. Hello friends and family! Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Connor Bland, and I have been appointed as OC’s new short-term mission’s coordinator. My story began as a high school boy, getting to serve every year for 6 years on my church’s short-term trips to Guatemala, where I ended up living for 4 months afterwards. During these trips, God really moved my heart to care about short term ministry. In 2016 I added my beautiful wife Kirsten to God’s plan for my life, and she has encouraged me every step of the way to dive wholeheartedly into what God has for us. On our one year anniversary, I was accepted to One Challenge, and began to raise support – I’ve now been blessed with enough support to work 20 hours a week here at the USMC.
What does the Short-Term Coordinator do?
. My primary goal at OC is to manage the logistics and financial needs of our short-term (ST) missionaries. This also includes getting to know each ST missionary personally. We believe that without creating close-knit relationships with all our missionaries, we are less likely to ensure their emotional and spiritual health while on the field.
. Another part of my work will begin by reaching out and creating relationships with mission leaders in the Colorado Springs community, to discuss the potential dangers of ST that I believe are hurting the Church. I see some churches falling in to thinking that ST missions are more statistics than actual effect – many set specific numbers of people they want to see go on a ST trip, instead of focusing on meaningful impact. I believe God’s calling on my life is to show that ST missions are more than that, and to do this from a place of love.
. Personal life: I have been married to my beautiful wife Kirsten for two and a half years, and we just brought our first daughter into the world! Rylee Rose Bland was born on February 27th, 2018. We love being involved with community events and hosting people at our home. We have two dogs, Koda and Mason, who keep us constantly on the move, and we purchased our first house in October of 2017. We ask that you keep us in your prayers as we continue to pursue what God has called us to with passion and wisdom. We are so happy to be a part of the One Challenge family.