Over Spring Break, I was blessed to have the opportunity to lead ICO Arizona. ICO Arizona is one the many opportunities students have to travel around the United States to serve a local church and community. My first exposure to ICO was my sophomore year. I knew an upperclassman through my fraternity that was leading a student led trip to Tucson, Arizona. Looking back, I have never really been able to figure out why I exactly went but attribute my participation to God. My first year I was able to participate in the trip as a regular attendee but was later asked to lead the trip. The following is an account of my leadership experience and the unique opportunity ICO provides to students across campus.
ICO is one of the best things that has ever happened to me on this campus. The ICO (Inner City Outreach) program is such a unique way to serve the Lord along side people on campus you maybe would never talk too. What makes it so unique is that is completely student led. While the ICO and chapel department at the school help train the leaders, it is up to us when we get down their to be spiritual leaders to the rest of the people on our trip. The task is daunting! To know that you are responsible for a large amount of students is not an easy thing to accept. But what ICO provides is not only the lifelong relationships with your service community but also an opportunity for students to go out of their comfort zone and lead fearlessly into an unknown area. A lot of times students have natural abilities to lead but are not often exerted out of fear or lack of opportunity, but the ICO program provides opportunities for leaders and non-leaders to serve the Lord as well as find a church community that can pour into you, even if they live across the country.
A lot has been said about “short-term” missions but I can confidently say that ICO programs should be considered by all freshmen when coming into Grove City. There are endless opportunities for you to serve God on and off campus, but the ICO program has been one way that has personally affected me, and I want to see as many people have the same experience I did. While it might not be Arizona, every ICO program offers a fresh look at God that can be extremely fruitful for college students. I cannot wait to see you all out there serving!