Look at your calendar and ask yourself, “Can I find just one free day to serve”? This is how it starts. For me, serving is kind of like Skittles; once I start, it’s hard to stop. You probably think you’re too busy, but when you see the smiles on people’s faces and the joy in their eyes, it’s hard not to give your time to others.
Members of the Rock Church Surf Ministry partnered with the special need ministry, Miracle 139, and The Island Praise & Dance Ministry for a Day at the Beach. This day was planned to bless the children and their families to allow them to enjoy the beach and have an opportunity to learn to surf. The waves were shoulder high at most breaks and some spots were slightly overhead; pretty awesome conditions for surfers. “God hooked us up today,” I thought.
We started the day with music and dance. The Island Praise and Dance Ministry worshiped through hula as they danced to a backdrop of the ocean and blue skies, framed by palm trees. Sunday worship music is one of my favorite parts of church. The music takes me away and brings me closer to God. Though our church has thousands at each service, I still feel a special connection to God during worship. I had the same feeling that day when the Island Praise & Dance Ministry performed their Polynesian dance routines, using hand motions to transform themselves into a story. The dancers moved slowly and deliberately, glorifying God with each precise movement.
Now to the waves! Surfers taught the children of Miracle 139 how to surf. It was actually more like children using long boards to boogie board. Each child was matched with a team to show them how to stand up and hopefully catch a great wave. The surf ministry members held onto the back of the boards and steered their child into the best wave. One of our surf ministry members, Amanda, said, “Serving these kids is incredibly rewarding. I feel blessed to be able to give my God-given talent and time to the children. Sometimes I feel guilty because serving makes me feel so good.” Even when the kids were falling into the waves, they still came up from the water smiling. One child, Jay, ran out of the water screaming, “I’m a surfer! I’m a surfer”! That kind of energy and happiness is what keeps me coming back to serve others.
A few of the kids got up on the boards and rode the waves. Standing up on a long board counts as surfing, right? For any of you who are beginners out there, you can claim yourself a “surfer” if you can stand up on the board. I’m part of the Surf Ministry, but I’m not a surfer at all. I served as the photographer for the event. Though I’ve never caught a wave, photographing the children and their gleaming faces gives me some kind of idea of what surfing feels like. I’m able to serve others because God gave me the skills to photograph people. No matter what your skill is, there’s a ministry that could use your skills. Just show up at an event and ask if you can help; I guarantee you will be able to find some way to serve.
Besides serving, publicly proclaiming your faith is important in your relationship with God. Being baptized is one way to express your belief in Jesus Christ. The leader of the Rock Surf Ministry, Tim Jachlewski, shared the gospel and talked about the significance of baptism.
“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38.
Nine people made the decision to be baptized, including one of the teens from the special needs ministry and his mom. Everyone stood at the edge of the water and cheered as each person was baptized. We are certain that their lives will be more blessed than before. Corena, a member of the Rock Church, came out with her husband to be baptized. She said, “My husband and I feel truly blessed today, because not only did we declare God as our Lord in our hearts, we declared Him to the world.” If you are interested in getting baptized, we have baptisms regularly and we’d love if you could participate when you’re ready.
On the way home from the day, my boyfriend said, “I can just see the smile on Pastor Miles’ face when he hears about this.” I replied, “Just imagine how big God is smiling.”
For more information about the Surf Ministry, click here »