Nine-year-old Mary Kate Jespersen decided she did not want presents for her birthday. Instead, she wanted to donate money to Beach Reach. By the time of her birthday, she raised a total of $860 for the ministry.
“We weren’t expecting to raise that much money, we were blown away,” said Joanna Jespersen, Mary Kate’s mother.
Joanna had told Mary Kate about Beach Reach, an organization partnered with Texas Baptists and the Baptist Student Ministry. Joanna worked in college ministry for many years and has seen the impact of Beach Reach in South Padre Island.
Every spring break, Beach Reach, sends vans of college students to hand out free food, give rides and most importantly, share the gospel with the students on the island for spring break. Their goal is to “proclaim the gospel in the midst of brokenness.”
Mary Kate told her mom she did not want presents for her birthday. Instead, she wanted to raise money for Beach Reach. Mary Kate explained that she wanted to raise money for the ministry because she enjoys the beach and water and wants people to know about Jesus in South Padre Island.
That birthday was especially special because, in addition to raising funds for Beach Reach, Mary Kate was getting baptized. Mary Kate came to know the Lord one night while she was working on her devotional. She wrote a note to her mom and told her she wanted to accept Jesus into her heart. After this step of faith, she decided she wanted to be baptized.
Mary Kate said, “I got baptized on my birthday. It was really special that my dad got to baptize me.” Her father, Ryan Jespersen, is the executive director of the Dallas Baptist Association.
On the day of her birthday and baptism, Mary Kate found out she raised a total of $860 for the Beach Reach program. This is far more than the Jespersen family thought they would raise and they are blown away by the generosity of those who donated money.
Mary Kate is grateful to the people who donated their money to support Beach Reach and she knows this money will have an impact on the Kingdom of God. Lives will be changed due to the selfless choice one girl made.
Learn more about Beach Reach and the impact they are making thanks to gifts like the one Mary Kate gavehere.