Mission Project T-shirt? Check!
Running shoes? Check!
Christmas sweater? Check! Wait, a Christmas sweater?
It’s time for the Missions Run, the culminating event of the Mission Project at Pensacola Christian College. For the last 11 years, students have been raising funds through this project for local, national, and international missions organizations. And students found this year’s project to be a little more festive, partnering with Campus Church to support its Christmas Project.
Supporting the Mission
At the start of the semester, Student Body officers knew they wanted the Mission Project (and everything involved) to be exciting. “Our team had discussed different options for what to do for this year’s Missions Run, and we wanted to change things up a bit from the past few years,” said Caleigh Prisk (Sr., GA), Student Body vice president. PCC students had last supported the Campus Church Christmas Project in 2019, before even current seniors’ time on campus. “Once we realized doing a Missions Run in the fall was an option, we were all on board.”
This is Campus Church’s 30th year holding the Christmas Project. And for the last several weeks, students and church families have been giving to support the needs of three separate organizations—West Africa Baptist College in Ghana, to furnish and renovate dormitories and a chapel as well as construct and finish three new church buildings; Peter and Rosa Pinyol, Campus Church missionaries in Spain, to purchase and renovate a multipurpose facility to serve as a church, counseling center, and a Bible institute; and the local Pensacola Dream Center, to add more transitional housing, purchase a dependable van, upgrade their kitchen, and replace the AC/heating unit.
“God wants us to give from the heart.”
As a PCC alumnus, Pastor Jeff Redlin always enjoys including students in Campus Church events, and especially appreciated the partnership through the Mission Project. “Campus Church has never attempted to replace the ‘home church’ of any college student. But we do work hard to provide a ‘home away from home’ for every student at PCC,” he explained. “So, when the students of PCC come to us with a desire to advance the Campus Church Christmas Project, it tells us that they are connecting with their ‘home away from home.’ We couldn’t be more pleased!”
To raise money for the Mission Project, students were able to participate in a few ways. They could donate $10 to receive a themed T-shirt designed for the project or donate $5 or $8 to enjoy one or two casual days during the final week of regular classes. Of course, any additional donations could still be made through PCC and Campus Church portals, and every dollar went toward the project. However, as Pastor Redlin famously says every year, the goal is never a monetary goal, but 100 percent participation in offering support. “God wants us to give from the heart,” said Joel Slusser (Fr., TN), “and He can make up the difference of how much needs to be given.”
Running (or Walking) the Race
And finally, all the donation efforts led up to the Missions Run! Participants gathering on Eagle Field were greeted with Christmas carols and could pick up red and green glowsticks or participate in face painting. Once the run began, runners and walkers alike took off through a campus set aglow with Christmas lights as well as special and inflatable displays set up just for the night. Jon Dauphinee (Fr., ME) was one of many students who were encouraged by the displays to complete the race. “The festiveness helped, especially the Christmas music for those at the finish line,” Jon shared.
With the semester ending soon, Angel Cowan (Fr., TX) appreciated how the Missions Run allowed her time to hang out with friends and take a break before finals began. “[The Mission Project] gives us a common ground to become closer with each other,” she explained.
“It is very encouraging to see our generation so excited about giving to missions!”
Students weren’t the only ones who enjoyed using the evening to support a good cause. Mr. Chuck Anderson, Campus Church member and PCC staff, had been looking forward to this event. “I enjoy doing the 5K. I just walked it, but it’s good to get out and do some exercise, and it’s a good way to spend a Friday night,” he said. “It’s just a good way to come together and help those who are doing the work out in the different fields and even here in Pensacola this year.”
While everyone was there to have a fun time, the top three runners for men and women were announced shortly after most had completed the 5K.
- JT Tutton (So., FL)—14:57
- Jonathan Palmer (Sr., OR)—16:39
- Drew Birx (Fr., FL)—16:45
- Molly Stump (Fr., OH)—18:43
- Sophia Kluver (Jr., MN)—21:21
- Celie Franklin (Fr., OH)—21:27
Regardless of the amount raised, Caleigh, along with the other Student Body officers, is thrilled with how her peers respond to service opportunities like the Mission Project. “I feel like the students tend to have a genuine heart towards the project and try to get involved as best as possible,” she said. “It is very encouraging to see our generation so excited about giving to missions!”
With the Mission Project completed, it’s now time for students to focus on finals and finish the semester strong. Even so, each of the supported ministries will appreciate the collective efforts of the PCC student body and Campus Church family for years to come.