LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK

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Disaster Relief Mission Trip

THE MISSION

Superstorm Sandy devastated the east coast as it crashed into the shoreline with historic force and quickly moved into the heart of New York and New Jersey in 2012. After the waters receded, Sandy claimed over 100 lives on the coast, destroyed thousands of homes, and left millions without power — and even more without hope.

As we drove around just days after the storm had passed, we saw FEMA stations, relief workers, NYPD, fireman, and the National Guard. It was one week after the storm and first response was hard at work, but we couldn’t help but wonder, what will happen to these families in the long run? Who will help them if FEMA or their insurance companies don’t meet all the needs?

This is where our partnership began.

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We were drawn to the Long Island community because of the storm, but quickly realized that a partnership well beyond Superstorm Sandy was beginning to form. Our first few years in New York focused on partnering with churches, organizations, and families in the rebuilding efforts after Sandy passed.

We were there for relief. But now we are there for development. We are there for long-term partnership. We are there for the spiritual and emotional rebuilding, when trust and authenticity can be hard to find. Yes, construction and home repair continues to be the platform in which our partnership exists in New York, but the relationships with families and organizations in the area is what sustains the work we are doing.

We have seen a significant change in the way the community of Long Island receives volunteers like yourself during the summer. We know that as we continue to build on years of trusted relationships that you develop with us in the Long Island area, the momentum will only strengthen. Momentum that fosters transformation through the love and freedom of Christ.

ADDITIONAL VIDEO

QUICK INFO

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DATES AVAILABLE

June 3-9 July 8-14
June 10-16 July 15-21
June 17-23 July 22-28
June 24-30 July 29-August 4
July 1-6**  

* Sunday – Friday Trip

  • Call for Availability on Crossed out Dates or for Winter/Spring Break Trips
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AGE GROUPS ALLOWED

  • Middle School Students 
  • High School Students
  • College Students

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TRIP COST

$419/person

*This includes all accommodations, food, work project materials and programming.

TYPICAL WORK

 Construction  90%

 Community Activities / Immersion  5%

 Relational Ministry  5%

PAST PROJECTS

COMMUNITY CENTER AND BEACH HOUSE

When Super Storm Sandy hit Long Island, the Bay Park Community Center and Beach House were completely underwater.  The community of Bay Park is known for being a very close-knit group of neighbors and friends with roots that go back many generations, so having two of the most central locations damaged was a big challenge for them. Next Step was excited to work alongside the residents in remodeling both buildings, all the way from gutting the buildings to installing new sub floor, insulation, drywall, and finishes. It was a great project in the heart of the community.

CHURCH REPAIR

Peoples Church in Long Beach was another location severely hurt by Super Storm Sandy. The church had received enough insurance money to fix the essentials, such as electrical and most interior finishes, but they didn’t have the finances to restore the outside of the building that was completely destroyed. Volunteers got to work on various projects including landscaping, framing, siding, fences, and deck building to restore the beauty of People Church and hope in the community.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

YOUNG LIFE

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When first visiting New York, we had the privilege of meeting a couple that serves with Young Life. This organization builds relationships with students where they are and as they are, in order to share the love of Christ in their personal journey. Young Life seeks to tackle this task by providing a scheduled time for youth to gather where they explore what a life looks like with Christ. Thankfully our partnership is allowing us to support youth in this area even after our student volunteers have left. We’re seeing movement towards and for the Kingdom of God through Young Life Events.

BETHANY CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

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Bethany Congregational Church during Super Storm Sandy was a direct relief site. FEMA used the church facilities as a hub for the area of East Rockaway and even beyond for those in the Nassau Country area. Even after the storm they continued to help those in need and housed people that needed a roof over their heads. The storm displaced many families within the city. Our partnership with this church has allowed us to collectively recreate the space these families call home. Together, we have hosted community events and prioritized community rebuilding. This church was gracious enough to house us for our first summer, and we’ve been blessed by them ever since.

FREEPORT FOOD PANTRY

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Located in Freeport, this first stop Food Pantry provides individuals and families in need with up to five days’ worth of food, along with information about critical community resources such as food stamps, Child Health Plus, WIC, heating and utility assistance, employment resources and mortgage assistance.

WORSHIP

EVENING PROGRAMMING

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WORSHIP MUSIC
We’ve been told our worship experience is where summer camp meets mission trip. We put together bands from all over the country to lead your students in powerful worship every night. These talented and Christ-centered musicians will help show your students that worship can be fun, worship can be exciting, and worship can bring a joy they have maybe never experienced before.

CHALLENGING MESSAGES
It is our goal to bring your students closer to Christ this week. One way we do this is through challenging evening messages. Whether your students are new to the whole God thing or devoted Christians, these messages will help them understand Christ is alive and working in their lives today and a personal relationship with Him is available.

ORIGINAL VIDEO SERIES
Every summer we produce an original video series that coincides with the evening messages. This video series is our attempt to reach your students in yet another way with powerful stories of Christ in action. We’ve featured speakers such as Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne and Propaganda. You can watch some of our past video series in our Media Section. 

MYSTEP FOLLOW-UP

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MyStep is an online program solely dedicated to helping your students, your church, or your ministry take the next step in a commitment to Jesus Christ. Whether you just came back from a mission trip through Next Step, or you’re just looking for another way to strengthen your faith, MyStep is for you! We created a safe environment for students to explore the faith, and experience God in new and amazing ways!

Devo Stories are one of MyStep’s most popular features. We have over 365 short video story illustrations that show the many different ways God is working in our daily lives. Whether it’s a comical lesson about the consequences of stealing or a serious conversation about a parents’ divorce, these stories help students understand God in new and real ways.

Another feature is the Prayer Wall, which provides an open and anonymous prayer forum for anyone to share their praises and concerns, and be prayed for throughout the year. Know our team is praying for these requests.

Both of these features can be installed for free on your mobile device. Simply search for Devo Stories or Prayer Wall on your phone or tablet’s app store. This makes staying connected to God and each other easier than ever!

LOGISTICS

ACCOMODATIONS

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The trip is hosted at Oceanside Lutheran Church. The church has AC units and sleeping arrangements will be in the gym and basement. Sleeping will be on the floor so please bring a twin air mattress and bedding.

TRANSPORTATION

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Van Accessible (Not Bus Accessible), Toll Money Needed

With all of the urban driving, vans are the best vehicle for the trip. Remember to plan accordingly for tolls. Some groups choose to fly and then rent vehicles for the week. The nearest airports are LaGuardia (LGA) located 25 minutes away, or the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) located 15 minutes from where we stay.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Twin Size Air Mattress
  • Bedding & Pillow
  • Water Bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Towel
  • Toiletries
  • Swim Suit
  • Work Shoes
  • Work Clothes
  • Casual Clothes
  • Work Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Hammer

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

SUNDAY (ARRIVAL DAY)

3:00-5:00 pm – Arrive to Mission Location
6:00 pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – Worship & Weekly Orientation
8:30 pm – Church Time, Small groups, Free Time
11:00 pm – Lights Out

MONDAY – THURSDAY (WORK DAYS)

7:00 am – Wake Up
7:15 am – Eat Breakfast & Lunch Preparation
8:00 am – Morning Devotional
8:15 am – Depart for Worksite & Begin Working
12:00 pm – Lunch & Devotion
1:00 pm – Resume Working
3:30 pm – Clean Up/Return
4:00 pm – Free time/Showers/Leader Meeting
6:00pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – Worship
8:30 – Church Time/Small Groups/Free Time
11:00 pm – Lights Out

FRIDAY (COMMUNITY / FUN DAY)

8:00 am – Wake Up 
8:15 am – Eat Breakfast & Lunch Preparation
9:00 am – Morning Devotion

9:15 am – Leave for Free Day Activity
4:00 pm  – Shower Time/Free Time/Leader Meeting
6:00 pm – Dinner

7:00 pm – Worship
8:30 pm – Church Time/Small Groups/Free time

11:00 pm – Lights Out

 

 

FAQS

Yes. Next Step Ministries exists to give middle school, high school, and college students an opportunity to explore their faith, experience God, and extend service to others on a mission trip. Students are our top priority and safety is always our primary concern. Thankfully, because of our long-term commitment and involvement within the community we have developed many close relationships with the locals. The community is familiar with Next Step and we’ve worked hard to humbly earn their trust and respect. Because of these close friendships we are the first to know if something out of the ordinary comes up or is unsafe. 

The trip lodging facility will always be locked to ensure safety. During the day, students will be serving at homes where Next Step has already visited the family and knows who they are. Furthermore, community members select these projects, so we can ensure they are safe places for us to be. This network of community friendships allows for Next Step to engage with the community in a way that is trusted and safe. 

On the first night of the trip, our staff will train and equip your team to understand safety on the construction work sites. If you’re interested in learning more about this, please visit our Construction Safety page.

We are more than happy to talk in more detail about safety on this trip. Please feel free to contact our office for further conversation regarding trip safety.

We are committed to never being in an area where we feel students are at a heightened risk to their physical, spiritual or emotional health.  However, we understand we are serving in a community where safety concerns surround us at a distance. For that reason, we have created Safety Procedures available for the main leader of your trip on the Trip Dashboard. You can access this information at anytime leading up to your trip.
Registration opens in July and will be available through early spring. To get your preferred dates, locations, and spaces it is recommended to secure your spots sometime before October.
For summer mission trips you must have a minimum of five participants to be eligible for a group. If you have less than five participants please contact our office. The maximum number of people will depend on location capacity and availability. Please call our office to learn more about the special requirements for spring mission trips.
Our office staff is available to help with this process. Please contact our office to learn more about how to reserve your spots. You can always add people to your group, as long as there is space available.
Next Step Ministries offers trips for middle school, high school, and college groups. Some trips are reserved for specific age groups and other trips are mixed ages. Please contact our office with your preferences and we will provide you with a list of available trips. Middle school trips are for students going into 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. High school trips are for students going into 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. College trips are for ages 18-25.
Next Step Ministries asks for 1 adult for every 6 students.
Yes. Each church group is responsible for conducting background checks on all participants ages 18 or older.
Each location has a different max capacity, so please contact our office to learn more about spaces available. In the event that we are fully booked for the trip you are interested in, we can put you on a wait list or help find alternative trip options. To avoid these delays, we recommend registering for your trip as soon as you can!
$50 Deposit- 30 days after registration

50% Payment on March 15
Final Payment on May 15

The deposit is $50 per participant and due 30 days after online registration. The deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. March 15 is the last day to cancel participants. Note, if you cancel participants prior to March 15 the deposit money will be lost. If you need to make cancellations after March 15, your church will still be responsible for paying the full fee for all participant registrations reserved. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact our office and we would be happy to discuss in more detail.

No, we do not affiliate with a particular denomination. Next Step Ministries is an interdenominational organization and we partner with hundreds of churches from all different denominations on our mission trips. Please see our Statement of Faith to learn more about what we believe. In simple terms, we stick to the basics of the Gospel. Our foundation for ministry is to provide opportunities for students to connect and grow in a personal relationship with Christ.
Next Step Ministries works alongside community leaders, non-profit organizations, and the local church in order to line up work projects. Next Step Partnership Coordinators live and serve within the community year round and are well connected. Next Step collaborates with the community to plan the projects you will be working on in advance.
Your group will learn about the work projects on the first night of your trip! Our staff will contact you 1-2 weeks prior to the trip to share updates in advance and provide an updated tool list. 
A Next Step Partnership Coordinator facilitates community partnerships, lines up projects, leads the summer staff, and coordinates other logistics such as lodging and accommodations. The trip will be facilitated by 8-10 energetic, mission-minded, and highly trained college interns. The site staff will include a construction team, worship team, speaker, meal coordinators, and administrative leaders to guide you through the week.
You will most likely be attending a trip with 2-4 other youth groups. All groups will share sleeping quarters and we will have meals and worship together as a large group. Most of our mission site locations can accommodate for 80-100 volunteers each week. For work projects, we love to mix students and encourage new friendships to form, but also understand that many groups prefer not to have their group split up for different work projects. Please let our office staff know your preference and we will plan accordingly to accommodate your preferences.

During the mission trip it is important that we make every effort to dress respectfully, modestly, and appropriately. We will be working hard serving in the community so it is best to wear old, comfortable, and modest clothes. Please understand there may be different cultural norms in the other partnering churches and/or community you are visiting for one week. While certain clothing may be acceptable in your hometown, it might not be appropriate for the mission trip.

Please review the dress code below and pack accordingly. If you have any questions, please contact our office at missions@nextstepministries.com or 608-514-4051.

  • Shirts: All trip participants should wear either a short-sleeve or long-sleeve t-shirt on the work projects. You may wear tank tops or sleeveless shirts in the evening during free time, dinner, and worship. Tank tops must be modest. Please note, no spaghetti strap tank tops or ripped/torn cut-off shirts. All sleeveless shirts must have a hem.
  • Pants/Shorts: All trip participants should wear modest pants or shorts at all times on the mission trip. Please adhere to the following rules:
    • Please be mindful of the length of your shorts. Follow the “fingertip length” rule to determine if your shorts are appropriate length. To do this, stand with your arms straight at your side and place your palm against the side of your legs. The length of your shorts should be at your fingertips or longer. Spandex pants/shorts are NOT allowed on the mission trip at anytime. This includes yoga pants or spandex athletic shorts.
  • Bathing Suits
    • Ladies must wear a one-piece swim suit or wear a t-shirt over a two-piece swim suit. Males must wear swim trunks that are long enough for the “fingertip length” rule mentioned above.

The trip cost is the same for students and adults. The cost covers all meals, materials, and lodging. The only cost not included is for transportation. You will need to provide your own vehicle for every day of the trip.
The trip begins on Sunday evening. Please plan to arrive between 3:00-5:00 pm. Our friendly staff will welcome you with dinner and help you unload all of your bags. The trip concludes Saturday morning after breakfast and clean up. Please plan to depart by 9:00 am. We are happy to accommodate your travel plans so please contact our office if you need special arrival or departure plans. Please note the July 17-22 trip is scheduled as a Sunday-Friday trip and will conclude Friday morning at 9:00 am.

Each trip participant should be sure to pack the following items: 

  • Air Mattress (twin size to be sure there is enough space for everyone)
  • Bedding & Pillow
  • Water Bottle 
  • Sunglasses and/or Hat
  • Sunscreen & Insect Repellent
  • Personal Snacks (i.e. granola bars, trail mix)
  • Towel and toiletries (i.e. soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc.)
  • Work Shoes: an old pair of tennis shoes will work well 
  • Work Clothes: old t-shirts, athletic shorts, cargo shorts, or jeans all work well. Please be sure to review the dress code in advance. 
  • Casual Clothes: bring a clean set of clothes to change into after showers every evening. Plan to dress casually and comfortably! 
  • Personal work gloves, safety glasses, and hammer