A National Movement in France
Although for many years Christian Surfers France has been in existence as a national movement in name, until recently, its activity remained localized, primarily around the Basque coast. Believing that this is the Lord’s timing for CS France to move towards reaching every surfing community across her country, national coordinator Audrey Harrison has been traversing France with her family on annual holiday road trips for the last 3 years to make connections with churches and meet individuals who might be interested in the ministry of Christian Surfers.
We’ve known that there are other Christians in France who surf beyond Biarritz and Hossegor, but we hadn’t tracked many of them down until recently. We had a few names to go on that came to us through the grapevine, a few fresh leads through CS France’s newly designed website with a contact form, and some connections through surfers from other regions of France visiting Surf Church Hossegor and meeting us. And with those initial contacts, we hit the road! “We’re coming your way soon. Would you like to meet in person?”
The fruit of these networking efforts ripened with time as we cared for new relationships, and then the International Gathering of Christian Surfers landed in France at just the right moment! Audrey relentlessly hounded all the various players around the country through e-mails, texts, and phone calls to motivate them to descend on Hossegor for the key event, and it worked. With only a few exceptions, everyone we hoped and prayed would make it to the conference in September 2018 showed up!
With a nudge from her board president, Audrey took the pulse of the French contingent present at the International Gathering: everyone sensed that this was an opportunity to be seized. A meeting was called for the following day. Some worked through the night to draft new founding documents that would position CS France for nationwide growth. The 13 attendees of the impromptu meeting unanimously signed to approve and officially join the new structure, and several others who had been at the conference for the first few days voiced their support from afar. With representatives from the four corners of France and places in between, a true national movement is born!