PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — Well-known on campus for serving pancakes every Friday night,
a group from Trine University’s Christian Campus House ministered in the same way
over spring break, March 3-9.
Twenty-five students and two CCH staff partnered with BeachReach, described as a mission
trip experience in the form of free van rides and pancakes. The Trine group served
in Panama City Beach, Florida, with groups from 11 other colleges around the United
“The goal of our trip was to have spiritual conversations with college-age students
in Panama City Beach while providing them with free van rides at night and serving
them pancakes in the morning,” said Mason McFarland, a junior from Berrien Springs,
Michigan, who served as one of the leaders on the trip.
Each day, the group served pancakes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and took part in a worship
service from 7-8:30 p.m. From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., they would give van rides or pray
in the ministry’s prayer room.
“People could send in prayer requests and we would be there praying for them and for
the other people in vans,” McFarland said.
McFarland said one of the most memorable moments for him on the trip was giving a
van ride to a group of students that included one from Germany, one from Poland and
several from Brazil.
“We had a five-minute ride with them, but the conversations we had during that ride
were really amazing,” he said. “We talked to them about what it was like being here
compared to their home countries, and specifically how religion was different between
the cultures. Although it was only a five-minute conversation, it was truly amazing
to see the differences.”
On the last night, the group prayed with a student facing several difficult decisions.
“Our whole group rallied around him, circled up around him and prayed for him,” McFarland
said. “It was a really powerful moment, not only for myself but for everyone involved.”