Four students from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Campus Crusade for Christ will be joining students from Marquette, and roughly one thousand students from around the country in a trip to Panama City, Florida. They are Lisa Rosenberg, Casey Haen, Amber Scheel, and the Ranger News’ very own Eric Zizich. Every student will be staying in hotels near the beach. This is the final conference for the group for the year. Their intent is to reach out to the community and to grow spiritually. They intend to do this through the spread of the gospel throughout the community. They hope the success of this mission will ride on the fact that Panama City Beach, Florida, is one of the most frequented stops for young people on spring break. After the spring breakers indulge themselves in drink, debauchery, and other sins, this coalition hopes to bring them back to the gospel, repentance, and the love of Christ rather than casting them into the flames of hell.
According to Eric Zizich of the Campus Crusade for Christ, “It’s documented that the week after spring break consists of an abnormally high STDs, suicide rate, etc. Crusade views this week as a chance to be a lifeline to those in the area that may become the next statistic.” In an article entitled, “Press release shows that 97 percent of college students drink during spring break,” from Jambar.com, the Youngstown college newspaper, and Ashley Tate talks about how Panama City, Florida, is one of the centers of binge drinking. During Spring Break, many sins are committed. Tate said, in reference to Spring Break, “According to the press release, 97 percent of college students drink during spring break, nearly three out of five women have unprotected sex, and more than a million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year; the sun accounting for 90 percent of all skin cancers.” The article recommends bringing extra condoms and sun tan lotion. The Campus Coalition for Christ recommends bringing your bible.
It is hard to understand exactly what impact this gathering will have on the festivities of spring break. The festivities will undoubtedly go on, but the Campus Crusade for Christ will be in Florida for a different reason. They will be there to steer young spring breakers away from sinful choices and to give them a chance to immerse themselves in the gospels, rather than in the seven deadly sins. This quest may seem to be surrounded in futility if you watch the sinful nature of televised spring break activities, but the Campus Crusade for Christ will spread their message of love and Christianity to all who are willing to hear. The sole intent of the organization during Spring Break is to be a positive influence and to spread Christian virtues rather than partaking in the vice that will surely surround them.
Story by Jake Halverson