2013 Spring Break Missions Journal
The stories below are personal accounts from members of some of our 2013 Spring Break mission teams. Use the links at the bottom of page to view additional trips, and check back periodically for more updates!
PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL
Patrick Grace, senior
We just made it to Panama City Beach! After an 8 hour trip, we have finally managed to get checked in and settled into our rooms. Already, our team met a girl from Kansas named Clare, a junior pre-med at KU and is planning on taking the MCAT in May. I think it really settled us down getting to meet her in the check in line - she’s a pretty normal and down to earth girl. I wonder if she really knows what kind of place this is during college spring break, as this is her first time here. We helped her out getting checked in and hooked up with a wristband that you need to get into the hotel and she even tried to pay us for helping her out. I think that she’s a reminder that we can’t stereotype the people that we meet here as all being big party goers that are just looking to get wasted and hook up - this place attracts all kinds of people and Jesus is a message that everybody in ALL walks of life require for fulfillment. My prayer for this first day is that even among the blaring music and haze of alcohol and sexuality that Clare not lose herself or her kindness, as I know that all good things come from You. For now, we are just waiting for everybody to get checked in before we go to dinner and our evening worship and maybe even a club if we feel that’s where the Lord calls us. More on those adventures in my next journal installment.
Last night was an eventful one. Following dinner and getting settled in, John took the team down to the beach and set up prayer stations lit up with glow sticks. Adam led us in worship and one at a time we went station to station, listening to a prayer labyrinth recording on our iPods. When we had gotten only about halfway through our meditations, a security guard from a neighboring hotel came down and told us that we were being too loud - he said that the wind from the beach was amplifying our songs and disturbing the residents of the apartments. When we asked if we could just finish our song, he told us that our God could wait. Was the noise of our worship really amplified by God’s wind or was it simply a sound that rocked this lone security guard that was so far from God to trying to ruin our evening? Regardless, we finished our meditations in silence and ended our first day at PCB.
Last night took some settling into, but it proved to be a productive one. While our original plan was to go to Spinnakers like many other spring breakers we had met were going to, we quickly found its 50 dollar cover charge to be a bit too prohibitive. After an unsuccessful venture to Hammerhead Fred’s (another large cover charge kept us out) a couple of our guys ended up making some good conversation outside Hammerhead’s front entrance. We decided to split the team up, with two cars full leaving to go back to our hotel, bless the building and its residents, and to continue to get to know our new neighbors. This left me and one of our team leaders, Tristan, with the three others who were in good conversations so we could drive them back when they were done. This demonstrates an important aspect of going to PCB - understanding that oftentimes you are not going to be the one in deep and long conversations, and it means that your duty is to pray over the other members of the team and the people they are talking to so that the Lord may enter into their hearts. Thus, while it wasn’t a glamourous job, Tristan and I spent our evenings praying over our friends that the fruits of those conversations and relationships could eventually come to the glory of God.