Whether it’s visiting distant family members or sightseeing at an ideal vacation spot, traveling in the summer for many is a given. For the Pensacola Christian College Proclaim Ministry Teams, traveling means having more opportunities to be a witness for Christ and ambassadors for PCC in churches across the continental U.S.
The five teams travel across different regions of the U.S.—the West Coast, the Southeast, the northern and southern Midwest, and New England. The Proclaim teams use their talents to present stirring music performances, a message from God’s Word, and a glimpse into the ministry of PCC. They also minister to churches by helping with canvassing or ministering to the congregation.
Stormy Helms (Jr., AR) travels with a Proclaim team in the Midwest. “A lot of time goes into preparing for the summer,” she said. “I hope people realize that every member of Proclaim genuinely cares for others, loves Jesus, and wants to be all in for the cause of Christ!”
“There have been many people we have been able to encourage,” said Johnathan Rasmussen (Missions ’18), a PCC representative who leads the West Coast team with his wife Whitney (Elementary Education ’18). “The songs are great this year, and we have had lots of awesome conversations with people.”
For Trevor Schumacher (Missions ’16, M.A. Bible Exposition ’18), leader for the Midwest Proclaim team, this is his third summer with Proclaim. He points out that preparing for the next stop doesn’t always wait until they arrive at their next destination. “The team does a lot of singing in the van, as well as running through skit lines to ensure they are the most prepared for our church services,” he said. “It is my desire that my team and I will have done everything to the honor and glory of God upon the completion of this summer.”
“I would have to say one of my favorite parts about Proclaim is the unpredictability of it,” said Kaitlyn Valentin (Jr., IL), a member of the Midwest team. “Every day is a different host home, a different ministry, or a different state. While we do sing the same songs in our program, it’s never for the same audience. I love getting a glimpse into so many different churches.”
Sometimes, a service doesn’t quite go as planned, but each team has managed to take each service in stride. “One of the churches we went to requested that we sing five songs of their choice rather than the program we had prepared!” said Stormy. “Later when we got up to sing, we quickly realized that someone had modified the sound system after we had music check. With a bit of adjusting, the service actually went very smoothly!”
“They are super flexible,” Johnathan said of his team. “Sometimes the plan completely gets changed on you right before the service, and they just roll with it and serve to the best of their ability.”
With this year being her second summer on Proclaim, Kaitlyn has seen spiritual growth in her own life while being on the team. “Proclaim has personally influenced my walk with Christ tremendously,” she said. “I’ve learned from experience that it was often my lowest points, the times that I had the least to give of myself, [when] Christ was seen the most.”
“Being on Proclaim has been such a joy!” said Stormy, serving for the first time this summer. “When we were in training we did team-building exercises, but after that we just talked and enjoyed the fellowship! There has never been an awkward moment. The Lord definitely orchestrated our team, and we all get along so well!”
With many stops already under their belts, traveling is nearly over for these teams, and they’re looking forward to seeing how God will use them for the rest of the summer. “This past week we spent at a camp, and it was so neat to see God work through the kids we met,” said Kaitlyn. “Seeing so many decisions and just how God can use us within such a short time span is always a reminder of how much bigger He is than what we have to offer. Working with this team is such a treasure; I have loved getting to see how God has worked through each of us.”
The Proclaim Ministry Teams have put many miles behind them as they’ve shared their talents and stories with churches across the states. Each member may never know exactly how they have impacted the people they’ve ministered to, but the teams used every stop as an opportunity to share Christ with others.