Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

February 25, 2013

College kids to help with new ministry

Local nonprofits launching K-Serve by this summer.

College students from Michigan and Illinois will use their spring breaks to help with work for a new Kokomo ministry.

Students from Michigan State University and Western Illinois University will start renovations on a Walnut Street home that will soon serve as living quarters for other college students doing missionary work in Kokomo.

Kokomo Urban Outreach and Bridges Outreach are hoping to launch the K-Serve internship program by June.

K-Serve will train people from across the country in urban ministries.

Bridges Outreach Co-founder Travis Taflinger said not many people in the area know how to do that work.

“We thought it would be cool to start bringing in college kids and equip them for the work,” he said. “It would be a leadership incubator. It would be focused on sociology, poverty and urban life.”

It’s modeled after similar ministries in Indianapolis, Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Students will pay to come spend either 10 weeks or nine months in Kokomo to do mission work and gain experience for their careers or find their true calling, Taflinger said.

The summer program will focus on youth ministry. Students in the program will work with children at Bridges Outreach and Kokomo Urban Outreach.

The nine-month program that will run from Memorial Day to Labor Day will be tailored to the students participating in it.

“If it was a nurse, we’d get them in a hospital,” he said. “If it was a teacher, we’d get them in a school.”

The students will volunteer 30 hours per week at that site.

They will also spend time developing the neighborhood around the house they’ll live in, Taflinger said.

The Walnut Street home was donated to Kokomo Urban Outreach and Bridges Outreach by a local church.

It’s 7,000 square feet and more than 100 years old, and it hasn’t been occupied for three years, said Pam Grohman, administrative assistant at Kokomo Urban Outreach.

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