I didn’t really want to move back to Storm Lake. I told God, anywhere but NOT 20 miles from home! He had a different plan. I found out that The Bridge offered something I was desperately longing for – holistic, incarnational ministry with people where they already are. I wanted to be a part of a community seeking to bring light into neighborhoods and families’ lives.
“At The Bridge, we feel it is vital to work directly in the neighborhoods of Storm Lake. We believe great impact for God’s glory will be made not in the big programs but in the real relationships of people of all cultures and backgrounds sharing life together.” – The Bridge of Storm Lake
Not only did I hear the vision, but I saw it! I saw people involved and building relationship with the families and youth living right next door playing basketball, reading books with kids at Seneca Center, and riding bikes and caroling door to door and through the apartment down the hill at Tulip Center. It’s not structured like a program, but it is sharing the authenticity of your lifestyle and is centered on being relational and hospitable. After watching, learning, and experiencing neighborhood centers, I spent several months doing neighborhood ministry in the trailer park. Recently, I decided in November that I’ll be moving into Park Center – a place in the Vista Estates Mobile Home Park where ministry happened several years ago, from chalk drawings, to making food, to playing soccer on the open grass behind the trailer.
Over the past year, with bright smiles and enthusiasm the youth and I have been playing tag, soccer, and they’ve invited me into their little community. One day I was surprised when a child asked if I would come to eat at their house that night. Although I was expected to meet my family for supper, I couldn’t turn down this precious offer. Entering the trailer, shoes were scattered right by the door and children were sitting and eating pho (a noodle dish) at the small table a couple feet off the floor. At that moment, eating noodles with this family and friends, I knew this place was just right. Thanks for joining me in prayer as I continue neighborhood ministry at Park Center.
Written by Jessica Skelton, Youth Advocate & Spiritual Development
Photo Credit: A Colorful Reality