As readers of this would know, serving is high on the agenda of a traditional Christian Surfers group and with that background of serving and being willing to get involved with assisting at various Norwegian surfing events, the Christian Surfers team were asked if they would be prepared to take on the running of the Norwegian Surf Championships.
This could not be done under the banner of Christian Surfers but would need to be organised under the banner of an affiliated surf club, so they set up a local surf club called 'Stad Surferklubb' on the remote west coast of Norway and took on the challenge over a year ago, beginning to organise this event.
The local surf community in Norway, and indeed the Norwegian Surf Federation, are still quite small and so anybody organising the event not only needs to complete the logistics locally, but also needs to organise the finance, accommodation, promotion and basically everything connected with the event.
After early conversations with Regional Coordinator Phil Williams it was agreed that he would come over and help run the event (as he has had 20+ years of experience running similar events in the UK).
The team, under Lars Monsen as the event organiser, galvanised not just Christian Surfers, but also other local surfers, the local church, and the wider community in an effort to put on something everybody would be proud of.
The big challenge this year was to actually run the event in March, when water temperatures were likely to be around 4°C, and there could be pretty stormy conditions, often with days where temperatures do not get above up 0°C degrees. However previous championships have meant very few waves later in the year, so this was the agreed plan.
God showed up in so many ways and was a real blessing for the whole event. The Norwegians are great designers and Svein designed and built a complete judging cabin on wheels, which was something many countries would be proud of. The local pastor even took his wood-fired hot tub to the beach!
Lars, Camilla, Jeff, Helene, Svein and Moyfrid did a fantastic job, working solidly with the wider community and in particular Tore Kramer from the Norwegian Surfing Federation, and God did the rest.
The event took place in great conditions, with snow on the mountaintops, but none on the beach, and generally offshore winds. Many of the judges were Christian Surfers volunteers who were taught so much under the guidance of head judge Jeff and contest director Phil Williams.
After two full days of competition it was time to celebrate an amazing event and yet again the Christian Surfers crew had organised a brilliant party.
Winners were crowned with some amazing prizes and the Christian Surfers team even managed to take some of the trophies home, with Moyfrid Barkved winning the Womens Longboard Championships, while Naomi Dalsbo came third, and Espen took second place in the Norwegian entries in the open division.
It was generally regarded as one of the best national championships that Norway had ever held and praise be to the local team, Filadelfia church, the community, and to God for doing such an amazing work. It's fair to say say there was not one CS banner or flag on the contest site throughout the two days but people 'just knew' who organised it and were so complimentary.
To cap it all off the night after the event God decided to bless those present with a celebratory Northern lights display that will remain in our minds for ever, the icing on top of a very big cake.
Please continue to pray for the Norwegian Christian Surfers and give thanks to God for his amazing work through them!