Reach21 By: Jonathan Lumpkin
Over spring break, the Hardin-Simmons University Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) usually takes a small group of students down to South Padre Island -- the second most-frequented party destination in the country -- to do mission work with Beach Reach. The Beach Reach mission opportunity offers van rides, pancake breakfasts, the love of Christ and the Gospel for people, primarily partying college-aged individuals, who need Jesus just as much as we do.
To add another thing to the “Things COVID-19 has disrupted” list, Beach Reach was unfortunately canceled this year; but the mission was not. Over this past spring break, the BSM participated in a localized, COVID-safe version of Beach Reach, entitled ‘Reach21.’
Students gave up half of their spring break in order to do various things for the people of Abilene. During this time, BSM students went to trailer park homes and evangelized to citizens of Abilene, prayed with them and offered to meet any practical needs like groceries.
The students helped a local family whose father was recently incarcerated clean up their backyard. This project took a whole day, and it was still not completed even though good progress was made. They were able to share the Gospel to the kids of the family and be a positive light while being the hands and feet of God by meeting their physical needs.
The mission also went to a local apartment complex to provide pizza, cotton-candy and drinks for the kids there. They were the hands and feet of God, while providing a great time for all who were present.
The missionaries prayer-walked each college campus in Abilene, including HSU, Cisco College, Abilene Christian University, McMurry University and Texas State Technical College. One of the students who participated in this modified mission opportunity was Gretchen Cobble, a sophomore psychology major from Aledo.
“It is amazing what we got to do for the Kingdom of God this past week. You never think that ‘being on mission’ can include driving 15-20 minutes from where you live and checking
on the local citizens of Abilene,” Cobble said.
The Lord is moving in Abilene, and the way that these missionaries spent their spring break shows this fact. His kingdom will come, His will will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.