BY HANNAH CRITES
From Valentine’s Day to the end of the month, Franciscan University of Steubenville students and faculty will be subjects of SonLife Mission Team’s serenades.
“People are essentially paying us to embrace their friends,” said SonLife’s co-lead Isaac Archibeque. “They are paying for us to sing and dance and make a scene and hopefully embarrass whoever we are singing for.”
The SonLife Mission Team is selling serenades in effort to raise $11,000 for a Spring Break mission trip to Panama City, a hot spot for college spring breakers, in order to evangelize on the beach and in the bars.
The team of 18 members works in groups of two, one male and one female, talking to kids and introducing them to Jesus Christ. SonLife is a trip under the Office of Evangelization at Franciscan University and has the Rev. Dominic Foster, TOR serving as its chaplin.
“The serenades brings the team together,” said Archibeque. “It allows us to get out of our comfort zone, which is what we will be doing on the beach.”
SonLife are selling serenades for $5 and requires each person provides them with a date, a time, a location and a song. They have a list of 16 songs to choose from including “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life” from the Lion King, “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” from Frozen, “My Girl,” and songs from One Direction.
Or for an extra dollar, SonLife will sing a song that is not on the list.
The folks who sing are members of the SonLife team.
“Sometimes people run away, so we’ll chase them while singing,” said Archibeque. “Sometimes we forget the words and mumble then get louder when we remember. We’ve also been told to leave, so that’s always awkward.”
Often people buy serenades for their professors. Last year, students sang “A Whole New World” for Dr. Bergsma, a theology professor, at the end of one of his classes.
“It started off with me going in to singing the beginning ‘I can show you the world’,” said Archibeque, “He wasn’t smiling through the entire thing. Part of me thought that my team had ditched me, but they joined in a couple seconds later. That was pretty awkward.”
In other efforts to raise money, SonLife hosted the Bros and Nerds dance at the beginning of the spring semester and hosted a bake sale at the end of the fall semester.
“It takes more work to do serenades,” said Archibeque. “But it’s more fun than a bake sale or a dance for the sake of making fools of ourselves and growing closer as a team.”