Beyond the Walls: A Story of Growth and Transformation
by Lyndsay Byler
Beyond the Walls is Hershey Free Church’s ministry area for local and global outreach, and it is a tangible expression of “joining together in God’s ongoing, redemptive mission.” We look to equip, disciple, and provide opportunities to engage Hershey Free community members in the mission of Christ, both locally and globally.
Connie Hobbs found two opportunities through Beyond the Walls that God used to impact her life: the Alpha Course, which took place between January and March, and April’s Global Ministry Team to Staten Island. She says, “Alpha and ReachGlobal [the organization with whom we send Global Ministry Teams] have helped me grow in my walk with Christ. My relationship with God is unbreakable, and I feel a great unity with my Heavenly Father.”
The Alpha Course fosters a safe community where all questions are welcome, and is a means of both education and reiteration of foundational principles in the faith. Connie notes, “The Alpha course allowed me to become a stronger Christian, recapping my faith and belief in God. It has helped me [to meet and] get connected with new people and [to] develop great friendships.”
Next, Connie joined a Global Ministry Team to Staten Island. She emphasizes that the Staten Island trip “has truly been a life-changing experience.” God guided her, spoke to her, nurtured her, and revealed to her more about his character and love for both the local residents in Staten Island and for all people around the globe. She acknowledges that “there is no greater feeling in the world [than] to work for the Kingdom of God and to share Good News.”
Connie’s experiences and growth are not temporary, nor is her growth confined to specific contexts. In Staten Island, the team had daily morning devotionals before going to their mission field. Connie was so impacted by this discipline, that she initiated morning Bible readings with her family when she returned home. Now, her family takes part in the morning Bible devotional readings. And Connie says she is “looking forward to [the] next mission trip to Staten Island!” Connie is engaged in the mission of Christ, and is moving passionately in God’s ongoing, redemptive mission.