Katie (In red above) came to NMSI as an intern to Malawi and Zambia in 2011 and continued on with a yearlong apprenticeship with YouthHOPE. She served NMSI as the YouthHOPE internship project coordinator and she led the internship to Kenya the following summer. She knew above all else that God was calling her to work with youth and felt her next steps would be moving to a country in Africa to serve long-term.
During her year with NMSI, she found herself with a vision in the back of her mind that kept growing. This vision, of a safe place for youth in the city of Colorado Springs to hang out and learn about Jesus, was not in Africa, and was becoming harder to ignore. In time, she found out that God was growing the same dream in the heart of her best friend, Maryann.
As Katie found herself wrestling with whether to continue on in missions with youth ministry or to start a youth outreach in Colorado Springs, Aaron Arnold (Executive Director of YouthHOPE) challenged her to â€œDo something." It didn't matter if it was in Africa or Colorado Springs, she just needed to do something for the Lord and do it with all of her heart. God was leading her in a direction that she never planned on, but was the direction that He had planned for her.
Through encouragement and mentorship of those she was serving alongside, NMSI provided a place where Katie could not only grow and serve, but also to seek out what God was calling her to. She feels her time serving with NMSI helped launch her into her next steps - founding The Vine, a place that â€œexists to connect the youth of Colorado Springs to Christ's love by providing a safe and fun environment for discipleship and building community through partnering with the church." The Vine has been impacting lives of youth for 2.5 years now and continues to expand its ministries!