Amazing experience, a few lows, more highs, and a ton of fun.
I'm not sure I even know where to start...
First of all, the reason I went on this trip is a) because I felt like God wanted me too, and b) because I've been in the party scene... and I really felt like I could share and relate with the spring breakers. Like, that's where I was, this is where I am now. I didn't get too though, I didn't really see any open doors... and I didn't want to bombard them.
Being thrown into that atmosphere... honestly, I didn't know what it was going to be like. Did I miss it? Only the thought of just being able to relax on the beach. Haha. It was so heart-breaking to hear guys we picked up talk about girls the way they did, to see girls all but sell their souls, and see people so entirely intoxicated that they didn't know who they were or where they were staying. I just wondered, how I ever found satisfaction in that?
I felt like God really spoke to me this week, about how I try to find satisfaction in other things... small things even. God is the only thing that is truly satisfying and fulfilling, and even though I already knew that - I just needed to see it. or more like, thought I needed. "My soul will be satisfied as with the richest foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you!" - Psalm 63:5
Two of the things that stuck with me this week: 1) When a guy asked why we believed what we believed, and 2) when another guy quoted Ghandi and said, "I hate your Christians, but I love your Christ." [or something along that line]. Why do I? Yeah, I grew up in the church, but I've really made my faith my own. We had one guy who kept asking what if we were wrong, what if even people who aren't Christians or believe in another god are wrong... Well, at least I lived a happy life. But, of course I believe God is real, or else I wouldn't believe. The Ghandi quote really made me think - how many people are hurt by a Christian, or by the church, or just get the wrong idea about Christians. We are called to love each other.... believers and non-believers alike.
Why does it matter if they're living in a life of sin, or a different religion, different ethnicity, homosexual, criminals, etc. We are STILL called to LOVE them. God accepts them as they are, and so should we. The more they surrender their lives to Christ and follow Him, He will chip away the parts that don't glorify Him. It was hard, I can't lie. It was hard at times to love these people instead of asking "why?!!" .. it was hard to love without judgment.
I didn't get to share Christ with anyone, but it's okay... because Beach Reach isn't over when you come back to school. I wanted God to work through me, and He not only worked through me, but in me - just not the way I expected (or maybe even wanted at first).
"You're the Light in this darkness, You're the Hope to the hopeless, you're the Peace to the restless." He is the God over everything; every person, city, nation - and has an infinite amount of love, grace and mercy.