WHAT’S NEXT IN YOUR STORY?
Does it ever intrigue anyone else how uniquely God chooses to move — how He desires to pull us into the narrative? He often speaks in a still, small voice and is always asking us to obediently accept and be a part of something that is so much bigger than us. This is exactly what I saw happening during my time in the Czech Republic. One particular Wednesday morning, during our women’s bible study, we had a new lady join. Even though she had just met all of us, she bravely shared some difficult and personal things that were happening in her life. I won’t go into details, but one thing she mentioned was that on top of all of these difficult situations, she found herself being plagued by horrible migraines and was regularly woken up by nightmares.
While she was sharing, I felt an overwhelming surge of compassion and an undeniable invitation from God — an invitation to be a part of a beautiful story that only He could compose. I responded with a resounding yes. I asked the woman if we could gather around her and blanket her in prayer. With tears forming in the corner of her eyes, she said yes. We moved to her, I placed a hand on her shoulder, and opened my mouth to start praying. I told God to speak through me and the words flowed out of my mouth with
an urgency and a hunger for her to experience the King in full that day. I don’t remember the exact words
I spoke over her, because they weren’t coming from me. I simply gave the Holy Spirit room to minister to her in that fragile moment. I had a chance to spend some more time with her afterward and heard some more about her story. A week later, I messaged her to ask how she was doing. She responded that ever since we had prayed for her, she had not had a single migraine, was sleeping soundly at night and was feeling so much more energized and refreshed! It was definitely a God-ordained encounter, and I am beyond humbled that He chose me to play a small part in it.
-Kathryn Streicher, Fall 2021 NEXT intern
NEXT interns return with a wide variety of stories and experiences, each unique to them and the place they served. These experiences enlighten and teach each intern something different. Maybe they gained clarity about their next steps
to pursue a career with the global church. Maybe their eyes were opened to certain areas in their spiritual life that need strengthened.
NEXT Developer and Founder, Dina Horne said “whether their future is in ministry or other professions, they will have a life-changing experience!”
Regardless of their experience, it’s important to note that there isn’t necessarily enough time to learn an entire language, pick up on all cultural trends, or change the world in 2-4 months. But there’s certainly room and reason to make an impact and to be impacted.
NEXT, a mentored cross-cultural immersion experience, sent 15 interns in 2021 and 15-20 will be sent this summer. Each of the nine sites they serve in around the world have a Wesleyan presence. Most are led by seasoned Global Partners missionaries. The NEXT site in the United Kingdom is led by the local British Isles Wesleyan Holiness District. Wherever they are, the interns work and learn alongside long-term, committed missionaries.
For NEXT Coordinator Stephanie Goggin, the interns’ stories are one of her favorite parts about her job.
“Hearing stories of how God used them in powerful ways … helps things feel like they’ve really come full-circle with the program,” she said.
Summer will be here before we know it, and 2022 NEXT interns are getting ready for their experiences ahead. Stephanie said they’ll go through a lot of pre-field training. One thing they make sure to emphasize is how to practice spiritual endurance.
“I love sharing Romans 12:12-13 with them and advising them about keeping close to God even during the difficult days,” Stephanie shared, “because the difficult days always come when you’re out of your comfort zone for so long.”
Dina noted that when we step outside of our typical rhythms of life, opportunities for growth arise. She said her hope is that each intern will rise to each challenge, encounter God and gain skills for relationship building with those who are different from them.
As two interns are in the middle of their experience serving in the UK, and several are preparing for their summer experience, please join us in praying over them.
To follow along and to learn more about NEXT, visit our website: https://serve.globalpartnersonline.org/next and check out the NEXT Facebook and Instagram!