by Claire Gronseth

“Support students in building their identity and sense of belonging, developing their gifts and passions through and for life long service in the community.” This is the mission statement that Local Outreach strives to accomplish.

Local Outreach is an organization on campus overseen by Program Manager for Student Engagement, Miranda Wright. Within Local Outreach are five different student-led ministries. Wright said: “Students and people in general are becoming more service-minded. The millennials are starving for community and not just community within each other, but within service.  I think the biggest thing is continuing to provide a space for students to think about others. In the craziness of college life where they have so much going on, so much is self-focused, local Outreach provides them with an outlet to serve others.”

“There’s so much blessing in serving other people.” – Miranda Wright

Streetlight, led by Kallee Buske, seeks to spread the gospel to the homeless and impoverished patrons throughout Minneapolis.  “I think Local Outreach has reminded us of the reason we are here,” said Buske.  “We love the Lord and we want to serve him well. We have been called to be his ambassadors, and so we have come to Northwestern to prepare ourselves to do that well for the rest of our lives. I have seen a lot of students’ eyes opened to the realities and struggles that many people face so close to us in proximity. I have seen a lot of hearts softened by the Lord.”

Lift Up, led by Jacob Colombo is a ministry that aims to share the gospel with lost snowboarders and skiers while sharing a common interest.  Colombo said: “I’ve seen many people impacted by the message of hope, life and salvation. So many of the skiers and snowboarders are very lost, and the idea that there is hope and salvation is very life-changing for many of them.”

Writing in the Sand, led by Anna Heruth, has a deep passion for raising awareness about human sex trafficking and being a light in lives that once were dark.  “As a ministry dedicated to spreading awareness on sex trafficking and calling out injustice, it can often be challenging to get men involved,” said Heruth.  “The truth is we cannot do this ministry without our brothers in Christ. They can reach people we cannot. We want to let the student body know even though this is a heavy and dark topic, the hope of Christ can drive out the darkness and bring restoration beyond belief.”

Way in the Wilderness, led by Samuel Tindall and Kirsten Triller, focuses on reaching out to the local international community, providing tutoring and building relationships with international college students from the area. Triller said, “This has shaped my time at Northwestern. It has changed my perspective on what ministry is and what it means to be a part of God’s work. It’s awesome to be a part of a team with one goal in mind. In Way in the Wilderness we get to strive toward that goal together.”

Living Hope is led by Kate Pankratz. “We work with at-risk inner city children and youth, coming alongside them to give hope of a life outside of the Northeast Minneapolis cycle,” said Pankratz. “So many kids feel stuck in the pattern of drugs, alcohol, and gangs. Most of them don’t know what it’s like to have someone stick around for them. I’ve learned that I have more to give than I ever thought possible. I’ve always been the quiet one, but Living Hope has shown me that I have a voice in the lives of the kids.”

Each ministry is always in search for new students to help spread the love of Christ. “There’s so much blessing in serving other people,” Wright concluded.  If any of the ministries feel like an opportunity God is presenting to you, don’t hesitate to contact Wright.

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