Gulf Coast Getaway draws students from 62 campuses
Despite wintry gulf winds, the crowd of more than 1,800 worshiped, learned, laughed, played and prayed. Some even dove into the cold ocean water at midnight.
Speakers Chris Seidman and Randy Harris developed the event’s theme of “Free,” taken from Galatians 5:1, leading students to embrace the freedom they find in Christ.
Both speakers combined biblical insights and segments of humor. Harris relived his attempt to hide under a rock in a rain storm on a secluded Celtic island. Seidman crawled on the stage as he illustrated the collision course that bombards Christians when they find their identity in anything other than God.
The Watershed worship team led the crowd in singing, while Building 429 treated the participants to a concert.
In the Sunday morning session, Jon Ross painted a four-sided collage of pictures, connected to form a box on the rectangular stage in the center of the large conference room. This enabled the singing audience to see four perspectives of Jesus on canvas.
Getaway board member Duane Dixon said the board prayed for God to work through the event and transform students’ lives.
Larry Cormier from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., said his favorite part of the Getaway was the X-Games, in which students “compete in a Christian way” in beach activities.
Christina Landrum and Dianna Perry from the University of South Carolina Upstate said they enjoyed community building and the chance to meet students from other places.
Getaway participants also contributed towels, underwear and bed sheets to the Panama City Rescue Mission. Students gave more than $19,000 to international ministries.