Not Your Typical Spring Break: Concord B.S.U. Students Serve Others in Florida
Athens, W.Va. - This was not your typical spring break. Ten students from Concord University’s Baptist Student Union (BSU) departed the campus beautiful on Friday, March 4, to head to the Sunshine State on a mission tip to Panama City Beach.
Each year, thousands of students trying to escape the stress of college life descend upon the beautiful white sand beaches of Panama City Beach, Fla., and the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico for spring break.
Rather than taking part in the party life, the Concord University students worked with a ministry called BeachReach to provide free van rides each night for the students, as well as provide a daily all-you-can-eat free pancake breakfast. This was all in an effort to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ, and provide safety and enjoyment to college students. The Concord students were joined by Christian groups from several colleges and churches across the United States.
Concord’s BSU operated a bus from First Baptist Church in Princeton labeled “Big Momma,” and worked throughout the week to get college students safely to their destinations, as well as to talk with them about their lives.
“The coolest thing about this trip was seeing God work through people and watching the power of prayer work in people’s lives. It was amazing,” said Concord student Caryne Johnson.
Samantha Smith echoed that sentiment. “First of all, I have got to say that during this week I was reminded many times of how great, wonderful and ... oh so many things that God is.”
During the afternoons, the Concord BSU and other BeachReach students visited the pier, walked on the beach, shopped at the mall, challenged each other with a game of putt-putt, and enjoyed a concert by Christian punk-rock band “Relient K” sponsored by “mtvU.”
“To do something for my fellow man for no obvious reason doesn't make sense to a lot of people but it makes perfect sense when you realize that you serve God when serving others,” said Josh Callaway.
The 10 students who participated in the mission trip were Jesse Call of Pocahontas, Va.; Josh Callaway of Prosperity; Treska Dunbar of Palestine; Vanessa Helbig of Spencer; Anthony Johnson of Vienna; Caryne Johnson of Hinton; Richard Lockhart of Lotart; Katie McCollum of Mannington; Mandy Silva of Clarksburg; and Samantha Smith of St. Mary’s.
Though Concord’s BSU has returned to the campus after their service, BeachReach continues its ministry in Panama City Beach for those students who enjoy later spring breaks.
Concord’s BSU continues its work with students. Each Tuesday morning, the BSU provides a free “coffee shop” for CU students.
CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Jesse Call, a student in Concord University’s political science department, wrote this press release. His hometown is Pocahontas, Va.