Over the course of 3 weeks, close to 1000 students will serve at Beach Reach in South Padre Island, giving students free rides, free pancakes, praying and sharing the good news of Jesus with those who need to hear. Other groups will serve in Panama City Beach. Some are ministering to those in need in Houston, Arlington or other countries. They will hardly have time to recover before classes resume.
Great benefits come from these mission opportunities, not only for those being served, but also for those who participate.
Relationships are strengthened. Daily time together means students get to know each other better than ever before. Often they have a greater appreciation and understanding of those with whom they serve, and the shared experience of serving together creates a common bond of friendship and partnership in the gospel.
Students learn to share the gospel. A mission trip can be a great way for students to learn to share their faith. The urgency and expectation of the mission means students who otherwise might be timid can be empowered by the group to share. Just a week's worth of practice may mean they are more ready to share their faith with friends when they return to campus.
Students see the harvest fields. One student shared that her experience at Beach Reach changed her perspective about students on her own campus. The students she shared with during spring break were just like the students she encountered every day when she went to class. They all need to know Jesus. Mission opportunities can bring a fresh perspective on the harvest fields.
Did you take a spring break mission trip? How will you follow up with your students to help them carry the lessons they learned on mission into daily life? If your group is just getting started, begin to think now about planning a trip for your students to serve next year or even over another semester break. Your trip will benefit your students as well as those you go to serve.