Seven KC Baptist Student Ministry students will be headed down to South Padre Island to spend their week ministering to Spring Break celebrators.
Since 1980 thousands of Christian college students have traveled to this island from all over the country to share the gospel of Jesus Christ through creative ministries.
Mostly BSM students from different states participate, but similar organizations on their campus or church-based college ministries also help out with the missions.
“We meet the needs of the people there in a tangible way to show the love of Christ,” said Stephanie Powell, White Oak sophomore.
The week consists of sand sculptures on Coca-Cola Beach, (a popular South Padre Spring Break gather spot), free breakfast, prayer and worship, free rides and midnight breakfast.
On the first day, the BSM students pass out cards featuring an advertisement on the front for a hotline that provides free transportation.
As Shelly Webb, BSM director, drives the students to their destination in a van, they share their faith with Spring Breakers.
“Most of the people we pick up are drunk,” Powell said.
For Sharon Brown, Hallsville sophomore, this will be her third year to participate in Beach Reach.
“The best thing is witnessing the love of Christ and what it is capable of,” Brown said. “It is an extraordinary experience to see the love of God in action rather than it be spoken to you on a daily basis.”
There are times when students come across partiers who only call for a ride.
“Not everyone is receptive to the message. They don’t want to say anything or be talked to by anyone in the van,” Brown said. “They would rather be ignored as if no one was in the van but them, so we give them their space because you can’t minister to a brick wall.”
The back of the card has a verse from the Rolling Stones song “Satisfaction” and then below scripture from Isaiah 55:6-7.
“The song talks about not having satisfaction and we ask the question how a person finds satisfaction in life,” Webb said. “It’s part of the message we’re trying to send that you can find satisfaction in Christ.”
The cost to attend Beach Reach is $400 per student. The BSM helps students raise money through fundraisers and writing letters to churches.
“Several students do not have any money to go and they feel called to go,” Webb said. “They are depending on fundraisers and money from churches to provide a way to go.”
Students will be participating March 9-15.
“Beach Reach is an amazing experience because lives truly get changed,” Brown said.
The students go through five sessions to prepare them to serve during the trip.