Leaving Pennsylvania’s cool, damp 35 degree temperatures to step off the plane into the dry, 85 degree heat of Arizona, the Inner City Outreach (ICO) Tucson Team adapted fairly quickly to the welcome climate change they experienced during their week stay in Arizona. Andrew Schaur and Sarah Weaver lead the other 14 members of the team through the ICO experience. The team consisted of Dan Jackson, Rob Kunst, Jacob Armbrecht, Ailsa Poling, Veronica Marisa, Brandon Davis, Natalie Colcombe, Brandon Davis, Erin Sweet, Ryan Motta, Hayden Sealander, Justin Burke, Kelsey Tischler, and Ethan Fry.
The purpose of ICO is to allow students from Grove City College the opportunity to help serve community organizations, non-profits, and church programs by offering a helping hand and an attentive heart. Each team has a specific goal or mission the group leaders have established for the trip. For ICO Team Tucson, the mission was to serve God’s people in any shape or form that would ease their burden, but it involved serving with a willing and selfless heart. Before flying out to their mission field, the team gathered for an overnight stay at Erin Sweet’s house to prepare. The next morning, as team members sat on the plane, there was a real sense of enthusiasm to see what God had planned and anticipation to see how He was going to use each of them in different capacities.
Working along the side of each other, team members were able to give back to the community in Tuscon as well as engage in fellowship the entire week. Ethan Fry shared that he met so many different personalities and characters during the trip and it was a pleasure to build and cultivate new relationships both with the members and the workers affiliated with the organization.
If students are looking for a great way to serve and are seeking a way to establish new relationships, then an ICO is an incredible opportunity to do just that. Traveling with the team, working side by side, and engaging in worship and fellowship are each ways to cultivate genuine relationships with fellow GCC students and the community being served. As in all things, give prayerful thought and consideration about the opportunity to join an ICO. As one who is fresh from the ICO experience, Ethan attests that he “cannot think of a better way to grow in faith and understanding and follow the path that God has created for each of us.”
For a clearer picture of what an ICO mission trip looks like check out the video below and see for yourself what goes on during those seven days of work and fellowship.