After travelling for eighteen months around the country, after dozens of meals, of surf sessions, of Skype calls, and so on, we finally all met up for a weekend in les Landes. Anne-Cécile Lacoste and Bianca Buitendag, both professional surfers, shared about their life on the pro tour; Mathieu and Sarah told us what the "Surf Together" weekends are all about; Melissa explained the idea behind "Business As Mission" ("where you live is where you work and where you minister"); Christophe gave us an overview of the past ten years of Christian Surfers in France; Stéphanie, Loïc and Isa sang some beautiful worship songs; Moïse baked great banana bread; and Levi and Sophie were the indisputable king and queen of the weekend-long Indo Board competition. The weather was so horrible that only a few were able to go surfing Friday evening. No surf for the rest of the weekend! Ironic, don't you think, for a gathering of surfers?
The week of France's national holiday (July 14th) was full on. We attended a huge gathering of young people in Le Havre, called Bouge Ta France, where we made some great connections. Many people were attracted by our Indo Board workshop where they could try out this balance challenge. We were able to meet several Christians who are surfers, and hear about how they share their faith in the water. We were encouraged to continue our network building efforts. See you soon, new friends!
This spring is a season of baptisms. What better way to celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior than to be baptized on Easter Sunday! It's a great privilege to be able to walk through life together and a great joy to see our friends baptized in their local churches.
This winter saw the birth of two little princesses: Winnie and Agnès. Our two youngest members of Christian Surfers France were born December 31st and January 31st, respectively. Their parents haven’t taken them surfing yet, but it shouldn’t be long now, with the summer approaching. On this happy occasion, we remember to pray for the many other mothers of newborns. May God strengthen, protect and bless them. And may they have people in their lives to encourage, support and love them.
We recently set off on our first CS Road Trip to the Mediterranean coast for 5 days. We weren’t sure what to expect or who we would specifically meet but felt very much that we should go in faith and see who God would lead us to. We were delighted to meet people who were keen to take some fliers for the national and international conferences. We also met a couple in Nice who have surfing links and know of a few surfers in the area and are keen to keep in touch and communicate with us which is exciting. Another encouraging meeting was in Hyeres, where we met a couple who expressed a real interest to get alongside our team and be involved in CS France.
We also had the joy of spending some time with Roy Harley (CS International Director) and Phil Williams (CSUK and European Director) as they stopped off in France for a short visit before heading to Portugal for the CS Europe Conference. We had good conversations surrounding CS France and managed to view a potential venue for the CS International Conference 2018 which is to be held here in France. All very exciting things to come!
An exciting moment for us in September was our first Christian Surfer’s meet up and BBQ! We held it just by the dunes at Le Penon in Seignosse, SW France and enjoyed a couple hours of feasting on meats and salads and whoever fancied it went for a surf afterwards. We were really encouraged with the turnout – about 20 or more people gathered together to meet, chat and surf. We weren’t sure what to expect, being the first arranged gathering, but were delighted with the outcome. We have since met in October and plan to do so each month thereafter, with the winter months moving into a more home-based cosy meet up as opposed to BBQ on the beach!!!