My husband and I started working with teenagers in Brevard County a few years back, helping them through life and encouraging them to have a relationship with God. Our interaction with students really took off after we started hanging out at the beach with them. My first Christmas as their youth leader, I received a 7'10" custom made surfboard from them. I was humbled and blessed that they loved me that much to sacrifice so much money and time--when I didn't even know how to surf. So I decided that summer to have a surf group every Thursday where we would take as many kids as we could (surfer or not) to the beach to spend time in creation and learning about what it means to take care of it as well as taking care of our relationship with the One who created it. It revolutionized our ministry. Through our physical acts of being together--waiting on waves--laughing at our falls--traveling in cars with sand and sweat, we formed bonds that stuck.
We moved to Texas for a couple of years and I found myself in a place with no waves. It wasn't until our ski trip to Colorado--when I learned to snowboard that we bonded.
I started to see a trend. Through the physical parts of being together, learning together, and experiencing creation together we find peace, encouragement, friendship, and God.
Now that I'm back in Florida I want to continue this calling to creation participation--something that is collective in us. We're sort of land locked over here in the center of the state but we've got a ton of skateboarders and surfers who are just looking for an outlet. We hope by hosting a pro-skate event and taking some students to the beach that we'll make some vital connections with young people who can't see much farther than their boards right now. We hope that through our experiences outside we can make a difference on the inside. My husband and I feel called to do this, and our church is willing to do whatever it takes to make these relationships possible.
I'm stoked to be here at Highland Park, awesome things are happening.