Episode 19: Lawn Care that Changes Lives through dignified jobs, employment training, and unconditional love
While most newlyweds search for the perfect location to begin their lives together, Alison and Kory Lantz looked for a neighborhood with needs— one where they could make the most impact. The mission-minded Bethel College graduates had a heart for youth, hospitality, working amongst different cultures, plus a big plan to move overseas to serve. But, this desire steadily turned into the realization that the diverse mission field they were called to was located just 15 minutes away from their alma mater.
Transformation Ministries began out of Kory and Ali’s inner city South Bend home, with neighbors around the dinner table as the Lantzes got a feel for the area’s needs. Starting a youth group at their church allowed them to make connections with South Bend kids, invite them into their home, and eventually begin “Iron Sharpens Iron.” ISI is a safe and loving place for youth to go to after school to get help with homework and to just process life. It started with a handful of kids, and 10 years later now acts as a full nonprofit reaching around a hundred, many coming from impoverished, single-parent homes. Transformation Ministries also provides jobs for these kids through their for-profit “Greater Impact,” which started with a single push mower, 3 kids, and 4 yards. It’s grown exponentially over the years to now include construction and creative screen-printing opportunities. Kory and Ali believe “we’ve all been created to work,” and that providing dignifying jobs, along with unconditional love and in-depth mentoring, is a sure way to give marginalized youth a leg-up in life.
Some takeaways. Many of us have the mindset that we need to move on to the “bigger better thing, to what God really wants us to do.” Often, finding that something just involves taking an attentive and deep look around us to see what the needs are. Other times, it’s something we’re already doing. It may be in seed-like form.. growth takes time. Fear of failure is another big obstacle, but “If God calls you to something, he sustains you.” Listen in to hear more from Kory and Ali: how their ministry has flourished over the past decade, future goals, one boy’s awesome transformation story, and their advice on how you can kickstart a ministry in your own community.
Visit www.transformation58.com or tranformation.ministries on Instagram for more.
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