Panama and Costa Rica, February 2017

This February I was able to make a trip to Panama and Costa Rica. As many of you know, I’ve been to both countries multiple times. This voyage however, was great in the sense that I was able to see the fruit of all that God has done over the last few years. 

Panama - 

Our ministry in Panama has been strong and effective in it’s outreach to surfers. There are two strong chapters and a dedicated leadership team. We’ve been so pleased with how God is moving in this country that we are hosting our America’s Conference there this July. The America’s conference happens every other year and it functions to bring together our leaders from all of our latin america countries for training, worship, and fellowship. During my visit, I went, surveyed, and secured an action sports friendly hotel that will host this conference. The hotel is right on the water and has a skatepark, paintball field, bmx track, kitesurfing equipment, and of course a great atmosphere for us to meet together. Pretty much all of leaders are volunteers around latin america and this is our way to thank them by offering them a great experience at a very affordable price. Please pray for the America’s conference this July that God would use it raise an army of men and women dedicated to reaching surfers all over latin america. 

 

 

Costa Rica - 

Our ministry in Costa Rica is one of our strongest in latin america. With 4 chapters and a dedicated leadership team they are paving the way for new ministry ideas and methods. During my visit I joined them for their annual camp-out. There were over 115 surfers at the camp and we had 3 baptisms! It was a great time. During the camp, I was able to check up on our intern from Argentina who was spending a few weeks learning from the guys in Costa Rica and encourage him. I was also able to meet up and spend time with my regional assistant, Damián, and plan some of his travel for this year to Nicaragua and Cuba. Damián is also helping us with the America’s Conference so we were able to chat about that some as well! 

New Year, New Look...

Our 2016 Christmas Card..

Happy New Year and welcome to the new look of our blog! We apologize for being a little bit out of touch the last couple months as the site has been updated, but we’re back in action and hoping to keep everyone in the loop of what God is doing through Christian Surfers and Kids Alive. 

Here is a quick update on what we’ve been up to the last few months - 

Kids Alive - 

The road on the way to school in November..

The road on the way to school in November..

The month of November in the Dominican Republic was one of the wettest months on record! The north coast (where we live) suffered from severe flooding with an estimated 20,000 families displaced from their homes and multiple bridges collapsing and leaving numerous small villages and communities isolated until the flooding died down. Fortunately, Emily and I were fine and didn’t suffer any damage to our apartment. The majority of the families in Caraballo where the Kids Alive school is located did well also.  

Emily's 6th grade class at the Christmas Party

Emily's 6th grade class at the Christmas Party

However, the road to school became impassable unless you had a large 4x4 truck. After canceling classes completely for a few weeks, they were able to reopen for half days about 3 days a week until Christmas break. The staff of the school (16 in total) piled in the back of a Toyota 4x4 truck and sometimes walked through the mud in order to arrive at school to teach and provide meals for the students. Although the road has been mostly repaired now, it is still impassable to many vehicles. As classes begin again this week the staff are still piling in the back of the 4x4 truck (rain or shine) so that they can get to school. Please keep Caraballo and the Park Care Center staff in your prayers as they continue caring for the 300 students enrolled in the school. 

Dustin with the guys in California

Dustin with the guys in California

Christian Surfers - 

I (Dustin) had a very busy end of the year as I was finishing up my travel. In the month of November I met up in California with our new National Director of the United States, Jimmy and my boss, our International Director, Roy. We had multiple meetings with local CS groups in California and met up with a lot of churches and individuals to share what God is doing in and through surfers all over the world. On that same trip, I flew up to Canada to meet up with our team of leaders in Nova Scotia and encourage them as they got ready for winter surf ministry. (Yes, they surf when it’s freezing and snowing outside.) In the month of December, I travelled over to our neighboring island of Puerto Rico to encourage ministry leaders. One of the highlights was being able to attend a service at “Ola de Gracia” (Wave of Grace), a church my good friend Yossua just planted. From there I was joined by Emily on my annual visit to Barbados, where we met with local leaders with a passion to reach the growing surf community of this small island.

Over the holidays, Emily and I hosted first her parents, and then my parents and younger brother, Brady. We had a great time celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus and we are excited for all that God will do in the new year. 

Haiti

Since the start of Christian Surfers Dominican Republic, Christian Surfers United States has played an important part in the growth of the ministry. The US has been sending mission teams and support to help us reach local Dominican Surfers for Jesus over the past seven years. The DR ministry has been growing strong and it has become time for the DR to help its’ neighbors.

I first went to Haiti in November of 2014. There, I visited Surf Haiti, the first organized surf school in the country. It was a short visit to the team there, but we were able to make a plan in order to grow the sport of surfing in the poorest nation of the Americas.

Junior Category getting ready to go!
Junior Category getting ready to go!
Sharing the gospel during the award ceremony.
Sharing the gospel during the award ceremony.

 The dream was that we were going to have a team from Christian Surfers DR go to Haiti to help put on the first surf contest in the history of Haiti. The contest would achieve numerous things:

1 - It would be the first contest in Haiti 2 - It would be a public show of the DR and Haiti working together despite a long history of conflict between the two nations 3 - It would allow CSDR to share the gospel of Christ to the growing surf community in Haiti 4 - The Dominicans could inspire young Haitian surfers to improve their own skills 5 - The Dominicans that work full time at surf schools in the DR could give advice to the young Haitian surf school

Morning bible study for the DR team.
Morning bible study for the DR team.

On April 29, four surfers from Christian Surfers DR arrived in Jacmel, Haiti, to help make this dream a reality. We had 5 categories of surf competition with over 35 competitors in total. There was also a large crowd on the beach that erupted in applause on each wave caught. We were able to give medals to the top three competitors in each category and share the gospel of Jesus Christ during the award ceremony. We’ve established a great friendship with Surf Haiti and pray that God allows us to continue in this successful partnership. We’re hoping to have a couple of the surfers from Surf Haiti come over to the DR for our annual surf contest in February.

Please pray that the gospel is able to impact this young surf community in Haiti and that we are able to support them as their neighbors. We would love to see Christian Surfers started someday in Jacmel, Haiti.

18 hr drive from Cabarete, DR to Jacmel, Haiti. ugh...
18 hr drive from Cabarete, DR to Jacmel, Haiti. ugh...