Nine-year-old Mary Kate Jespersen decided she did not want presents for her recent birthday. Instead, she wanted to be baptized and donate money to a ministry close to her mom’s heart.
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 was ready to schedule her baptism.
“I got baptized on my birthday,” Mary Kate said. “It was really special that my dad got to baptize me.” Her father, Ryan Jespersen, is executive director of Dallas Baptist Association.
An added bonus to her birthday baptism is that she raised $860 for Beach Reach, a ministry partner of Texas Baptists and Texas Baptist Student Ministry.
“We weren’t expecting to raise that much money, we were blown away,” said Joanna Jespersen, Mary Kate’s mother, who had told Mary Kate about the 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 the island to hand out free food, give rides and share the gospel. Their goal is to “proclaim the gospel in the midst of brokenness.”
Mary Kate explained 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.
She is grateful for the support and knows the money will have an impact on the Kingdom of God.
Learn more about Beach Reach here.
EDITOR’S NOTE —This article was written by Sophie Bellew and first published by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.