivery Program, Next Step students are able to offer home repair assistance to senior citizens throughout the county. To us, home repair is just a platform to form deep and genuine relationships rooted in the love of Christ. Many seniors struggle with feelings of isolation and loneliness. When they open their door for construction work to be done, we see it as an open door to show the love of Christ in a way that offers hope and dignity.

How You'll Serve

During your trip, you may have an opportunity to work alongside a homeowner like Miss Sheila, a senior citizen born and raised in Lorain County. As an active member of her church for over 50 years, Miss Sheila was eager to connect with young Christians set out to do mission work. While we were able to minister to her physical wellbeing by restoring the roof over her head, Next Step volunteers got to offer spiritual encouragement as well. Over the past 10 years, Miss Sheila had been unable to make it to church due to the many health challenges she was facing. Through this relationship, both Next Step volunteers and Miss Sheila were able to experience the joy of the Lord as they learned from each other in faith.

Next Step students will also have the opportunity to serve alongside several local churches and organizations in community projects and outreach as part of the beautiful restoration process taking place in Lorain County. Every person you meet, nail you hammer, and organization you work with, is an opportunity to come alongside the momentum taking place in Lorain. A momentum of renewal and hope.