FCA mission trip a success
By Chloe Nott
The QU Fellowship of Christian Athletes went on a mission trip over winter break. A combination of students from Quincy University, Illinois College, and MacMurray College spent six days in Montgomery, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida learning more about God and serving with the Salvation Army.
The group renovated a building for the Salvation Army in Pensacola, explored Martin Luther King Junior’s church, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Andrew’s Institute, Fort Pickens, and attended various church services.
QU sophomore Lauren Crane found the trip to be an eye-opening experience and opportunity to connect with others.
“There was this lady we met at MLK’s church, Wanda, she was the most loving and caring person I’ve ever met,” Crane said.
Wanda guided the group around MLK’s church, sharing her own life story and experiences as well as the importance of the church to MLK’s mission.
The group learned how important it is to live a life of love and hope, even when the odds are against you, whether its from the unforgettable times when African Americans were lynched or hung out of no other reason than hate, to our current lives and the everyday battles we face. There is always space for love, and to be a light to others.
Fellow QU sophomore Emilee Autry thought it was a great experience for college students to serve and become closer to God as well as the others on the mission trip. Despite the warm weather and all the Instagram worthy places they visited, it was the time spent learning together Autry enjoyed most.
“The nightly devotionals were really nice,” Autry said. “We got to hang out and have some deep talks and discussions.”
The group worked on restoring a building by cleaning, painting, and carpeting an area for the Salvation Army to use for church and community events. After they completed the renovation they were able to attend a church service in the new space.
QU senior Baylee Smith had never been on a mission trip before, but it won’t be her last.
“Doing service for no other reason, just to serve God, it was humbling,” Smith said. “I didn’t expect to grow in my faith as much as I did.”
The last day before the group returned, they were able to have a free day to explore, relax, and reflect. This included riding bikes around the town to making the most of the beach and sunny weather before group dinner and fellowship.
However, one thing all three students did not expect going on the trip was how hard it was to leave. The group emphasized how much they bonded, and how much they enjoyed meeting different people throughout the trip.
But when asked if she would go on another FCA mission trip, they all agreed with Autry.
“Absolutely, in a heartbeat,” Autry said.
FCA is a student-led ministry that meets on Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. in the Hawks Nest. Any student-athlete is welcome to join. A mission trip is organized each winter break in a new location each year.