ISA World Surfing Games 2017

by Phil Williams
(Español debajo)

In my role as Regional Coordinator for Christian Surfers in Europe, when I found out that the ISA World Surfing Games was going to be held in Europe for the first time since 2007, I felt a very strong calling to commit to being involved in it (whatever that meant).

As the event got closer I was aware there would be one or two other CS contacts involved throughout the event, but had no idea quite how many and what roles they would have.

With that in mind I booked a plane and the car and prayed for divine appointments and a role to play during the Games, as well as doing some other CS Europe business in Northern Spain and looking at a potential International Conference venue for 2018 near Hossegor.

What a fantastic time it turned out to be, some of the CS involvement included Alex Reynolds (Africa Regional Coordinator) working for the ISA in a key role throughout the games, Eric Zbaren (CS Switzerland) had been chosen as team manager for the Swiss team, Hutch (team New Zealand) was on the management team from New Zealand, as well as his son Taylor competing for New Zealand.

In addition we met up with Joey Buran, who was with the US coaching team. Jessica Anderson (Chile) and Bianca Buitendag (South Africa) were also surfing as part of their nation's teams.

Through a mad set of events I found myself being involved in the management of the English team, but also being photographer to assist the Swiss, English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh teams, as well as connecting with many other European teams.

It was so encouraging to meet up on a daily basis with some of the CS friends during the 10 days and we also had the opportunity to pray at various stages throughout the event.

Giving thanks for the contacts, not just the CS contacts, that we were able to connect with and it was an honour to be involved in such a well-run and professional World Surfing Games in preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

God is good #stepoutinfaith.


En mi rol como coordinador regional para Christian Surfers Europa, cuando descubrí que los ISA World Surfing Games se llevarían a cabo en Europa por primera desde 2007, sentí un gran llamado a involucrarme de alguna manera.

Mientras se acercaba el evento supe que dos o tres contactos de CS estarían involucrados con el campeonato pero realmente no sabia cuantos en total o que roles iban a asumir.

Con eso en mente agende mi vuelo y un auto y ore que el Señor me diera citas divinas y un rol en el evento. También aproveche de hacer algunas otras cosas para CS en el norte de España y fue a ver algunos posibles lugares que tener la conferencia Internacional CS para el 2018 cerca de Hossegor.

Terminó siendo un tiempo fantástico, algunos de los miebros de CS que estaban involucrados con el evento eran Alex Reynolds (Coordinador Regional Africa) trabajando en un rol clave para la ISA, Eric Zbaren (CS Suiza) ha sido elegido como el team manager del equipo Suizo, Hutch (Team Nueva Zelandia) estaba trabajando para el team Nueva zelandés junto a su hijo Taylor que estaba compitiendo en el equipo.

También me encontré con Joey Buran, que es el coach del equipo EEUU. Jessica Anderson (Chile) y Bianca Buitendag (Sudáfrica) estaban surfeando por sus países.

Por una serie de circunstancias termine trabajando como manager en el equipo Ingles, pero también como fotógrafo para ayudar al equipo Suizo, Ingles, Irlandés, Escoses y Gales, aparte de conectar con otros equipos Europeos.

Fue de mucho animo poder reunirme con algunos amigos CS todos los días y tuvimos a oportunidad de orar en diferentes momentos durante el evento.

Doy gracias por los contactos, no solamente los contactos CS, con los cual pude conectar y fue un honor tomar parte de un excelente evento en preparación para los Juegos Olímpicos de Tokyo 2020.

Old Salts NZ Trip 2017

by Bruce Baker
(Español debajo)

Our party of eight Old Salts gathered at Sydney airport on May 13th with thoughts turned towards long, desolate point breaks bordered by lush green farmlands and glimpses of a brooding, snow covered Mt Taranaki beyond. Old acquaintances were renewed and new friendships begun. Getting there... a long day of travel compressed by timezone creep, distress calls to spouses over a forgotten passport, a comical scene (involving NZ customs dogs, BD's board bag and a dead rat), and the challenge of strapping 14 boards onto the roof of our rental car. Our weariness was soon forgotten when we woke to chest-high clean Graveyards lefts, right out front, and the green farmlands did come right up to the waters edge. A magical place indeed.

Some highlights... evening conversations where we looked at what it means to live our lives with Jesus (not just for him), radical discipleship, romancing a woman for a lifetime, giving for Jesus. Then there was meeting the new CS NZ National Director Logan Mills – a frothing, faithful servant seeking God's plans for the movement. We helped the local CS crew serve at a Primary School contest. Great hospitality of CS NZ Board Member Nev Wells providing everything from surf reports to fresh chicken direct from his farm. And of course sharing waves and stories with each other in this unspoilt and unhurried place, from Stent Road clean and glassy, Arawhata with just the eight of us out, and Graveyards lefts right in front of our batch.

Too soon, the week was drawing to a close. The weather had also turned. The NZ Metservice synoptic showed the 'L' of a 992mb system right over the top of us. Swellnet was calling for 12-15ft and 45 knots onshore. BD used Jedi mind tricks to convince two of our group to join him in one last surf in the storm-driven mess and fading light. And then we were strapping those 14 boards back onto the roof of the rental and looking forward to seeing loved ones again.


Nuestro grupo de ocho “Old Salts” se juntó en el aeropuerto de Sídney el 13 de Mayo con nuestras mentes enfocadas en puntas largas y solitarias a la orilla de campos verdes y con una vista del solemne Mt Taranaki mas allá. Viejas amistades fueron renovadas y también se hicieron nuevos amigos. Llegar ahí fue un día largo de viaje, que incluyó cambio de hora, una llamada desesperad a la esposa por un pasaporte olvidado, una escena bastante cómica (algo que ver con los perros de aduana, la funda de BD, y una rata muerta), y el desafío de amarar 14 tablas al techo del auto que arriendamos. Nuestro cansancio fue rápidamente olvidado cuando despertamos a ver las increíbles izquierdas de Graveyard’s justo al frente, y los campos verdes que llegaban casi al borde del mar. Sin duda un lugar mágico.

Unos puntos notables fueron… conversaciones al atardecer donde hablamos sobre que significa vivir vidas con Jesús (no solamente para el), discipulado radical, enamorar a una mujer de por vida, entregando para Jesús. Después hubo una reunión con el nuevo Directo Nacional de CS NZ Logan Mills – un increíble siervo que busca el plan de Dios para el movimiento. Ayudamos al equipo local de CS en un campeonato de escuela primaria. Gran hospitalidad de parte de Nev Wells que es miembro de Board CS NZ, nos ayudo con todo desde el reporte de olas en la mañana hasta llevándonos pollo fresco directo de su granja. Fue increíble compartir olas y historias unos con otros en un lugar tan tranquilo, Stent Road perfecto y glaseado, Arawhata con solo nosotros 8 en el agua, y las izquierdas de Graveyard’s al frente de donde alojábamos.

La semana ya estaba por terminar. El clima cambió. El servicio meteorológico de NZ mostraba la L de un sistema de 992mb justo arriba de nosotros. Swellnet pronosticaba olas de entre 12-15 pies y 45 nudos de viento. BD usó trucos mentales Jedi para convencer a dos del grupo que le acompañaran a surfear en ese desorden con poca luz y después atamos otra vez esas 14 tablas en el techo del auto que arriendamos ya ansioso por ver a nuestros seres queridos de nuevo.

Americas Conference Scholarships

The Americas Conference is a gathering of leaders from throughout Latin America, held biannually in the region. This year the conference will be held in Panama, July 25-28, and we're hoping to enable a handful of leaders to make it there! Below are profiles of some of the leaders. If you feel so led, we would love for you to donate towards seeing more leaders in Latin America equipped to lead and disciple surfers!

All donations are through Christian Surfers North America and are tax deductible.

Franco Bachino

Uruguay

Franco Bachino is 26 years old. He is recently married and is presently the National Director of CS Uruguay. Franco needs to raise USD$450 to be able to attend the Americas Conference.

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José Alonso Alta

Peru

José Alonso Alta is 23 years old, currently the youngest leader in CS Peru. He is a university student, studying Mechanical Engineering. José needs to raise USD$450 to be able to attend.


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Alex Suarez

Ecuador

Alex Suarez is 17 years old from Manglaralto, South Montañita, Ecuador. He has surfed in two ISA World Junior Championships on the Ecuadorian team and is currently the national U18 champion and second place in the Opens. He is an active member of CS Montañita, with leadership projection, since May 2015. This would be his first CS conference. Alex needs to raise USD$450 to be able to attend.

Charlie & Brian

El Salvador

Charlie and Brian are both from CS El Salvador. Charlie has been our Majahual Beach chapter leader for a few years now and Brian has been helping Charlie for almost a year. They have been very helpful all this time and they want to learn more about our special ministry and to experience the CS brotherhood at the Americas Conference.  Charlie and Brian need to raise their conference costs of $700 total for both.


 

Daniel Garcia

Venezuela

Daniel "Chocho" Garcia is 38 years old. He confessed Jesus through CS Venezuela 12 years ago, is surfboard shaper and has helped many surfers in Venezuela with surfboards. He has been a humble servant for many years and never had the oportunity to go to any international conferences. Since the high inflaction of the economy and devaluation of the currency started in Venezuela his business has dropped off and he is just surviving. He is married to Francis, who is also a surfer, and together they raise their 10-year-old niece.

 

Meet Zach & Dani Smith

Born out of the natural heart of many CS missions for social action, Groundswell Aid is an initiative of Christian Surfers that seeks to to harness the resources of the surfing community to impact the global community with God's love. Zach & Dani Smith were recently hired to head up Groundswell Aid out of the Christian Surfers International head office in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

So Zach and Dani, you've been hired to run Groundswell Aid. How did you get involved?

We initially inquired about being the house parents for the CSALT program in J-Bay but the start date was going to be challenging to sort out due to Zach's work. Roy Harley reached out to us and asked how we felt about coming to J-Bay to run with Groundswell Aid instead and described it as, "social justice/community development meets Jesus and surfers." We knew it was what we'd been waiting for!

More than just a change in job, the role required you to move from Atlanta, Georgia to South Africa, a less-than-stable country that also includes plenty of less-than-friendly ocean activity. How do you both feel about that?

We're no strangers to South Africa. Zach worked in J-Bay from 2010-2014 and after getting engaged in 2014, we both lived in J-Bay and got married that year on the beach in front of Supertubes. We consider ourselves very lucky that God has called us to such a beautiful and diverse place. And we consider the ocean animals our friends. :)

You're both new to Christian Surfers. What were you doing before Groundswell?

Dani: After graduating from university, I worked in Cambodia for two years teaching at an international school and doing church planting in a village about an our from the city. It was a very difficult decision to leave but felt that God wanted me to learn about helping in a more systematic way. I moved to Denver and spent the next two years working with the homeless population in Colorado and Texas. After realizing that my work there would never take me back to overseas missions, I returned to university to get my Masters in Bilingual Education, hoping it would open up opportunities for long-term work abroad. It was then that Zach and I reconnected and I finished my schooling while living in South Africa. After getting married, we returned to Zach's hometown in Atlanta to pay off my student loan and I worked for two years at our local church.

Zach: Since high school, I've worked on and off for my family's business in training professional and Olympic athletes. It's given me a unique opportunity to build relationships with an insider community, many of whom are seen as role models in our culture. It's also opened up doors for me to live in China and work at their national training center in Beijing. I've worked in the townships of South Africa running an after school program and more recently a soccer league. 

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What are you most looking forward to about working with Groundswell and what do you foresee the role entailing?

We both really want to spend this year serving people in whatever way is most helpful, knowing it will look different for each project and each country. Roy has inspired us with a vision of what Groundswell could be so we want to spend our first months on the ground connecting with the amazing leaders who are already engaged with social justice projects in their area and discuss how we can help them go further, faster. We've also already connected with one "Corporate Partner" and are excited about the possibility of partnering with more organizations around the world who are equally stoked about reaching surfers and making much of Jesus's name. 

Out of your years of service in ministry, what do you feel has been the most impactful moment or story for your own faith?

Dani: I remember walking down the street where I lived in Cambodia and praying that God wouldn't change anything in my life. I felt like my cup was completely full of blessings; I had amazing friends, was loving being undivided in my devotion to the Lord as a single person, thought I had the best job on the planet and loved discipling my students, was living very simply but had every need met. Later that year, God flipped everything upside down and stripped all of that away to take me somewhere new. He didn't have less for me, but more. I learned to never think that my idea of blessings are the same as the Lord's. He gives us perfect gifts just when we need them and the richest blessing of them all is always deeper intimacy with the Father.

Zach: After finishing my Masters degree, I took a year and a half to see what God was up to around the world, specifically to live out James 1:27. It was a crazy year. I met some great people, experienced God's beauty through His creation, saw God come through time and time again, and yet I witnessed abject poverty of the likes I had never seen. From the biggest slum in Africa to earthquake-torn Haiti, from AIDS infected special needs children in Kenya, to street kids in Brazil, from severely sexually abused girls in Honduras, to orphans in Mexico, and many more. God continuously broke my heart and taught me through and among these people. Along the way, I was climbing some of the world's highest mountains, and ministering to backpackers too! Get someone in a tent on the side of the mountain and they'll let you talk about anything to fend off boredom.

How did you both initially get in to surfing?

Zach: My dad grew up a surfer and we had a family beach house in the Outer Banks. While I was landlocked growing up in Atlanta, we spent our summers and every other chance we got in OBX. 

Dani: Zach started giving me lessons a couple of years ago and gave me a fuchsia single fin long board as my wedding gift. He always says that the best surfer is the one having the most fun so if that's true, I'm getting pretty good. ;)

Thanks guys, we'll be praying for you throughout the move and as you continue in the role!

To learn more about Groundswell Aid, check out the website and follow on Instagram and Facebook.

NZ Easter Camp

by Logan Mills
(Español debajo)

This year we had just over 100 people join us in Taranaki for our annual Easter Camp. The week leading up to camp, NZ was forecast to have one of the biggest cyclones to hit since the 60’s. It was meant to start down the east coast then come across to the west coast right where our camp was going to be held.

Last minute we had people pulling out as we had extreme warnings that it was not safe to travel, so the CS team began to pray that the cyclone would miss us. Thursday night came and that’s when it was meant to hit the hardest, I traveled down to Taranaki and it was blue skies and the sun was shining, so far so good! The west coast was firing! the whole way down there were lines coming in with no wind! I got to the camp site and the marquee hire company didn’t want to put the marquee up with the cyclone coming. We had faith it could still go ahead and continued to pray that the storm would not come our way.

God sure did answer our prayers! Cyclone Cook ended up redirecting itself and staying just off the east coast of NZ. Praise the Lord! We had high winds and some flooding down some parts of the east coast but nowhere near what was predicted. Camp was going ahead as planned!

Each evening we had a time of worship and our guest speakers Daz Chattle & Peter Dobbs sharing with us, 10+ people gave their lives to the Lord, some rededicated their lives back to the Lord and many encountered the Holy Spirit and were healed spiritually.

We were all inspired with the words, "What if Jesus is real and what he said is true?” how does that affect our day to day lives? Daz told us many amazing stories of how God has used him to bring people to faith on the street, plane, in the surf, we were all challenged and inspired to really live like its all true! 

We ran a skate comp for the community at the local Shred Shed. The majority of the skaters in the competition were locals, it was awesome to get involved and serve in the community. We also ran a fun surf comp on the beach break right in front of the camp. It was great to have surfers of all levels involved and giving it a go!

With Cyclone Cook missing us we had a lot of people flocking to the east coast to score waves, which meant we had the west coast almost empty. During the days we would disperse to find waves and the last two days of camp we had multiple points to ourselves with only people from our crew in the water! We all had an amazing time hooting and calling each other in to waves. Thanks Lord!

It was great for me to be able to meet all the CS crews from all over NZ, me being fairly new to CS it was an awesome chance to get to know everyone and hear what’s happening in their different regions. It’s always so encouraging to meet other people who share your passions for surfing and sharing Jesus.

God is so good, He totally hears our prayers and knows what’s best for us. Massive thanks to everyone who braved it out and came along. Thanks also to all those who were involved in the background and making camp happen.

How would we live if we really believe and lived out what Jesus taught us? 


Este año mas de 100 personas fueron parte de nuestro campamento anual de semana santa. La semana antes del campamento, el pronostico para NZ marcaba la llegada de uno de los ciclones mas fuertes en 50 años. Se supone que empezaría en la costa este y después cruzaría a la costa oeste donde nuestro campamento se iba llevar a cabo.

A ultimo minuto teníamos personas cancelando debido a los reportes que era inseguro para viajar, entonces el equipo CS empezó a orar que el ciclón no nos afectara. Jueves en la noche se supone que iba ser mas intenso. Ese día viaje a Taranaki y estaba con sol y cielo azul así que hasta ahí todo bien. La costa oeste estaba con buenas olas. Todo el camino se veía como entraban las líneas y sin viento. Llegue al campamento y la empresa que nos arriendaba una carpa no la quería armar por temor a que llegara el ciclón. Teníamos fe que igual podría resultar y continuamos orando que la tormenta no llegara a nosotros.

Dios respondió a nuestras oraciones! Ciclón Cook termino solo afectando la costa Este de NZ ¡Gloria a Dios! Hubieron vientos fuertes y un poco de inundación pero el impacto fue mucho menor de lo que se pensaba. El campamento se llevo a cabo en acorde al plan. Cada noche tuvimos un tiempo de alabanza y a nuestros expositores invitados Daz Chattle y Peter Dobs compartiendo con nosotros; 10+ personas entregaron su vida a Cristo, algunos re dedicaron sus vidas a Dios y muchos tuvieron un encuentro con el Espíritu Santo y fueron sanados espiritualmente.

Todos fuimos inspirados por estas palabras; “¿Que pasa si Jesús es real y lo que el dijo verdadero?” ¿Cómo eso afecta nuestras vidas? Daz nos contó historias increíbles de cómo Dios lo ha usado para acercar a personas a Cristo en la calle, en aviones, y en el mar. Fuimos desafiados y inspirados a vivir como si todo eso es real. 

Organizamos un campeonato de skate para la comunidad local en el Shred Shed. La mayoría de los skater en la competencia eran locales, fue genial involucrarse con ellos y servir la comunidad. También organizamos un campeonato de surf divertido en el beach break que estaba al frente del campamento. Era genial tener a surfistas de todos los niveles involucrados y dando su mejor esfuerzo.

Ya que Ciclón Cook fue desviado, muchos estaban buscando olas en la costa este así que la costa oeste estaba casi vacía para nosotros. Durante esos días nos dispersábamos a buscar olas y los últimos dos días de campamento teníamos varias puntas solo para nosotros. Todos la pasamos increíble disfrutando esas olas sin gente ¡Gracias Dios!

Fue genial para mi conocer a la gente de CS de diferentes partes de NZ, ya que yo soy bastante nuevo a CS y fue genial escuchar lo que esta pasando en las diferentes regiones. Siempre es genial conocer a personas que comparten una pasión por el surf y por compartir a otros de Jesús.

Dios es bueno, el escucha nuestras oraciones y tiene lo mejor para nosotros. Muchas gracias a todos quienes fueron valientes y participaron. También agradecemos a todos los que ayudaron en la organización.

¿Como deberíamos vivir si realmente creemos y vivimos lo que Jesús nos enseñó?

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