The month of Sept through the start of October is my favorite time of year here in the Caribbean. Although it's typically the hottest time of year, it is full of good hurricane or storm swells, the start of a new school year, my birthday, and CSDR's national camp-out. This particular year, I had the opportunity to visit CS Puerto Rico for five days. Although I live very close to Puerto Rico, it was my first time actually visiting the island. It's seriously a forty minute plane ride. I arrived in the capital city of San Juan and was escorted by Agustin (National Director) to a public car which took me to the west side of the island where I was to meet with Monty Smith in Rincón. Monty Smith is an American who has been living in Puerto Rico for over forty years now. He is famous for being a surfboard shaper and running the first ever surfshop in Puerto Rico. I spent a couple days with him and we were able to meet a lot of local Christian Surfers, surf some fun spots, attend an English Speaking church called "Church Without Walls," and encourage one another in prayer and encouragement.
On Tuesday, Monty and I took off back to San Juan to meet up with Agustin. On Wednesday, Agustin and I were able to spend the day together surfing, eating, and talking about the re-construction of CS Puerto Rico. Agustin has only been the National Director a few months now and we were able to talk a lot about the struggles and difficulties in starting a CS ministry. We were both super blessed by an impromptu meeting that night where potential CS leaders got together for dinner. There 6 of us total in the meeting and a new energy and excitement to reach surfers was found amongst the group. Agustin left the meeting with new hope and excitement to see what God was going to do in his home country of Puerto Rico. I flew out the next morning.
This past weekend, CS Dominican Republic held it's Second National Camp-Out at Macao Beach in Punta Cana. We were much more organized this year than last and it was necessary as we had over 100 registrants and even more visiting and participating through-out the weekend. However, like always, Our God was the star. While there were only small waves, we were blessed by different speakers talking about the theme - "Surfing For Jesus." The lack of waves actually created a deeper desire for most of the surfers present to seek God. The whole camp gathered together Saturday night for a large worship service and there were tears by a few afterwards being touched by the Holy Spirit. Other events of the weekend included a Ding-Repair workshop by Eduardo Lara, and a Tandem Surf-Contest. (That's right - Tandem. Two people on one board). All in all the weekend was a huge success and all glory goes to our God.
Other events this month included, the Worship band at New Life Church playing an outreach at a local tourist bar, the Youth Group at New Life Church hosting a baptism where I was able to baptize for the first time two students, and hosting a young-adult barbeque for New Life Church in my backyard.
I leave in two weeks for San Diego, California. From San Diego I fly to Hawaii for Christian Surfers' International Conference. From Hawaii I fly to Philadelphia to be with Emily and family. From Philadelphia I fly with Emily to Florida to be with my family for Thanksgiving. It'll be my first Thanksgiving home in more than 5 years.
Please pray for safety as I travel and that God would continually draw me closer to Himself. Thanks
Picture above is of the guys from Cabarete and Nagua on the way to the Camp-Out