Changed by Serving
When he was a student, PCC faculty Fred Carlson had another motivation for participating in Christian Service. “I enjoyed the opportunity to get off campus,” he said. “I looked forward so much for the chance that some weeks I went on Christian Service two or three times.” However, Carlson’s heart soon began to change. “After going week after week, I began to realize that I had something to share with those I met—the love of Jesus Christ and His death for all mankind. Soon my reason for going was a compelling desire to follow Christ’s command to be a witness. Little did I know that this was the beginning of God’s direction for my life to become a foreign missionary upon graduation.”
Christian Service is still shaping the lives of students, helping them to grow, and challenging them in their own walk with the Lord as they reach out to others. “It’s not only meeting people. It’s not only doing more for your college experience. It’s doing God’s work,” said Clay Cox, a junior pastoral major. “If you give a little to the Lord, if you give time to the Lord, He will give you back way more than you gave Him. That’s exactly what He did for me.”
During the Christian Service Expo, held at the beginning of each semester, students have a chance to meet with Christian Service leaders in the Crowne Centre to discuss how they can get involved. Students participate in a variety of Christian Service groups, reaching out to the Pensacola community. From singing at local nursing homes to playing softball with special-needs children to going on door-to-door visitation to spending time with teens at the Juvenile Justice Center, students are eager to jump right in and serve.
Last semester, Rebekah Bagley (Soph., NY) began attending Broadway Assisted Living, the Christian Service her sister Sarah (Jr., NY) cofounded that same semester. Although she was already quite busy with her mechanical and electrical engineering double major, she found herself looking forward to the time spent singing, praying, and playing games with the elderly. When Rebekah returned to visit Broadway for the first time this fall, she was surprised to see how much they had been missed. “It was the most people we’d ever had,” she said. “They were clapping they were so excited to see us! They had missed us all summer—it was a blessing to see the difference we had made.”
Today, Fred Carlson still values the lessons learned and memories made while participating in Christian Service. He said, “The training I gained while sharing the gospel on Christian Service provided me the foundation for the rest of my life.”