For most college students, the words “summer break,” imply traveling, shopping, or doing nothing besides sleeping and eating.
PCC students, however, cannot sit still, do nothing, and let three whole months go to waste, because summer break is a chance to dedicate themselves to serve the Lord without having to think about school.
For students who go back home, they stay active in their home church’s ministry. Grant Ryan (So., TN) partakes in one ministering to the homeless. Besides bringing food and talking to them, he and his church share the gospel with them, encouraging them “to come to Christ and to re-enter society.”
Bryce Copeland (Jr., MD) decided to serve the Lord outside his comfort zone by participating in the summer missionary program at Liberty Baptist Church (Las Vegas, NV). Throughout the whole summer, he joins the church in their door-to-door visitation as well as children’s ministry. Giving the gospel out “to possibly 10,000 people,” he says, “I want to come out of this internship not being afraid to witness to anyone, and be on fire for God.”
Having never taken any missions trip, Shante Charles (Sr., FL) joined an English as a Second Language (ESL) team to travel to Quito, Ecuador. As one of eighteen Youth Outreach Ministry (YOM) summer missions teams, the ESL Ecuador team helped teach the Abeka ESL program in Christian schools in Quito. The team will also organize a youth camp on the weekends for neighborhood kids, to share the gospel with them.
Shante says, “I want my view on the world to be different. I know that as a Christian we have a biblical worldview, but sometimes that view can become muddy if we set our focus on things that aren’t ‘above.’ I want to do more than just see people who need a Savior. I want to see souls that God loved so much ‘that He sent His only begotten Son.’ I want to be able to love people as Christ has loved us. I want Christ to open my team’s eyes to see what He really meant when He said to take the gospel to the uttermost parts of the world.’”
An M.B.A. student Darlene Ortiz (CA), says, “At first, as an Accounting major, I didn’t see how God could use someone like me to minister to the lost in other countries. I wasn’t studying to be a teacher or a nurse—how could God use me? Looking back now, I can see that those thoughts were selfish and showed that I had little faith in my big God. This ministry taught me that God can use anyone—no matter their background, past, or imperfections—as long as they are willing. This was my third year going with the YOM ‘Philippines for Christ’ team.”
Darlene joined fifteen other team members to visit three different missionaries and two children’s homes in the Philippines giving out provisions, holding Bible clubs, Bible schools, youth rallies, basketball and medical clinics, as well as visiting schools and Christian colleges sharing the gospel and handing out school supplies.
Along with the surge of students going on missions trips all around the world, others become a channel of blessings here in the United States by participating in the Proclaim Ministry teams. Covering nearly all fifty states, eight different teams travel around and help serve hundreds of churches. They sing, give testimonies, and help attend to the church’s needs anyway they can.
Melissa Carrillo (Grad., CA), one of the Proclaim team leaders, says that being in Proclaim “has taught me that the purpose of ministry is people. Relationships are how you truly share the love of God. Whether it was ministering to my team in the van, or helping the pastor with projects around the church, or just being friendly to our host homes, Proclaim is all about people reaching people for Christ.”
Many students stay right in the heart of Pensacola for their ministry, joining some of the PCC faculty and staff in the YOM camps including Summer Day Camp, Camp o’ the Pines, and Teen Extreme.
Braxton Mitchell (Sr., IL), one of the cabin leaders at Camp o’ the Pines, said, “I would love to see kids make decisions at camp to further their deciding on what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives, whether to follow God for the rest of their lives, or to go do missions, or to just be a faithful Christian. Go and do something for the Lord.”
As team leaders and camp counselors, PCC students learn plenty about themselves, the ministry they’re involved in, and God’s working hand every single day.
“God’s teaching me a lot about humility. Last night, I got to lead a little girl to the Lord. And just hearing her pray, the sweetness in her voice makes me so humble. I’ve learned that I can be a part of something greater; that I am nothing, and only through Christ can we be something. I’ve learned humility and the greatness of God,” one of the Teen Extreme team leaders Tiffany Dover (So., MS) said.
All through summer break, many PCC students wisely redeem their time to further serve the Lord by joining various ministries. They understand that there’s no break in serving God, as Darlene says, “while each team is different from year to year, one thing remains constant—there is truly joy in serving Jesus.”