The night was brisk as students huddled outside the Robertson Student Center on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Spring break just started and students’ eagerness to hit the road could not be contained. Everyone piled into three conversion vans and left the University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) to drive straight through the night and arrive at Garden City, South Carolina the following day.
Campus Outreach (CO) is an organization dedicated to growing college students in their faith and equipping them with the skills and knowledge to share the Gospel across all campuses around the world.
CO brought 42 students from various circles together with one commonality: a hunger for community. Within 30 minutes of beginning the trek, acquaintances were laughing and joking with each other as one would do with lifelong friends. The skepticism that once lingered about the trip had vanished. Instead, a desire to build relationships with every student took its place.
Students intentionally seek the Lord, community and service throughout the trip. Campus Outreach created a God-centered, community-minded trip that displayed the beauty of going out of your comfort zone.
Taylor Lindahl, the CO leader, assigned me to a car with only three people I knew before the trip. I was already nervous about how the car ride would go, and this only added to my uncomfortability. Little did I know that during the next 24 hours we exchanged the best laughs and conversations.
The safe environment of CO encouraged students to discuss deep topics, be vulnerable with one another and enjoy time spent laughing and playing. One could see the group demographic shift throughout the trip as students became more comfortable with one another.
Nightly beach walks quickly became a tradition among students on the trip. During these walks, students opened up to each other about prayer requests, struggles and dreams. This was a time when small groups could have uninterrupted discussions. The ocean air and crashing waves added to the night aesthetic.
UNW prides itself in the faith-based community it establishes. CO offers students the opportunity to grow both their faith and relationships in a real way. CO focuses on glorifying Christ by gathering Christian students to spread the Gospel. One way this is done is by equipping students with a strong Christ-centered community.
[On the left is the view of the beach at Pawleys Island, SC]
CO offers UNW students the opportunity to create these experiences in several ways:
- First, students can participate in a 10-day spring break trip to South Carolina.
- Secondly, students can apply for the summer training project. This is a nine-week program centered on growing the Christian community through evangelism classes, small groups and ministry training.
- The final way you can experience CO is by attending Tasty Tuesdays. This is a once-a-month gathering with students from UNW and Bethel at Dunn Bros Coffee off of County Road E. It is a night of friends, fellowship and food.
If you want to become intentional about your relationship with the Lord and others in your community, visit campusoutreach.org to get connected. Don’t let fear and the “what ifs” deter you from this amazing experience. Going out of your comfort-zone opens doors to opportunities of a lifetime.