This June marks a full year away from home for me as apart of Surfing the Nations based in Wahiawa, HI. All the many experiences i've had and life lessons i've learned in the past 9 months could never be put into words. But as a quick little update; i completed the 3 month internship at STN, spent a month each in both Indoneisa and Bangladesh, joined STN staff, and committed a year here (Oct 09- Oct 2010). I've been challenged in so many way physically, socially, and spiritually but growing through it all. In between our hectic schedule i found time to learn to surf, help coach a 5 year old co-ed basketball team, and am still playing guitar daily. This organization breads lifetime opportunities, if that makes sense. I have done things i would never thought i would or could do. Like hiking to the highest part of Oahu, surfing some of the best waves in the world, witnessing extreme poverty in Bangladesh, becoming friends with the homeless from the park up the street, cruise at the same beach as Bethany Hamilton and Rob Machado, meeting Hawaii's mayor, and live in a apartment with 3 Swedes, a Canadian, Hawaiian, and a Chilean. I mean the list goes on in all the experiences God has blessed me with.
Brief background on STN; Surfing the Nations impacts local and international communities through the sport of surfing and selfless acts of service. Internationally we focus on the 10/40 window, known as the most unreached people groups where less than 10 percent of missionaries go. Gnarly! That's why we feel so called to go, plus we are able to use surfing as a tool to both get into the country and connect with the locals.
Locally we have a packed weekly schedule looks a little like this. Sunday church. Monday fasting, prayer, a day to grow personally and as a family. Tuesday is Feeding the Hungry (FTH) on the south part of the island, Barbers Point, along with Ulupono, kids tutoring and games. Wednesday teach kids from shelters how to surf and swim. Thursday is our biggest FTH in Kalihi. Friday we go to the north shore and Wahiawa and make the local homeless breakfast and lunch. Each weekday morning is also start off with an hour of our own quiet time, hour of prayer as a ohana, and either teaching or testamony. Saturday is cruise day and Surfers Church at night. Check it out yourself for more info at surfingthenations.com
Wahiawa is home for me now and though its reputation isn't your typical picture of Hawaii, it's as close as you can get to a wide open door for ministry. Our street, Ohai, is known as one of the "worst" streets in Hawaii due to the drug dealing, prostitution, homelessness, violence, gang problems, and poverty. Also there is a very separate line between Haoles (white people from the mainland) and the locals. Man has it been cool though to see it transform since we first got here. Even the police have noticed a big difference. All i can say is prayer is powerful. STN is now apart of the Ohai ohana whether we are local or not.
I am overwhelmed with joy when i think about how blessed i am to be apart of this ministry while living in Hawaii. But even more to be apart if Gods ministry and spreading his love alla cross the globe. He is definitely working in and through me here and i know that where my two feet stand right now is exactly where i am supposed to be. Stoked to see how else i can be used! Feel free to call or email to ask questions or talk story. Mahalo Nui Loa for all your support!