Beach Reach article part 1
Last month I had the opportunity to participate in an event called Beach Reach. This event brings hundreds of students from across the United States together during spring break for a week of ministry. Throughout the week we gave out free van rides and breakfast to thousands of spring breakers (students partying on the island). However, throughout these activities we also shared the Gospel as well as prayed for the students.
There were moments throughout the week where God just showed up in such a miraculous way that he just blew our minds. I believe that the name of our van was no accident.
Before going out to South Padre each group is supposed to define their van by naming it and writing it on the windows along with the number to call for students to receive a ride. Our team decided on the name Miracle Whip and boy did we see some miracles. God used our van in such a mighty way that we honestly couldn't believe that we had been chosen to be apart of such amazing God moments.
Tuesday March 14th is a day that I hope I always remember. Our day began around noon because we had had a late night the day before. After we had eaten lunch we headed to the beach to pass out cards advertising our free rides and breakfast. We walked along South Padre beach ready to see God move. Before going out I asked God one thing, to bring a young girl across my path. Once we had arrived on the beach our team walked across the white packed sand, passing students sunbathing, families enjoying the water, and fisherman out taking a chance at the cool water. We walked toward the edge of the beach handing out cards till we reached the stretch of sand that held the spring breakers that were partying hard at 2pm. The sight that lay before me was heart breaking. Yet, to those students it was a fun occasion. Looking at the drinking, drugs, and partiers around me my brain couldn’t quite comprehend everything that was happening. I couldn't figure out what made the craziness in front of me seem so much fun. Was it because they were doing it with friends? Was it because they were on a beach dancing like crazy in the bright Texas sun? I will never know.
As I walked through the crowd I just kept feeling this great pressure around me. Something I honestly can't describe. What I can say is that it made me want to curl up into a ball. Because it just was something that bothered me so greatly. My buddy and I walked in and out of that crowd twice. Each time we walked away from that crowd it was because the force was to great. The way that we had been describing the students on that beach has been with the word broken. That the students in that crowd were partying because it would bring them instant and temporary satisfaction. There were probably some who were also running away from their problems. But also, there were some there looking for trouble, and I believe that the force I was feeling was all of that combined.
After we finished facing that crowd we began walking back to our van. We were just about to reach the point where the road meets the sand when one of our guys noticed a young lady who had slowly fallen to the ground. Him and another one of our girls went over to talk to her and see if she was ok. It turned out that she had collapsed from being too drunk and from losing her cousin. She was crying loudly how her cousin was mad at her for losing her phone, and how she now couldn't find her. Our group offered to help her. We prayed over her, and then the miracles began coming in like clockwork. As we were trying to comfort her we mentioned Jesus and how He was going to help us find her, how we would pray for protection over her cousin and that everything would be fine. It was within all of that she began to ask heart breaking questions. She asked if God was mad at her for losing her cousin. If He was mad at her for her actions. We could only reassure her that he wasn't. As our team kept praying for her when out of nowhere her friend comes walking up to us. He was drunk as well, but not to the point where he was incoherent. We began questioning him as our pastor was bringing the van to us. Her friend helped in giving us their hotel information and information about the cousin we were looking for. One of our girls also was able to get the girls moms number for some extra reinforcement. The crazy thing that happened was that as my friend talked to the mom we found out that the girl was from a Christian house hold and had been running away from God. The questions that the girl had been asking were beginning to make since to us. Once our pastor met us with the van we took the young girl and her friend back to their hotel, and came across the next miracle. The manager at the hotel confirmed that we were indeed at the right hotel and then called up to their room to see if perhaps any of her other friends were within the room. By God’s grace the cousin we were looking for was in the room taking a shower! We were able to reunite the family and make sure that the girl was taken care of. It was amazing how God just worked out the whole situation from beginning to end. As a group we believed that if we hadn't helped her that some other person would have found her and things could have been a whole lot worse for her.
This story is just one of many amazing God-things that God did over the course of spring break. Next month I will tell of another God-Thing that God did, but did in me. I hope that this article reminds you that God is always working. You don’t have to go to a beach or on a mission trip to see Him work. He can use you in a mighty way right where you are. Just open your eyes and look around.