Beach Reach this year was truly amazing! Between both Beaches (Panama City and South Padre), the numbers were exciting to see. Beach Reach student missionaries:
Gave 36,685 people free van rides
Engaged in 18,186 Gospel conversations
Prayed with 13,922 people
Led 374 people to Christ
Praise God for what He has done! Continue to pray for those with whom the Gospel was shared, as well as pray that the students who served will finish out the semester strong on their own campuses. We wanted to highlight a few stories so that you could see just a small part of what God was doing.
First, here are Ben Maddox and Tiffany Hudson, two leaders from Tennessee, sharing in an article from the Baptist and Reflector (read the full article here), about the impact they saw from Panama City Beach Beach Reach on spring breakers and their students:
“Ben Maddox, BCM director at Tennessee Tech, said this year’s event was one of the best he can remember. And that’s a big statement, coming from the Beach Reach veteran. ‘I have been going to, and taking groups of college students to, Beach Reach for years, Maddox said, ‘and this year the responsiveness to the gospel and to our ministry was the best I’ve seen.’ Maddox said many of the spring breakers are searching for something without even knowing what they are looking for. ‘This generation of students seem to be tired of the brokenness in their lives and are looking for hope and a changed life,’ Maddox said. ‘Many spring breakers experienced the ultimate Hope and their lives will forever be changed by their faith response to Jesus.’ Tiffany Hudson said Beach Reach never fails to make an impact on her students, and on her, too. ‘Beach Reach is the tangible workings of God in our midst,’ she said. ‘It is a great example of what we all long to see and experience. It is worship, Bible teaching, and evangelism. It is hard, fun, exciting, and exhausting. In a nutshell, it is the power of God on display.’ ”
Below are two stories from students who went to Beach Reach at South Padre Island:
Hannah is a student at Sam Houston State University who served at Beach Reach SPI: “My prayer for the week was that I would be like Jesus to those around me and that God would have his way both in me and my heart and for those that we would be reaching. On the fourth day of Beach Reach, I was out on the beach seeking gospel conversations or other connections. Beach ministry is easily the hardest part for me on this trip because it was very hard to connect with people, and I didn’t have any kind of expectation for what God would do. But God’s salvation power stays the same. I prayed that God would send someone with a tangible need that I could meet since I wasn’t one for small talk and much preferred to serve people as Jesus did. I looked up just then and saw a girl drop her phone in the ocean water, and then grab it and look around frantically. I grabbed her a towel for it and started talking from there. This girl began to open up a lot about her past, the things she had been involved in even at such a young age, and how hurt she’s been by the church that could have helped her. We were able to talk about who God is to her, and through that conversation, she realized that she did not have a relationship with Christ, but she wanted one. On that day, this girl gave her life to Christ. Praise God we have a new sister in Christ! The next night through follow-up conversations her brother who was with her also gave his life to Christ!”
Courtney Kirk, a sophomore at Dallas Baptist University shares her story:
“My time at Beach Reach was incredible!! It was truly filled with so much spiritual growth, and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to go. One really cool experience I had occurred on my first van ride. Going into the trip, I was really anxious about my ability to share the gospel. I was at a loss when it came to turning a normal conversation into a gospel conversation. The Lord was so kind, and allowed me to share the gospel multiple times on my first ride!! It was a very sweet experience. Being in the van was definitely my favorite part of Beach Reach. I’ve never before seen the Lord work so clearly and strongly. It’s hard to pick a favorite ride! One of my favorite van interactions happened on the Tuesday night of Beach Reach. The Lord is so, so good. He allowed me the opportunity for me to share one of the hardest parts of my testimony. I felt such peace and redemption at this moment, and I know it’s something I’ll never forget. The Lord taught me so much about Himself that week. What I saw the most was His hunger and love for His lost children. He called so many of us down to South Padre, and I know that He used every moment of us being there to plant seeds. He fully equipped each and every one of us, and for that, I’m so grateful.”
Thank you to everyone who took students to Beach Reach, and thank you to those who prayed diligently for the students and spring breakers. We hope you will begin praying now about joining Beach Reach next year. God is good!