Glow sticks, matching T-shirts, and energized groups of friends are common on Eagle Field for one late night of the semester—the Missions Run. Eager to show their support for the cause, students donning Student Body T-shirts, costumes, and running shoes, lined up at face painting stations along the edge of the soccer field before the opening prayer sent them to the starting line.
This year, PCC’s student body raised money to go toward the Medical Missions Outreach (MMO) in Tanzania, an organization started in 2003 by PCC grad Bradley Edmondson (Pastoral Ministries ’01) and his wife Kelly (Nursing ’99). The donations will help the organization to purchase land to build a permanent medical facility in Tanzania. “MMO is dedicated to supporting the work of missionaries by using ethical medical care as a tool to give eternal spiritual care,” said Edmondson. “This tool can be used to not only share this message, but help start or strengthen local churches. We’ve seen patients we’ve treated in Tanzania trust Christ as Savior and become part of Faith Baptist Church of Morogoro. The Lord has begun to open doors, supply personnel, and provide funds for this need. We can’t wait to see what else He has planned!”
“We began praying about what [ministry] we would support pretty much as soon as we were voted in last year,” said Student Body Secretary Gracie Kirk (Sr., TN). “We spent some time over the summer looking into different projects, but it was about a month before the project was to be announced that the Lord really just dropped this specific project into our laps. I 100% believe the Lord orchestrated the entire situation.”
Leading up to the run, the student body could give toward MMO through the month of April. Donations were taken for the Tanzania Project in three different donation campaigns. “Add up” allowed students to donate $2 by paying double when purchasing coffee at Common Grounds Café. “Round up,” a returning donation campaign, allowed students to round up to the next dollar on their on-campus purchases. “Finish up,” the last of the three campaigns, gave students the opportunity to donate additional amounts in the Commons during the week of the run.
In Student Body meetings, the officers challenged others to rise up to the challenge and encouraged them to donate toward the project. “Our desire with the Rise Up theme was to encourage and cultivate leadership and personal responsibility within our student body,” Gracie said. “It was amazing to watch the Lord so perfectly tie in our theme with every meeting and every project we’ve taken on this year.”
At the event, students were excited to be a part of the Tanzania Project. “Seeing everyone together before the event, everyone was united and ready to run for missions. Knowing we were making a small change was exciting,” said Liz Zarrazola (So., CO). “I look forward to the run, and I’m excited to see how much money we raised!”
My favorite part was being able to hang out and have fun with friends, all while being able to support a great cause.— Zach Carpenter (Jr., OR)
The Missions Run, a 5K, brought some attention to the serious runners on campus. The top PCC runners, three guys and three girls, will be treated to dinner at a local restaurant with College President and Mrs. Troy Shoemaker. The men’s top runners were Micah Peters, Riley Rhodes, and Isaac Webb while the women’s top runners were Taylee Nyquest, Jenna DeLoach, and Hannah Brazil.
In the end, the student body raised a sizeable amount for MMO—$31,582.05! All the while, students and the Student Body officers are excited to see the funds help the organization further their mission to treat, aid, and witness to those in Tanzania. “I love that this money is going towards building something. That’s another way our theme ties in so perfectly. Our verse for this year came from Nehemiah and his call for the people to strengthen their hands for this good work,” Gracie said. “We’re helping purchase land and build a facility that will hopefully be used for years to come.”