Meeting Jesus on Spring Break ~ Praxis Habitus - On Race Religion & Culture

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Meeting Jesus on Spring Break

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX - MARCH 25:  Students d...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

As college Spring Break gets into gear for 2009, churches are organizing evangelistic ministries to help students be safe and meet Jesus.

At South Padre Island, Texas, college students partying on Spring Break were given rides back home while getting quick courses on Christianity. Kevin Sieff writes about the ministry in The Brownsville Herald.

In the makeshift prayer room at the South Padre Island Baptist Church, Allison's friends were praying for her as she drove around in a church van offering students rides. They knew how difficult the experience would be.

Just then, Tommy walked into the van. He was about Allison's age, out for a night's bar crawl.

"I could tell he was tipsy," she said. "But then we struck up a conversation."

Conversation, namely about Christ, is why Allison, 18, had driven 700 miles from Canyon, Texas, to South Padre Island for Spring Break.

She's one of nearly 500 students now participating in Beach Reach, which provides a free van service, breakfast and spiritual advice to young, often inebriated, spring breakers.

Southwest Squad 156

Image by Fetchy via Flickr

She shared her own beliefs - her faith in Jesus, her thoughts about the importance of community service.

Word about Allison's success made it back to the prayer room. Her friends posted an update on a projector in the center of the room. "Alli's doing great with Tommy," the note read.

"It was the best experience of my life," she said. "It gave me this incredible feeling."

Allison would need all the energy she could muster. Her next shift would run from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m., and the weeklong bacchanalia had just begun.

Church Van

Image by FlySi via Flickr

Thousands of Evangelical college students shun the party atmosphere for prayer and service to their free-wheeling colleagues.

Calendar dates like Mardi Gras and New Year's Eve offer convenient points for organizing outreaches. Also, party places like Las Vegas or Florida's South Beach as well as hang out spots like Hollywood Boulevard offer similar opportunities based in geography rather than holidays.

The contradictory combination of heavy partying with intensive evangelism strikes a tone of radical purposefulness evident in many such ministries.

No comments: