Closing Words From Will

Rosedale, West Virginia is a place full of Jesus.
Between its natural beauty, loving community members, Next Step staff, and students, God is really doing something incredible there.
Throughout this week we served but were also served countless times. Sure we built things, but the perspective we gained and relationships we built will be what stays with us forever.
This was my third year going back, and the way in which I experience the Lord here is like no other.
All the staff live their lives for God and His light is shown through them every day. The beauty of the landscape is but a glimpse of the enormity of God’s creation. The way the community members touch your heart and ultimately change your life are gifts from God.
Serving in West Virginia this past week was, yet again, life changing.
God is good and it is so evident in Rosedale.
-Will McMillan

A Shout Out to Next Step Staff!

Starting from the moment our bus pulled to the front of The Pulse church, our team was welcomed openly by the Next Step ministry staff. Immediately they hopped on the bus dedicated to giving our leaders a moments rest, after a seemingly unending bus ride. They soon took the time to learn every name of the students on this trip, including the Blackhawk team and our friends who joined us there from Pennsylvania. As the week began our team was astounded by the leadership and maturity that these college age students had to offer. In addition to appearing ready and waiting early each morning, preparing supplies for work sites, feeding us, and just about everything in between they created an amazing environment surrounded by Gods love and grace. Despite the fact that this was the Next Step staffs sixth week of serving the community of Rosedale, they were still so enthusiastic and energetic about serving on the work projects we did. It was so amazing this week to see the connections each staff member has made with the residents and how well they have shown God to Rosedale. One example of this super  great leadership was the staff member assigned to our group, John (more affectionately known as “Chick-Fil-A”). We spent our week building a sidewalk for a women named Cathy who will likely be confined to a wheelchair later in life due to a traumatic car accident. John like all of us had little to no experience with pouring concrete. Luckily he turned to this amazing resource some call “YouTube” to prevent numerous disasters that may or may not have occurred on site with the concrete. Each day he stayed late to make sure the concrete dried smoothly, and everything was done to make it as nice for Cathy as possible. It was really amazing to see John’s dedication to watching the concrete dry. On our last day our whole team got the opportunity to pray over the staff to encourage and lift them up for weeks ahead. Needless to say leaving them this morning was not an easy task, and we will be keeping them in our prayers for much longer.

-Abby and Bria

Crew 2 – The Concrete Mixers

Greetings from Rosedale!!

It’s the end of day 3 at our worksites, and projects are in full swing. Our group has been working on building a concrete sidewalk for an elderly woman named Kathy, who recently injured her legs in a car accident. The sidewalk will stretch between Kathy and her daughter’s home next door. There have been a few minor setbacks due to rain, but we are happy to say the worst of it has held off while we worked, and we have made great progress.

Our crew has had a great time so far this week both working hard on the sidewalk and building relationships with Kathy, her family, and each other. Kathy’s house has provided endless entertainment for us, including  one horse, one dog, seven cats, various other creatures, and especially, her daughter’s five foster kids.

Even beyond the worksite, our team has had the opportunity to bond on deep and humorous levels. We’ve been able to have great conversations together about the purpose God has given us in this earth and how we can live to glorify him. Despite the somewhat severe exhaustion, we’ve had a blast with everything from meals, car rides, and digging in the mud.

Signing out with a cheer from Yours Truly, the Concrete Mixers… We’re here to mix *clap* YOU UP!!

– Hannah Metzger and Mia Radix

Another successful day on the site!

Thankfully there wasn’t any rain today so we were all able to work hard on the house.  Mr. Gooch made us lunch which was amazing!  We worked on scraping the back deck of old paint, so we can hopefully repaint it tomorrow and Thursday. On the front of the house the crew worked on building a roof that hangs over the front ramp to keep Mr. Gooch dry when it rains. We had a very successful day and spotted many deer in the beautiful back yard. We saw God today in the generosity of Mr. Gooch who made us dinner and gave us Popsicles after our long day of work. He spoke to us through the stories we heard at lunch devotional time and the beauty we are surrounded by.

~Kailey and Kristi

Day One

Today, Crew 1 worked on siding Steve’s house. Our very large group consists of some students from Blackhawk and also a chunk of students from Pennsylvania. We saw God work in our group as the groups from different churches bonded and got to know each other even though we were complete strangers 2 days ago. It is really cool to see how this trip can bring people together like this as we grow in our faith. We’ve accomplished a lot already in the first day and can’t wait to see what God has in store for the days to come!

INTRODUCING: Your 2015 WV Leader Line-up!!!


My name is Tamika Ellefson. I have been with high school ministry for 5 years. This is my second time going to West Virginia. I was so changed by the first trip, I wanted to go again to see how God ismoving among the community. I am anticipating to be fully humbled and awestruck by how God will use us to further His kingdom. Continue reading