PC3 has a special heart for students. With the Wilmington campus located right around the corner from UNCW, a lot of students have become regular attenders. I first began attending PC3 my freshman year of college at UNCW and now here I am, on staff at the church that took me in and made me a part of the family during the course of my college years.
In Grow Zone Wilmington, PC3’s birth through Pre-K ministry, you will find plenty of students serving each Sunday. What a cool opportunity to get plugged into the local church while in college – by pouring into His littlest ones as they take their first steps in learning the basic truths about God’s character. There are four volunteers in GZ who have such a cool story that I want to share. Emily Bailey, Tyler Dangerfield, Madison Lindsey and Becca Workman first became a part of the Grow Zone family the fall of their sophomore years at UNCW. These four girls are college roommates and Overflow attenders who truly love Jesus.
They started out serving with the Overflow crew at Fuse Camp a few summers ago to take the next step of plugging into the community of PC3. Becca said, “I love my roommates so much. We all love the Lord and wanted to get involved. It started with helping at FUSE, the youth camp, two years ago and we just knew we wanted to get involved more. I have a deeper relationship with these three girls because of the passion we all have to serve.”
These girls understand the concept of authentic relationships and pursue intentional friendships with one another based on the picture of unconditional love that Jesus shows us. Tyler said, “After going to PC3 for about a year, us four girls decided we wanted to serve and give back to the church that has been so great to us. We all love kids. With three of us being nursing students, and the other going into pediatric recreational therapy, we thought what better place to serve than Grow Zone!” So they took their next steps to get involved serving more frequently.
The people that Madison met at PC3 had such an impact on her that she wanted to be able to have that impact on someone else. “After being apart of a church that is so invested in volunteering and helping people, I felt the calling to be more involved in the church and went to What’s Next. When shadowing for Grow Zone, it felt like a small family that wanted to get to know me,” Madison said.
College is such an interesting season of life; living away from home for the first time, becoming independent, discovering what you truly believe about God, yourself and your future. The community you surround yourself with in college will have a lasting effect on who you are as a person. For these four roommates, they knew that they wanted to serve Jesus by volunteering at PC3. They decided to jump into serving weekly together in Grow Zone and have served every Sunday ever since. Tyler said, “We love doing things together and are already together 95% of our time, so why not make it another hour together, while serving!”
The girls have taken it a step further and are no longer just involved in one volunteer role. Becca is on the Worship Team in Treasure Island at the Wilmington Campus and is going on the Overflow mission trip to Guatemala in a few weeks; Tyler works one-on-one with a child with special needs through Grow Zone’s Buddy Program; Madison and Emily are involved with Overflow; all four of the girls spend much of their free time investing in PC3 families by babysitting for them and teaching the kids that Jesus loves them!
Since getting involved at PC3, Emily has “learned to invest in the lives of others as that is what builds true fellowship with other believers. Being intentional has been such a conviction and I love being able to see how the Lord works in everyone’s life.” Watching the way Emily interacts with not only her roommates but also the families she invests in through Grow Zone has been such a cool experience and example of how to love others well.
These four students started attending PC3 at the beginning of college because someone invited them. Becca’s sister attended PC3 while she was in school at UNCW and told her about it; Emily’s older friends from high school were already attending PC3 when she moved to Wilmington so they brought her; Becca and Emily invited Tyler and Madison to go to PC3 with them. Now here they are, in their third year at UNCW and their third year attending PC3; the impact of their commitment and service has touched more lives than they probably understand in just three short years.
Tyler said that, “PC3 is one of the biggest reasons my faith has grown so much. From friends, to the services, there is always so much encouragement and knowledge around me.” The story I know of these girls all started with ONE–someone invited these girls to PC3. Now their impact has multiplied greatly. It just takes one person to Be One and make a difference in someone else’s life. These girls are choosing to use their time in college to make an impact for God’s Kingdom through PC3. I am blessed to witness their story.