More than 120 college students from all over America, with the same desire of hoping to have a closer relationship with the Lord, gathered at Ocean City, N.J. to witness the Ocean City Summer Project hosted by the Campus Crusade for Christ.
Many students gathered and sat on the beach in silence before three seven feet tall wooden crosses pounded in the sand in front of them. After meditating on Philippians 2 and praying, they wrote down on an index card any fears and sins that were holding them back from the Lord. Some took minutes while others sat meditating silently for an hour before they got up to nail their cards onto the cross. Then the index cards were painted red to symbolize Jesus blood.
Students write and confess honestly
I don't really feel it.
I'm scared of being wrong.
Not having the faith that God will fulfill all of my desires.
Desiring physical intimacy.
Fear of disapproval, rejection by my father and family.
Belief holds me back more than all else. Fear of being wrong about who God is. Fear that I won't be satisfied in life if I don't have worldly things to entertain me.
Not trusting that this is best for me.
By us nailing those to the cross, it was symbolic of how we as sinners are forgiven, confessed Lauren Kalan, one student who helped organize this beach ritual.
For the financial expenses of this program that lasts two months, each student raises around $2,300 in donations to cover rent, meal and mission expenses. They work summer jobs by the beach, on the boardwalk, at a local surf shop and even at the reception desk of a hotel nearby.
Working these jobs that are so-called ministry sites, students improve their leadership and evangelical skills as they share the gospel with people they meet. And also every night students go out to the boardwalk to share their testimony and passion for Christ. By their tally, they have already spoken with 8,000 people and converted 300 people to Christ this summer.