A Beachside Mission

When Jesus said in Mark 16:15, ““Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone,” he was most definitely including the shores of America, where people as numerous as the sand of the sea go on summer vacation. The Jersey Metro Cru team has the privilege of being sent to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, as one of the Summer Projects we partner with.

Hampton Beach Summer Project (HBSP) draws students from across the nation to one house on one mission under One Lord. Students have already found summer jobs where they have since been ministering to co-workers. And at night, staff and students have hosted tons of beachside outreaches.

One night a week since the start of the project, the genders divide to seriously study and pray about authentic manhood and womanhood. The guys are moving from boyhood to manhood, looking to Jesus as they learn that an authentic man rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously and expects God’s greater reward for them.

And the staff and student gals are growing in Christ as well. As staff member Karen explains: “They have had incredible breakthroughs as we have gone deeper into issues that face these women and lies they believe.  Lies such as “My outer beauty is of more value than my inner beauty” and “If I was a better Christian then I would find my future husband.” Looking at God’s word together we’ve seen what these women are facing is that they don’t believe they have worth in their identity in Christ and that God is enough to satisfy their needs.  We’ve been replacing these lies with truths from scripture and moving towards experiencing greater freedom in Christ! “

And as the men and women of this mission grow inwardly and emotionally in Jesus, they are also trusting the Holy Spirit use them in evangelism on the beach and with co-workers. Here’s just one story of Jesus’s transforming power when we humbly and boldly tell others about him. Karen explains:

“One Friday night our outreach team planned a creative event to engage people in spiritual conversations.  That night we partnered with a local church’s youth group and I had two middle school gals with me who had never shared their faith before.  We approached a girl named Sarah with a sign that said ‘Christianity is…’ then asked her to fill in the blank.

“Sarah was with her friends, but sitting out from a game because of a bad sunburn. She wrote on our sign I DON’T KNOW and told us that she had all the time in the world to talk and wanted to know more about Christianity.

“‘See that guy in the white t-shirt?,’ she said, pointing over to the game, ‘Well, he’s getting baptized, and wants us all to go, I don’t get it, but he’s changing and says it’s because of Jesus. I’m not sure what he believes or what I believe. I’m not sure there is a God.’

“I asked her if I could share with her what Christians believe and get her opinion on it. She said ok and we spent about an hour or so talking through the Knowing God Personally booklet, a 4-point outline that Cru uses to explain Jesus’s Gospel.

“She kept saying ‘Wow, I’ve never heard it explained this way before, it makes sense.’

“When we got to the end of the booklet I challenged her in making a decision for Jesus. She said“YES, I want to know God personally and trust in Jesus and be forgiven.’ So we prayed right there as she gave her life to Jesus Christ! It was so neat because as we were finishing up, her friends started to come back and one friend (who is getting baptized) just looked at me and said “God Bless.” I trust he will take care of her and help her to grow in her walk with Jesus. I’m sure as Sarah got her bad sunburn that day she never dreamed that it would take her from not knowing if there was a God, to trusting in the one true God, Jesus. As we walked away I asked my two companions what they thought since it was the first time that they shared their faith, they thought it was ‘sooo cool’ and couldn’t wait to do it again and tell all their friends to do it too—which is truly a blessing for me to hear: these 12-year-old gals get excited about Jesus’s message!”

We (Jenn and Joey) are speechless when we consider what a great calling Jesus has placed on our lives. We get to invest into the lives of Christians and share the gospel with non-Christians. Actually, this is the fundamental calling of every believer! Be encouraged and continue to see Jesus in all things!

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