Campus ministry hits the road for missions:

I wanted to bring Andrea along … for her to experience the type of community that I have been so lucky to have at Wesley.

Photo courtesy Wesley Foundation

Purdue Wesley Foundation students peddled this summer from South Bend to Mackinac Island, Mich.

I was fortunate enough to participate in this year’s 400-mile Bikers for Jesus trip that took students of the Wesley Foundation at Purdue University in West Lafayette from South Bend, Ind. all the way to Mackinac Island, Mich. And when I say “participate,” I really mean “help plan and carry out in some way or another.” I had the duties of creating a first aid kit and of collecting pledges from the gracious donors through the other riders. We had a great trip and raised more than $3,000.

I went on the trip to St. Louis two years ago and loved it so much that I in some uncanny way convinced my very best friend from high school, Andrea, to come this year. This was so special to me because Andrea and I are a classic example of best friends – we can read each others’ minds and can easily spend hours laughing at anything.

Andrea and I have had drastically different upbringings and collegiate lives. We are both from northeast Ohio. But I have grown up in The United Methodist Church and have been blessed enough to be surrounded by a loving, supportive, and fun community.

I wanted to bring Andrea along, not to force her into the church, but for her to experience the type of community that I have been so lucky to have at Wesley. There is no better way to do this than on a bike trip with major group bonding during the many, many hours we spend riding. I knew that there would be no overwhelming pressure on her faith (she had experienced that before) and at the same time support from everyone on the trip. An extra surprise we had was that we had two international friends, Christian from Congo (DRC) and Tong from China on the trip. I don’t think Andrea had ever truly interacted with people from those countries.

While I grew spiritually through the devotions, discussions, worship and fellowship, my true gratitude lies in the fact that I was able to facilitate my dearest friend into this aspect of my life and encourage it in hers. The community at Wesley is such a huge part of my life and I feel that I have grown closer to the people here, Andrea, and God through this trip. Not bad for a week-long trip!

For more information about the Wesley Foundation at Purdue, visit or call 765-743-5066.