The scene of the Missions Run is all too familiar—students lining up by Eagle Field, clad in matching T-shirts and glow sticks, ready to run (or walk) a 5K for a cause bigger than themselves. However, this year, that familiar scene was punctuated by Santa hats, Christmas sweaters, and a few hundred extra participants as PCC partnered with Campus Church to raise funds for their Christmas Project.
Looking for an outreach opportunity in the fall, Student Body officers chose to partner with Campus Church. President Drew Fennell (Jr., OH) and Vice President Kelley Goforth (Sr., FL) first introduced the fall semester Missions Run to the student body in October. “This is a unique opportunity for the first time ever to partner with Campus Church for both of us to give more than what Campus Church alone or what the student body alone could give,” added Kelley.
“I was thrilled when the student body officers initiated a joint partnership regarding the Christmas Project Offering,” said Dr. Jeff Redlin, pastor of Campus Church. “For them to initiate this partnership was a great way for us all to come together to advance some very special projects. Campus Church and Pensacola Christian College are finding ways to function as ‘one body in Christ’ and, I believe, it’s going to be truly amazing to see all that God does!”
The Christmas Project raised funds for three separate groups—Baltimore Rescue Mission in Maryland to replace an inoperable freight elevator and complete roof repairs; missionaries Arvin and Ruth Tulabot in the Philippines to complete the ongoing construction of an auditorium on a multipurpose building; and for Campus Church missionaries in India (name withheld for their safety) to purchase land and build a multi-purpose facility including a Bible college for the Deaf.
Church members and students alike were eager to give toward the Christmas Project and join in for the Missions Run. Participants received the T-shirt for donating toward the Campus Church Christmas Project when registering for the run. Other donations were made through designated Campus Church offerings and the Round Up program in PCC’s Campus Store, where customers could round up purchases to the next dollar and donate the difference.
Even with the different donating opportunities available, the Campus Church holds to the same goal for their Christmas Project every year—100 percent participation! “The goal that we set does not come with a monetary number. Instead, we say it like this—our goal: your participation,” Pastor Redlin explained. “If we all do our part, big or small, I am confident this special offering will be exactly what it’s supposed to be.”
All that was left, of course, was the run itself! On December 7, the participants gathered on Eagle Field. Throughout the run, students and church families enjoyed seeing the different ways many showed their Christmas spirit through costumes, wearable Christmas lights, and festive hats.
Dr. Donna and Kris Marion attended the run with their family and were excited to join the Missions Run for the first time this year. “[Campus Church has] always wanted to do 100 percent participation, and I think that this gives an added incentive for 100 percent participation. I think it’s a fun way for our entire family to be involved with the college students,” said Dr. Donna Marion. “We’re really excited that they added this.”
The following evening, Campus Church revealed how much was raised toward the Christmas Project. The combined efforts of the student body and church members did not go unnoticed, because they raised the bar for how much the Christmas Project earned with over $240,000 given.
The first festive Missions Run was a success, allowing both PCC’s student body and Campus Church families to participate in the Christmas Project together—providing funds to help those who help others.