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Serve Pensacola: “Let Us Rise Up and Build”

Service projects aren’t new to the Pensacola Christian College student body, since many students spend time on the weekends teaching Bible lessons and sharing the gospel at local parks or singing and witnessing in retirement centers through Christian Service. This November, however, hundreds went out to give back to the communities they serve in—and then some—during Serve Pensacola.

The Serve Pensacola projects were introduced on October 3, wrapped up with the reveal of a new Student Body logo to help unify PCC students around a shared goal taken from Nehemiah 2:18. The new logo design was part of an all-inclusive competition from the Student Body officers—a competition that Moriah L’Heureux (Jr., VA) had the privilege to win. The design will be used for Student Body announcements on Campus Connection screens and featured on a T-shirt that students can wear during Student Body events.

“I had a lot of fun designing this T-shirt. I actually went through a lot of rough drafts before I finally settled on this one,” said Moriah. “I thought a mountain would be really fitting to show rising up. A lot of times in life we’re called to climb mountains ultimately toward a victory with the help of the Lord. I thought this was a clean and simple way to represent that. I chose the strong blue color to represent leadership and then yellow to represent unity.”

Those who signed up for Serve Pensacola went out on November 3, many sporting the Rise Up shirt that Moriah designed. Different groups went to various locations to work on cleaning, repainting, and repairing areas enjoyed by the public. They worked at a public school, cleaned up parks and retirement facilities, and helped with the process of building two different homes for Habitat for Humanity.

Many students enjoyed the opportunity to go out and help the community they have become familiar with during their time at PCC. “I would definitely attend another Serve Pensacola event. It was fun, a good day out, and I felt like I helped make a difference in my college community,” said Johanan Cartwright (Jr., Bahamas), who served at the Roger Scott Athletic Complex. “We all learned from Serve Pensacola that helping out the community can be fun and still make a huge impact.”

“Everyone had an upbeat yet focused attitude while volunteering,” said Taylor DiPaola (So., VI) “We were productive and cleaned up trash from all the sports fields in our radius, yet my group also had fun and got to know one another better during our time volunteering.”

Kayla Sanders (Professional Writing ’18), a staff member, helped with deep cleaning, doing laundry, and restocking at the Ronald McDonald House with twenty college students and a Pensacola Christian Academy teacher. “I think that events like Serve Pensacola give the students a look at how PCC truly does care about people outside its gates,” she said. “As staff and faculty members, we got down on our knees right alongside the students and worked with them. My hope is that they realize that [shared] side of the college and its affiliated ministries.”

College President Troy Shoemaker addressed the student body to thank them personally for their service and kind spirit toward the community. “You don’t have to give of yourselves like you did this last week. We’re not compelling you to do so,” he said. “But the fact that you are doing that on your own, taking up a charge and encouragement from fellow classmates to serve Pensacola in that way—that speaks highly of you.”

Even though the project is over, the students are not finished with taking up the call to serve. Caleb Brown (Sr., NH), Student Body president, best described the officers’ purpose for the projects when he thanked the student body for their participation. “Serve Pensacola doesn’t end here,” he said. “Although it was a one-day project, serving never ends. Every time we go out into this community, we carry the name of Christ with us. People see us, and they recognize us by the way we dress, or what we say, or by the big yellow bus that a ton of us pile off of. But every time you go into this community, remember to leave the impression of the love of Christ on everyone that you meet.”