By Haley Pritzl and Stephanie Caravalhoe
A group of 24 North Central students set out to share the Gospel during the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana Feb. 8. The group, led by sophomore youth and family ministry major Seth McMullen, was sent through Co:Mission with pastoral studies professor Adam Sikorski.
“My home is New Orleans and I refuse to watch the city go through so much pain without me fighting for it,” McMullen said.
North Central decided to make this trip an annual event and many members of this year’s team would highly recommend going on the trip next year.
“The intention of the trip was to be obedient to what the Spirit was doing there, and also to come back with a greater sense of duty and love and passion to reach your own city for Christ,” Peneal Tiruneh, sophomore, said.
Street outreach was the primary focus of the trip and the team made sure to find ways to interact with anyone that was interested in hearing about Christ.
“I highly encourage anyone who is serious about their relationship with Jesus and growing in their love for his will and people to make any effort possible to attend next year,” Jacob Dilger, sophomore, said.
After a daily church service and training, the students would split into either the performance team or the creative team. The performance team would perform activities such as starting a rap or dance battle. During the battles, the team members would start up conversations with the people participating. The creative team held signs that said ‘Free Hugs’ and offered face painting.
“Face painting was the best way to start a conversation because you’re sitting in [front of] someone for 10 or 15 minutes,” Tiruneh said. “We prayed for a lot of people while we were doing face painting.”
Hagan was invited to join the group in New Orleans for a few days by the founder of Co:Mission, Pastor Gary Grogan.
“Clearly the North Central students were the best,” Hagan said, as there were students from all over America on this trip. “NCU students shine.”
As Hagan got feedback from the Co:Mission organization throughout the week, he found that North Central students were at the forefront every day.
“They were in the streets witnessing, preaching, and just loving on people,” Hagan said.
Before the trip, McMullen had time to talk to the members of the NCU New Orleans team. “They talked about their fears, doubts, and uneasiness,” McMullen said. “Now, after the trip, they speak of New Orleans as if it’s their home.” In just a week, the team was able to share the Gospel and create relationships.
“Go and be challenged. I believe in this trip so much as to say, God is calling you to this,” Dilger said.