The Student News Site of Westmont College

The Horizon

The Student News Site of Westmont College

The Horizon

The Student News Site of Westmont College

The Horizon

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Amen for free burgers!

Westmont students nourish their faith by giving out free burgers in Isla Vista
Michaela Morris

A major reason why so many students fresh out of high school are drawn to attend college in Santa Barbara is the infamous party atmosphere. The area where most of these parties take place is a UCSB housing community known as Isla Vista. Whether fully realizing it or not, most of the people who go out to party on Friday nights are actually receiving blessings from the Lord, all through an outreach ministry home that has been given the name “Jesus Burgers.” 

Elijah Cicileo, a fourth-year student at Westmont says,“Jesus Burgers is an outreach ministry that happens on Friday nights in Isla Vista. The Jesus Burgers house is on Del Playa, the main party street in Isla Vista.” This house functions like any fraternity house would, but instead of hosting parties, they grill up burgers to hand out for free to all who walk by. They have multiple signs up and down the street that read “free blessings” in the very heart of Del Playa. 

The burgers and blessings that are given out not only have a positive effect on those who walk by but also on Westmont students who go to the Jesus Burgers house. This serves as an opportunity for these students to pray over and benefit other fellow college students who may be lost and really need a blessing. Students are able to physically place their hands on other students and pray over them, helping them feel loved and seen. 

Cicileo reflects, “For me and other Westmont students, it’s an awesome place to go because it’s such a small environment that it is easy to pray over people because you don’t really know the people you are praying over so the practice makes it easier to develop the confidence to pray over your own friends.” Westmont students get to see, first hand, other students unfamiliar with faith or God being touched by their own prayers and blessings, which helps develop their own foundations of faith. 

As people are being prayed over, they are typically waiting in line for their free burger. These burgers are rather simple but also have their own touch of love through the way they are constructed. Cicileo shares, “One bun has a cross design of mustard and the other bun has a heart design of ketchup. They also do veggie burgers so the vegetarians also can be in on it.”

Students are able to find community in a space that builds their faith. This practice has become routine for students to bless people in Isla Vista on Friday nights, touching them with the love of God who may be broken and need that blessing in an accessible environment. 

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