Beach Reach Recap By: Abbey Pardue
Over spring break, members of the Hardin-Simmons BSM went to South Padre Island beach to spread the gospel to residents and visitors of the area.
Beach Reach 2023 was hosted by the Texas BSM, and the HSU BSM attended alongside the Angelo State University BSM. Each BSM uses their school vans to minister to people on the beach who need rides, including people who may be impaired by alcohol consumption.
Jenna Kelly, an intern at the HSU BSM, works behind the scenes by helping with events and connecting with students on our campus. When asked about her favorite part of the week, Kelly said, “Meeting new people. I got to connect with other college students and I heard so many stories of how God has worked in people’s lives.”
”I saw [God’s] glory through His love in action and answered prayers,” Kelly said. “One night I asked for 21 people to be saved, and for the right people to be in the right vans at the right time. The next morning there were 28 people saved during the van rides. He also used people working the van rides to help college students in need and hurting. There was one van that took a detour and found a college student with alcohol poisoning and took them to the ER, and another helped a young woman who was bleeding from the waist down on the beach at night.”
The BSM reached many people during the week, not just people who were in desperate need of help. They mainly met sober people who already had faith in God or knew about the gospel. If a comfortable space was created on the vans and passengers were sober enough, Kelly would ask them faith-based questions.
Rather than asking if people knew Jesus, Kelly asked the open-ended question: What do you believe? She would then work with them to create a plan for growing in their faith journey. Afterward, she would pray over them and encourage them to attend BSM events on their campus. “At the end of the day,” Kelly said, “it wasn’t about the numbers, but being obedient and showing God’s love. My confidence truly grew in my faith and me as a person.”