It slipped up on me, really. I retired just as 2017 wound down, right in the dead middle of winter. From my experience, that may be the absolute worst time of the year to make such a drastic life change. While I have enjoyed sleeping as late as I wish and being able to toss any form of structure into the wind, truthfully I spent most of my time buried beneath a blanket. I detest cold. In fact, when winter rolls around next year, I may back a bag and head south to Costa Rica. I don't really like lizards but probably could get used to sleeping with one as long as it is warm wherever I am at. But for the past few afternoons, I have relished the warmer temperatures that have lured me and Stinky out to the patio to bask in the warm sun, a brisk breeze blowing through my hair at forty miles an hour. Typical for this time of year, we who have been banished to West Texas know that when the winds make their appearance, spring is one step behind. Even with daylight lingering around until seven or so in the evenings, I just hadn't given it much thought until my daughter mentioned it just the other night. Spring Break! Yes! I've been waiting on that.
Heck no, I'm not going on spring break. All spring break means to me at this age is that spring will show up a week later. Trust me, the week of spring break here in west Texas will be overcast, chilly, and it may even snow, but take it from an old timer, when the following week rolls around and the kiddos head back to school, the weather will be absolutely perfect! And that's all I'm waiting on. Besides I am way too old to be indulging in binge drinking, acute alcohol poisoning, experimenting with all the latest synthetic drugs, and wild sex orgies beyond your wildest dreams. Nope, I'll leave all that to my daughter. As she meticulously packs her ten suitcases with everything she could possibly need to get her through a week of spring break on South Padre Island, my eyes tear up a bit as I realize how proud I am of her.
Let me explain. As thousands or perhaps even tens of thousands of college students invade the most popular spring break destination of the southwest, if not the nation, busloads of their peers set out right behind them. Their mission? To save these kids from themselves. My daughter, who is very dedicated to her role in the Baptist Student Ministries on her campus, along with a number of her classmates will spend their spring break ministering to those who need it most, wayward, intoxicated, and misguided young adults searching for something that they don't know they need. Other Baptist Student Ministries from colleges throughout the state of Texas will join them, and as one army of God will embark on perhaps the most important mission of their entire lives.
'Beach Reach' was started in 1980 and has grown into an enormous annual endeavor. The kids involved in the Beach Reach project will be offering transportation to college students too intoxicated to drive. They scoop college students who have passed out from the beach and take them to safety. They will find a way home for those who ran out of money half-way through the week. They will find clothing for those who can't remember where they left theirs. In short, they will take on the roles of guardian angels for a week. And, as well as nourishing the masses with all the pancakes they can consume into the wee hours of the night, they will nourish their souls as well, spreading the Word to all who will listen.
The college kids who have volunteered their spring break for this will pay a portion of their own expenses, a substantial amount for a college student. Yet, hundreds eagerly will head toward the Texas coast with high hopes and prayers leading them into the unknown.
The Baptist Student Ministries provide ongoing services and ministry to students on college campuses throughout the year, such as fifty cent lunches served with a side of the gospel. I've been fortunate to observe one of these lunches, and trust me, they are a hit with broke college students. The ministry offers Bible classes, activities, and fellowship to these kids who find themselves in a whole new world so far from home. If ever I've seen an effort worthy of financial donations, this is it. The Baptist Student Ministry is all some of these college kids have to get them through.
In all my years of writing blogs, I've never done this, but if you feel a tug in your heart to support the efforts of this wonderful organization and the students who so freely give of their own money and time, follow the link below and give something to help...anything would be greatly appreciated. As for me, I'm going to the patio and dream of Costa Rica...and yes, I made my donation!
Baptist Student Ministry Donations https://goo.gl/ARoiFr
The South Plains College BSM exists to share the Gospel and disciple students at SPC. We want them to Believe in Jesus, Belong to a community of His followers, and Become the person God made them to be.
We couldn’t do what we do without your help. We rely on the generosity of Texas Baptist churches and donors like you to keep our doors open. Your gift impacts the spiritual growth of students affects generations to come and reaches into eternity. Thank you for partnering with us!