Completing a project or assignment feels good—especially when it’s to help someone else! This summer, student workers were able to do just that by signing up for special Serve Pensacola projects and completing the Student Body initiatives begun earlier this year.
This past semester, the Student Body focused on selfless themes such as growing together and speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:14–16). And the Serve Pensacola projects provided a way to share that in the community. “The theme ‘Grow Together’ spoke to me personally through its emphasis on growing as a body of Christ,” said Zara Williams (So., MD). “In college, we can get caught up in the individual things. We are comprised of so many different people from different backgrounds and different majors, but we are all striving for the same goal: to become more like Christ. This is something that we should do together as a body of Christ.”
After unpredictable rainy weather this past spring, a new schedule scattered the outdoor projects across several summer weekends. Zara joined one of the Adopt-a-Highway groups. “We met in the morning and watched a brief safety video, as well as got safety vests, gloves, and trash bags before heading out to pick up trash,” she explained. “My group picked up trash along Brent Lane for about an hour and a half. We were glad to help clean in addition to having fellowship with one another.”
When going out into the community, the bigger picture of the projects was widely understood. “It is important to get involved in our community while we are here so that we may all have the chance to be a witness for Christ, and if possible, to bring people to a saving knowledge of Him,” said Ian Morris (So., IL). “I hope that these Serve Pensacola outreach opportunities will impact our local community by giving a godly example to those living and driving by our route and by shining the light of Christ upon all who see us.”
“Numbers don’t matter. Attention doesn’t matter,” said Grace Disher (So., VA). “During our Adopt-a-Highway adventure, we did just as you would think—we picked up trash! We also sang, we talked, we laughed, we took pictures—we hung out! This was a bonding experience.”
Ben Mundt (So., TN) joined a group to pick up trash at Carpenter’s Creek, a nearby watershed in Escambia County. “The people from Carpenter’s Creek were with us, and they kept thanking us for coming out,” he said. “It allowed us to show God through outreach. Carpenter’s Creek is honestly an amazing place. If we could clean it up, it would be perfect for trails and sightseeing.”
With these special projects wrapping up, many students are looking forward to the next opportunity to serve Pensacola. “As students or even just Christians, we should serve any way we can for the Lord. It shouldn’t just be while we live in Pensacola, but it should be wherever we are and whatever opportunity we have,” said Serena Bryan (So., IN). “I hope the community will see our serving attitude in our hearts and see that this kind of attitude can only come from Christ, our Savior.”