Sunday, November 15, 2015

October and South Africa

Once again another month has flashed by. I wonder so often where does the time go? One Monday you’re trying to wake up for worship and before you know it Friday is here.

This month has brought many new and exciting things that God is doing here.

The students are all growing so much. It is so encouraging to see them step up in their faith and be bold. Six weeks ago I created a cheesy challenge for the students to eat all their meals for one week with their hands. It didn’t fly with some people and was shot down after a couple days but what it did spark was a weekly challenge.
The first week was, if you see anyone with a red shirt you have to ask if you could pray for them. It was a real spark for the students and one week later during a sharing time they were all filled with stories. Every week we do this challenge, God is doing rad things every week with it.

One week ago I did a car share to Nuremberg (A city in the southern part of Germany.) It was a 4 hour dive and not only did we get up to 160mph on the autobahn but God opened the doors to share Christ. The guy and his girlfriend said they we’re not “religious” my response was that I wasn’t ether. They were shocked but then I said that I do believe in a personal relationship with Jesus and was able to share the message of the cross.
Peoples view here is so built on religion or the big church down the street but have no idea about a loving God that wants to have relationship with them. We talked for about 20 minutes about God and I believe that it truly impacted them.

On my was home I took the bus, arrived in Berlin and walked to the train to my neighborhood. It is 5 stops but something happened and the train only went 3, I wasn’t sure how to get back. I walked up to the conductor to ask and there was a English guy asking the same question for the same stop. So we got on the bus together and headed to my neighborhood. I asked what he does in Berlin and he asked me too and from there it lead into the Gospel. He was an atheist but after our talk he was so much more open to the Gospel.

In one short month we bind up and head for Cape Town on outreach. We will be serving there for 2 months. We plan to work in the townships outside the city as well in the city with street kids and also in many other ways.

We are all so excited to see what God will do with our time there. It is exciting for me because for most of the students it is their first time going into the mission field, (as Christians I believe we all live in the mission field but to see them and their joy to go to a different continent is so amazing)

Even though we’re still a few months out we are so looking forward to see what God has in store for the 2016 season. There is some rad stuff in the works that you will be soon filled in on in the life of skate ministry here to come.
I would also like to invite you to be apart of South Africa as well as the 2016 season. Prayer is most important, but also financially would be greatly appreciated. Living on support can be quite challenging at points but so rewarding to see Gods faithfulness. If you would like to help that would be AMAZING!!!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support this month.

Grace, peace and love. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My new city.

Time truly does fly. A month ago I sat wondering what and what Germany would be like and now I’ve been here for 3 weeks.

I arrived in Berlin the 11th of September. The first week was so busy preparing for the DTS.  September 26th the students arrived and we had a kick off bbq. 

The next day (Sunday the 27th) we went on a city scavenger hunt so everyone could get a taste of the city transit. We finished at the final train stop and began to walk to a restraint. We walked under a bridge and there was a guy who had a sign in English saying, “Money for food and drugs” he smiled at me and I back at him. We got to the restraint and I felt God wanted me to go back and talk with Him, I asked Jian another staff if he wanted to come with me and buy him some food before our food at the restraint arrived. (This is where the story gets weird) we walked maybe 30 meters and watched a lady get hit by a car right in front of us. We waited for the crowd to settle down and walked over to her and asked if we could pray for her. She said yes. After that we made our way to the bridge. I asked the guy if I could by him some food and he said yes after bringing him some Döner (a Turkish sandwich thing) we sat down with him and he began to open up to us about His life. At the end we asked if he would read a Bible if we brought him one, he said yes. We finally made it back to the restraint with two crazy stories to tell about what had just happened.  

Five days later I hopped on a bus for Köln Germany about 8 hour bus ride from Berlin.
I met with a Christian skate team called SRS. It was such a blessing to connect with others who carry the same passion for ministry. Over all it was an amazing weekend and I look forward to see what God has in store for the future.

Before coming to Berlin I knew about the wall but wasn’t really familiar with the whole story behind it. Yesterday was the reunification day marking 25 years of the wall being down. The city hosted a huge event last night and it was such an honor to stand there and see the transformation that had taken place. They showed a video from when the communist party had fallen and the wall was open, people came through so over joyed crying for they were finally free. I believe so much that God has such great things in store for this country. The wall came down and there was freedom from communism. There is still a spiritual wall and this wall is in the hearts of men and woman across the globe, they need the Lord and it isn’t until we experience this that we truly have freedom.

This has been the first 3 weeks of living in Berlin. Prayer request are,

·      Spiritual strength
·      Financial support
·      DTS Students
·      Language (its coming slowly but surly)  

Thank you for all your prayers and support!

P.S. To finish up the story with the man under the bridge, we went back the other day and he was still there. I asked one of the girls on staff who works with people like that if she knew where we could find an English Bible, she ended up giving us hers. (What a blessing! And so humbling.)
We went to the train station and we were having trouble buying a ticket from the machine and ended up missing our train. A lady walked up to us and said “here take my day pass ticket for free.” We hopped on the next train and met him under the same bridge. He was stoked to see us. We bought him some food gave him the Bible. He said he would read it.
I can’t remember his name but God does and if you could remember him in prayer that would be great.

Monday, October 14, 2013

India part 2

2 days later on the  24th  we headed to a different village for the remainder of the trip. We were welcomed with roses, such an honor. We did the show, than in the afternoon we piled 20 people into the 8 passenger van and headed to the beach. Ride Nature brought some skim boards from the states for the kids to use too. It was a great day! The next day we did a video premiere in one of the villages. We had so much response, people were coming forward for prayer, God was definitely there.

The next night we 4 street demos. We piled into the van, brought moto-taxe (the taxies with 3 wheels) but a generator in it with a P.A. system and pulled up on village streets. Ramon danced, then I skated and we shared Jesus. That one of the best nights for me because none of it was planned out.

The final day Friday the 27th we hit up a surf competitions. It was the second one ever done in India. People flew in from all over the world to be at it. We connected with a local dude with a surf school and hooked him up with some product, he had such a big heart for teaching kids how to surf. That night we began the long trip home.

We donated 12 complete skateboards and 6 skimboards a bunch of shirts and sunglasses too. We were the only people with skateboards in the part of India and we were blessed to bring something new there.

So that was India in a nutshell. I thank God for opening up the doors to go. Once again thank you for making it happen. Please pray for India. Matthew 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
Most people in India have never heard the name of Jesus and as the verse goes on to say is "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Pray. 

In closing... I got a mullet for one day and Justin went back to his past with mutton chops. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

India Part 1

6 months ago I was approached on a 12 day skate/surf trip to India. I was super interested. I spent a lot of time in prayer about it and God opened the doors.

There were 6 of us going on the trip in all. Justin, the director of the trip with the mission organization Youth Hope, Mark and Shannon, founders Ride Nature an organization dedicated in bring skateboards and surfboards to kids in poverty. Ramon a professional break dancer, Matt a Youth Pastor in Fort Myers and myself. And I must not forget the local missionaries that made it possible. David, Steven and Don.

Fast forward 6 months, September 16, Fort Myers, Fl boarding a plane with Matt and Justin to Chennai India, not knowing that my life would be changed forever.

 32 hours later we landed in Chennai and met the rest of the team there. I thought I’d seen everything but I was wrong. We drove down the streets, seeing temples for every possible god but no Churches. The main purpose for the trip was to do assemblies and city events and village work. The next day (Thursday 19th) We did 2 school assemblies in the morning, each school had over 500 kids. We did a little skit, Ramon would dance and I would skate. After that each of us spoke about Jesus.

Ramon showing the kids some dance moves.
The orphanage
That afternoon we headed to an orphanage on the outskirts of the city. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever seen before. The children slept on beds without mattress and blankets, they didn’t have clothes without holes and only got a little of food. We have so much here in the States and we always want more. But we must take the shackles off our eyes because life isn’t about comfort. The money we spend on coffee in the morning can feed a family for a day. We did the skit then showed the kids an action sports video that Ride Nature made, that had been translated into their own language. They loved it! After that, we hung out and showed them how to ride a skateboard and dance.

Worshiping with the kids.
The next day we did 4 school assemblies and Saturday the 20th we headed out to a village. It was like stepping back 100 years minus the vehicles. Thatch huts, dirt roads, it was pretty gnarly. We went to a church and center David had planted. We did our show after we sat down on the floor for lunch. The ladies but a piece of paper on the floor in front of us and dumped a big scoop of rice on it with some meat. All the kids ate it with their hands, I got half way though then had to use a fork. But Ramon and Mark were the true troupers who did the whole meal. After lunch we went into a big field next to the building and played cricket with the kids. It was the first time we ever played but after awhile figured it out, well kinda.
We came back the next day and did the exact same thing. It was around 100 F out and I was looking for any excuse out of cricket. 10 minutes into the game a kid runs up to wanting me wanting to play with my ukulele, that was my ticket to freedom.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer Camp!

When I was in Costa Rica I had the opportunity to apply for a job at a Christian Camp here in WI called Covenant Harbor as the skate park instructor. I got back home the first week of April and sent in my application. God hooked it up and I got the job.

So the second week in May put in my 2 weeks at McDonald's (more like one week) and headed to camp. I wasn't sure what to expect, but before I knew it I had so many new friends and loving every day. The first week of campers came in June, I saw a couple super gnarly injuries that made me question if this job was even for me. I mean its one thing if a homie slams, you laugh at them, ask if they're okay and they get back up, but when its a kid there it's something different.
 With Prayer God got me through it.

As camp went on I experienced so much joy, I saw so many kids learn how to drop in and taught so many kids tricks. There were days when all the pads and boards were being used. Kids would run to the park to go skate.

One day a kid that had to be 7 was trying to drop in and fell. He started crying. I ran over to see if he was okay and with tears in his eyes asked, "how does a kickflip roll" and he got back up and started skating again. The stories never end.

Not only was I the skatepark instructor but I was also a cabin buddy (I would be assigned a cabin each week and hang out with them and be a counselor on the counselor night off). I loved meeting new kids and hanging with them. Granted, it did get a little weird at points. I also had the amazing privilege to be in the skit many nights over the span of 3 weeks and judge a few talent shows. I had 2 characters, Theotis Fooberpants, (A character a bud of mine created while we were on tour back in 2011) the second named Carl which was an indecisive me haha it was so rad goofing off and having fun on stage, making kids laugh. It was definitely one of my high points as well. 

This summer we had over 2,000 kids. Over 2,000 kids who heard the name of Jesus. When I heard this it blew my mind, every kid that came to camp heard about Jesus. How rad is that?! I saw camp as a mission field. Many of the families of the kids were not Christians and their parents sent their kids here. It is so rad to look back and see how God worked.

Camp ended the middle of August and we all headed back  home, to school, work and wherever else. I left with tears in my eyes as we all said good bye. The mission was finished and the message was shared. It might have been some of the hardest 11 weeks of my life but it was some of the best 11 weeks of my life.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Skate Church Carpio

It is so rad to see where Skate Church has gone in La Carpio. When I was here in September we had 5 guys we were discipling and now God has grown it into something so much bigger.


Front board

YWAM came out and did a message, Best Trick comp and a skit for the dudes

Yoel and Carlos pointing out the winners

The skit

CARLOS!!!!!!!!!! Inward heel!!!!!!

Me saying goodbye to the fam

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Skate Church Escazú

Saying good bye to the dudes at skate church. I leave Thursday.

Back 180

Luis talking again

heel flip

Kick flip