SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Brandon Grant has been crusing a 2-mile stretch of the Island spreading the word of Jesus Christ to spring breakers looking for a ride because they are too drunk to drive.
Grant is one of more than a 1,000 students from all over the state and around the country participating in a mobile ministry known as Beach Reach.
Beach Reach South Padre began in 1980 with 20 students who had a vision to reach their peers during Spring Break. It has progressively developed into the extensive ministry that it is today.
Now during Spring Break, hundreds of Christian college students join together to share the word of Jesus with those they encounter as they seek to meet their physical needs for food and transportation.
The ministry brought a fleet of 100 vans that students have been driving spring breakers in need of a ride to the next party and back to their hotels safely.
The operation also serves free pancakes to people who are hungry on the Island and for spring breakers to eat and sober up.
“It’s been interesting just driving people around,” said Grant, a Wayland Baptist University graduate student. “We are spreading the Gospel and sharing the love of Christ to the spring breakers.”
Grant said it was the fist time he had traveled to the Island for Beach Reach.
“We are getting them from point A to point B safely and if that’s the best thing we do, awesome,” he said.
Thousands of Spring Breakers flocked to the beach for a weekend of fun under the sun.
“The spring breakers are great,” Grant said.
He said they get into the van and they are always grateful for the lift.
He continued by saying some spring breakers sometimes get upset because they have to leave their drink behind before getting into the van. But at the end of the night, they have not had any problems.
“We are getting them where they need to go, and we are getting them their safe,” Grant said.
Wayland Baptist University student Alirial Hirachuta said she has come down for Beach Reach since her freshman year.
She said she can relate to the girls partying at Spring Break because she led the same lifestyle in her past.
“I come and I see the same look I had in my eye,” Hirachuta said.
“And I try to make a difference in people’s lives here. I have had some really good conversations with people and have really connected with them.”