THE VISION GAP (Support Your Tribe 2019)

Last week I climbed a ladder at my mum's house with the aim of cleaning out her gutters. Her house is on a slope so, at one end, it was easy going but the further along I went, the harder it was to postion the ladder so I could reach the roof. The last section of guttering proved impossible because, no matter how I positioned the ladder, I could not bridge the gap. I needed help.  

Sometimes in the offices of CSA we feel a bit like I did that day. We have so much we want to achieve and we can see the task at hand but, because of funding or circumstance, we just can't bridge the gap between our vision 'to share the good news of Jesus with surfers across Australia' and our capabilities. 

But we're optimistic because we know that, for God, anything and everything is possible.

Dawn service & paddle out - Easter 2019 National Gathering

Dawn service & paddle out - Easter 2019 National Gathering

Our annual Support Your Tribe fundraiser kicks off this week with excitement and hope. We already have so much to be thankful for.

  • CSA currently has 22 mission hubs covering multiple surf communities and reaching hundreds of surfers every week.

  • CSA has 121 active mission leaders, trained and supported by 8 regional coordinators and a National Director.

  • 277 tribe members have joined this year alone.

But the mission field is large.

  • Along 36,000 km of coastline, on 12,000 beaches, there are 218 boardriders clubs that have more than 20,000 local members.

  • Approx 420,000 people surf in Australia at least once a year.

So, while our existing hubs are doing an amazing work serving their local communities and seeing lives transformed, there are obvious gaps. 

  • For every 1 CS leader, there's 163 surfers that are members of a boardriders club.

  • For every 1 CS mission hub, there's 10 boardriders clubs.

  • For every 1 CS leader, there's 3,442 regular surfers and 20,491 recreational surfers.

So, it goes without saying, we need your help to bridge the gaps. 

  • Please pray for Support Your Tribe as we aim to raise vital funds for the work and future of CSA.

  • Please prayerfully consider what you can donate this month.

Help us see the gaps closed with thriving mission hubs in more locations. Help us to train and support developing leaders, and support our existing staff to ensure longevity and effectiveness. 

This is God's work. Let's fund it properly. Let this be the month you decide to partner with CSA and, together, let's let the world know who Jesus is and what a difference he can make.

Let's support this mighty tribe. Let's let the surfing community know that Jesus has come FOR THEM.

From all the CSA family, thank you so much to all who give generously.

May God bless you richly.

Q+A with Bec Brown

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1. Who are you, and where are you from?

My name is Rebecca Brown – but everyone calls me Bec.

I am from Wamberal on the Central Coast of NSW, but I grew up in Normanhurst (north of Sydney - not on the beach)

2.How did you first get involved in Christian Surfers, and what is your role now?

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I first heard about Christian Surfers in 1984. My sister was seeing a guy from CS Maroubra. I got involved in 1985 through guys and girls in my local church who were in Central Coast Christian Surfers. Pete and I got married in 1986 and in 1987 we helped out as co-leaders of CS Central Coast. We went on the lead it from 1989-1992. We have stayed on in some capacity all these years, doing camps, treasurer … just hanging around and helping and supporting where we can. I am still treasurer and a bit of an “Old Salt”. This year I am keen to start a girls/womens Shaping Bay in our local region

3. How has Christian Surfers made a difference in your life?

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It’s had a massive effect. It’s a ministry where I get to serve God and do what I love … win win !! It’s almost too hard to put into words. It has shaped my life – I love the grass roots, rawness of it, the way it blends community and church. I think the thing I love the most is the impact it has been on my family, seeing them love it and grow up in it.


4. What do you value about CS Girls?

It gives the girls some space to move, be themselves and have their own identity. It was very male, grom orientated in the 80’s and to see CS girls today is such a treat. It’s multi-generational and multi- surfcraft!! It is making such an impact, but not at the expense of alienating themselves from the guys.

5. What would you say, to encourage girls who are keen to be involved in Christian Surfers?

It is such a great part of CS – I feel very privileged to remain in CS for so long and see it evolve through the years. Women’s surfing is so huge and Australian girls, like Steph Gilmore are such incredible ambassadors. CS Girls is such a great tool for reaching the surfing community... so get involved!! You can make such a difference!

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Q+A with Misty Foster

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Who are you and where are you from?
Misty from Gold Coast Christian Surfers

How did you first get involved with Christian Surfers and what is your role now?

I first heard about Christian Surfers through family friends when I was 14 years old. I was invited along to a camp I think? To be honest I don’t know what my first event was. I pretty much went to every event after that. My current role is a spoke leader of our CS Goldy hub. I run our CS Girls spoke and help out with our monthly hub events. I also have the privilege of being part of the team who post on the CS Girls social media.

How has Christian Surfers made a difference in your life?
Christian Surfers has made a huge impact on my life. I often get asked to explain Christian Surfers to people and I can only say it is like one huge crazy, frothing, culture changing, God loving family. When I was a grom it was a place to hang out, be crazy and grow in my faith surrounded by amazing mentors and leaders. I was completely shaped by those legends into the person I am now. At high school it was considered normal to drink, do drugs and hook up with people and I had a lot of friends who were very into that. I had already reaffirmed that I was going to follow God in my first year of high school so I wasn’t into the same things my friends were and that was hard. They didn’t get it. So having Christian Surfers to go to every Thursday night was my escape from that. I got to hang out with the raddest people who loved God and surfing and were crazy fun. As an adult it is how I serve God and am so blessed to be part of it. All my favourite humans I have met through Christian Surfers.

What do you value about CS Girls?
The genuineness! CS Girls are real and fun and love God and adventure. Lots of laughter too. I love that we can be a part of a movement that speaks genuine encouragement and love into each other’s lives. And the girls that are part of our CS family seek to build each other up and share God’s love and truth with more girls. The girls surfing culture is hectic. Either its competing and comparing with each other or trying to prove yourself that you can be as good as one of the guys. CS Girls is the opposite of that. We are there to love on each other and just hang out and laugh. But also help each other grow closer to God.

What would you say to encourage girls who are keen to be involved in Christian Surfers?
Do it!!! Come join us up on the Gold Coast! We would be stoked to have more girls join!!!

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Q + A with Claudia Johnston

Who are you, and where are you from?

Claudia Johnston. From Avoca, Central Coast though moved to Currumbin, Gold Coast four years ago.

 

How did you first get involved in Christian Surfers, and what is your role now?

I first became involved in Christian Surfers through beginning a CS family in Kingscliff North NSW, along with two other friends. We all had the same passion to use our love for surfing to spread the word of God and CS provided us with great support and network to make that happen.

Now, I have migrated 30 minutes North to the CS Gold Coast family, which have also become a big part of my life.

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I am also a Christian Surfer Girls Instagram contributor, which provides the best platform to draw in and speak to girls all around the world. I am very grateful for that opportunity.

 

How has Christian Surfers made a difference in your life?

The Christian Surfers Community I am now apart of have taken me in so openly and lovingly. Through the kindness of all members, I have truly felt Gods spirit speak to me and hold me accountable to seeking truth. As a surfer, His Divine presence surrounds me in the ocean and being a part of a community which celebrates that alongside me, I have seen how easy it is to use surfing as an opportunity to show others love and light.

 

What do you value about CS Girls?

CS Girls has really helped me to mentor and be mentored. As a 19 y/o, I have truly valued and loved speaking to, adventuring with, and hearing the words of the other female leaders and surfers in CS. The characteristics of Christ shine through the hearts of the all the girls who I have met. And wisdom, She is shared and seen through the interactions, devotions and words shared by the beautiful CS female leaders, which I appreciate.

 

What would you say, to encourage girls who are keen to be involved in Christian Surfers?

If there are any girls out there who are considering joining the CS Family, know that the community will love and cherish you, build you to be a better Christian, and make your surfs much more fun! And we can unite together to spread the love of God to all the other surfy souls who have not yet found Him.

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Q+A with Gayle Renzenbrink

1. Who are you, and where are you from?

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Hi I'm Gayle Renzenbrink and I come from the fisherman's flats of Queenscliff, Victoria.

2. How did you first get involved in Christian Surfers, and what is your role now?

I first got involved in Christian Surfers over 20 years ago when Mark Johnstone invited me into the core group for Victoria/Tasmania. Currently my role is WSL Women's Longboard Chaplain. In this role I have learnt to preach the Gospel and use as few words as possible!  


3. How has Christian Surfers made a difference in your life?

CS has made a difference in my life because I've experienced people being inclusive, encouraging, supportive and loving to all. 


4. What do you value about CS Girls?

I value Christian Surfers Girls genuine love of life and how happy they are whether in the surf or elsewhere. I love being a Christian Surfer Girl and I will always value being apart of Christian Surfers.

5. What would you say, to encourage girls who are keen to be involved in Christian Surfers?
If you’re a girl who is keen to join CS Girls just go along and see for yourself how friendly it is and how much fun it is to surf with girls who love the waves.

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JESSI MUIR - CSA Womens Coordinator

Jessi & her 6 month old puppy named Asher.

Jessi & her 6 month old puppy named Asher.

Where do you live & what's your local surf break / community?

I currently reside in Ocean Grove, Victoria and attend The Wave Baptist Church. My favourite local surf break is Point Impossibles, and I also love surfing Boings along 13th Beach (on high tide).

Any recent significant relationship / family news?
I have a 6 month old puppy named Asher. She’s in training to be the first CSA National Dog Coordinator.  

Jodene Watling & Jessi Muir

Jodene Watling & Jessi Muir

How did you feel drawn into the role of CSA Womens Coordinator? 
At my first National Gathering in 2013, I met Jodene (AKA Jods) Watling, the CSA National Women’s Coordinator, who became a mentor and good friend to me. Jods invested a lot into me over the next 5 years and empowered me to step my faith-game up a notch and really pursue God where He was calling me. Getting to do life closely with Jods over the those years gave me some insight into the Women’s Coordinator role, and I remember always being so stoked on what Jods was doing within the role and how girls all over the country (and world) responded to Jods passion for CS Girls, and the wider Christian Surfers movement.
For me, having an older female mentor was life changing, and Jods really encouraged me in some big decisions throughout those years. Just having someone to talk with, to pray with and to get some wisdom from was awesome and I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without the time and love Jods invested into me. I felt drawn to the role because I wanted to be that for girls – to be available, to be real, to be encouraging and empowering, to be an example of what life lived with God looks like. This role gives me all those opportunities and more.

What has been your leadership journey in CS to this point? 

It started in my hometown of Bonny Hills, NSW, where I became a leader in my local Christian Surfers mission in 2013. In 2014 I followed God into a year-long journey of Bible college alongside an internship within the Northern NSW region of Christian Surfers. In 2015, I felt God call me to move to Victoria the following year. I moved to Vicco at the start of 2016, and God opened up doors for me to lead the CS Girl’s ministry in Victoria. Every year God has opened up doors for me to lead in different capacities, and alongside different people.

NEW SWELL 2015 - 12 Apostles Vic

NEW SWELL 2015 - 12 Apostles Vic

From there, I was given the opportunity to help lead New Swell, a junior leadership training program run by CSA. This will be my 4th year helping to run New Swell, and it’s one of my biggest passions within Christian Surfers.

In 2018, I officially stepped into the National Women’s Coordinator role, with lots of encouragement from Jods and from Steve Bailey (the CSA National Director), and of course, God. I’m apart of the CSA National team, and couldn’t be more stoked to be leading alongside a group of awesome people who are sold out for God and the Christian Surfers ministry.

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What are your big picture dreams for CS Girls?
Honestly, I just get so stoked on seeing girls living out God’s calling for their life, whether that’s in surf ministry or overseas mission or just doing the daily grind in their local community.

I’d love to see a CS Girls mission running in every CS community around Australia, with girls being intentional about building each other up in God, and spreading that love into their communities, in and out of the surf.

And I just want to be there to pray for and empower girls to go out and live their best God-fuelled lives. I don’t know what that looks like in the big picture, but if you want prayer or someone to talk to, I’m so there!

I’ve been praying about a CS Girls Surf Trip for a couple of years now, and would love to take a group of girls overseas for a mission/surf trip, where we get the chance to serve and surf. I would also love to organise a CS Girls weekend surf trip somewhere in Australia, and just invite a whole bunch of girls to hang out and praise God – what a dream!

Jessi enjoying a wave

Jessi enjoying a wave

How does your vision for CS Girls fit within the CSA broader vision?
It’s 2019 and girls are well and truly apart of the surfing culture, all over the world. Aligning with the broader CSA vision, I want to invest in creating a nation-wide community and culture where girls feel valued in their surfing community, which can be pretty raw and unforgiving at times. I think Christian Surfers is the most inclusive way for girls to be apart of the surf culture, and to be invested into a community that celebrates surfing for it’s true roots, and not just the “scene” of it.
My vision for CS Girls is to see girls empowered in their local surf communities, both in and out of the water, and to be apart of a CS tribe that thrives on The Good News, and carries that with them out into the water and their community. As girls are becoming a more respected and integral part of the surf culture, they are apart of the vision of Christian Surfers, that every surfer in every surfing community has the opportunity to know and to follow Jesus.

 

CS Girls at this years CSA National Gathering

CS Girls at this years CSA National Gathering

For girls that are interested in getting more involved in CS - what would you recommend?
If you love God, love surfing, want to know about God, or have a heart for surfers to know God, find your local CS tribe and get connected. The Australian coast is littered with CS missions, and a family of people who love God and love surfing. Once you’re connected into a local mission, it’s an open door to connecting to the wider CS family all over Australia (and the world). The Christian Surfers Australia website has a link to all the Regional Coordinator’s contacts, where you can get in touch and find your closest CS mission.

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If you’re a girl who wants to get connected with other female surfers, send me an email and I will help you find some salty sisters!

Jessi Muir

National Womens Coordinator

Christian Surfers Australia

Email: jessi@christiansurfers.org.au

Follow: CS Girls Facebook Page

JUNE 19: MATT AND MIRIAM GORDON Q+A (WA)


Q. Where do you live & what's your local surf break / community?

We live in Doubleview Perth and our local surf break is Scarborough.

Q. Any recent significant relationship / family news?

We have recently been married in January 2019. 

Q. What do you love about being a Regional Coordinator in CS?

Great connections throughout the state and hearing other communities being impacted by CS. Great getting out there for God in the surf community and building up relationships in our state to share the froth.

Q. How have you grown as a leader in your time within CS?

Continually growing and learning in leadership, through support and encouragement by other leaders. By learning to follow Gods instructions in faith of what God wants in CS and his vision. Learning to take steps of faith when things may seem unreachable.


Q. What importance do you place on leadership within CS in your region?

Gods given each leader a passion for this mission and a gift of leadership to share and honor God with.

Huge importance with leaders as they are the ones that will build up CS to reach more surf communities around the state. Leaders need to have a passion for the mission and motivation to jump out and trust the calling and gift God has for them

Q. What challenges do you face in your role?

It is challenging to get people on board and fully committed to what CS is doing in our region. I have been learning about vision casting and how to communicate the CS vision with people might help that.

Finding time to fit everything in on a weekly basis, figuring out priorities and how to implement them in a productive manner.

Q. What are your current hopes and dreams for 2019 and beyond? 

Current hope is to see more young people join CS and to see some growth in our weekly hangouts. 

Reach out to more schools and seek out the young people we can invest in.

Q. For those that would like to support you and your role - what do you need and how would their support make a difference? 

We would love to be supported financially, enough to pay for flights to staff meetings and conferences, able to pay for fuel to the regional towns for CS development etc. Also would love to see support through prayer and encouragement and connect with more churches.

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If you’d like to connect more with Matt about supporting CS WA pls contact:

Email: matt@christiansurfers.org.au

Mob: 0403 285 756

JUNE19: DAVE AND NAOMI O'BRIEN Q+A (SA)

Q. Where do you live & what's your local surf break / community?

We live in beautiful Port Elliot, South Australia. It’s about an hour south of Adelaide. We have a few surf breaks around our community just depends on conditions as to which ones we surf. Our most consistent surf break is Middleton.

Q. Any recent significant relationship / family news?

We have been married for 16 years and have 3 beautiful children and a well-loved dog called Lockie!

Q. What do you love about being a Regional Coordinator in CS?

We love the people! When we come together as a collective group it is just awesome! There is always good times, good laughs and good fellowship.

Q. How have you grown as a leader in your time within CS?

Every day presents opportunities to grow. We have definitely had our fair share of challenges and obstacles to overcome, but continuing to trust in God and believe He loves us so much and know that He has never let us go without anything. 

Q. What importance do you place on leadership within CS in your region?

We place a high level of importance on the leadership within CS. We really value our leaders and what they bring to our region.

Q. What challenges do you face in your role?

Winter!! And time! Running our own business and having a busy family creates its challenges as sometime there isn’t enough hours in the day. But we believe in this mission and are very passionate about serving our local surfing community and beyond. 

Q. What are your current hopes and dreams for 2019 and beyond? 

Everyone who knows Dave knows he loves his coffee! We would love to put a fridge and coffee machine in the back of our Ute to help us make new friends and build relationships within the surfing communities in our area. We would love to see new missions in South Australia opening up like, Yorke and Eyre Peninsular, Robe, Ceduna and Kangaroo Island and new growth in the South Coast and Mid Coast missions.

Q. For those that would like to support you and your role - what do you need and how would their support make a difference? 

We would encourage you to pray and seek the Lord. If God tells you to give, give with a cheerful heart (2 Cor 9:6-8). God has always been faithful to us. God feeds and clothes the birds of the air and we are far more valuable to Him than they (Matt 6:25-34).

God bless you all and thanks for reading a bit about us! 

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If you’d like to connect more with Dave & Naomi about supporting CS SA pls contact:

Email: davo@christiansurfers.org.au

Phone: 0422 965 176

JUNE 19: BRAD AND ALEX KERMOND Q + A (TAS)

Q. Where do you live & what's your local surf break / community?

We live at Lauderdale, Tasmania which is about 20 minutes out of Hobart and we have several local surf breaks close by down at South Arm.


Q. Any recent significant relationship / family news?

Recent family news is that Alex has been chronically sick for the past 8 months but in the last couple of weeks we've seen a massive  improvement, Praise God! 

Q. What do you love about being a Regional Coordinator in CS?

What we love about being Regional Coordinators is honestly doing life with our leaders, seeing them get creative and really own and enjoy their roles. It's a huge encouragement to witness this region grow in the nearly two years living here. Being part of the National Team is another highlight of our role as we are constantly learning from the big guns  and actually get super pumped for staff meetings... who would've thought this possible aye!


Q. How have you grown as a leader in your time within CS?

How I (Brad) have grown as a leader in CS has definitely been through the friendship of CS leaders who have simply believed, discipled and empowered me to lead in different scenarios and opportunities.


Q. What importance do you place on leadership within CS in your region?

I see leadership within CS Tassie to be super important as they represent Jesus and what Jesus has to offer to the surfing community. The culture of CSA was founded upon servant leadership and seeking God, so sharing these values is a must in our team.

Q. What challenges do you face in your role?

Tassie has a small population and an even smaller surfing population that is very spread out so pulling in crew is a challenge. Also our major surfing locations are a good drive away from anywhere so we spend a fair bit on fuel. I guess flying to Staff Attacks and other events related to the role can be a bit pricey but is always worth every dollar spent. 


Q. What are your current hopes and dreams for 2019 and beyond? 

Ambitions for 2019 include going north, scoping out the scene up there for CS and connecting with crew. On a personal level, we are frugally saving for a home by the sea where we can be planted in and invest in the surfing community. Next year I'll be studying part-time teaching and beyond that, lots of babies...


Q. For those that would like to support you and your role - what do you need and how would their support make a difference? 

I'm currently working 4 days a week as a Teachers Aide, and my 5th day I volunteer up to smash out CS work. For those who can and would like to support us an extra $185 a week would enable me to cover costs of fuel, get to meetings whilst also giving us a day of paid work for CS.

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If you’d like to connect more with Brad & Alex about supporting CS Tas pls contact:

Email: brad@christiansurfers.org.au

Phone: 0499 774 070

JUNE19: ROB & CAT LOWTHER Q+A (QLD)

Photo: @samuellowtherphoto

Photo: @samuellowtherphoto

Q. Where do you live & what's your local surf break / community?

Coolum Beach, Sunshine Coast 

Q. Any recent significant relationship / family news?

Zoe our 5 years old daughter has started prep at a local school and is enjoying it. Kai has been in good health and loves burning around the local skatepark. 

Q. What do you love about being a Regional Coordinator in CS?

Having influence on the lives of Cs leaders and watching them grow into their God-given potential.

Q. How have you grown as a leader in your time within CS?

I have grown in my confidence and ability to lead people in a servant hearted yet influential way. 

Q. What importance do you place on leadership within CS in your region?

Leadership has a high value in our region. Without leaders who are passionate and competent we would never fulfil our mission. Developing leaders within our region has been a key strategy. 

Q. What challenges do you face in your role?

Time and resources. Not have the required finances and also juggling life’s responsibility and other work commitments can make our role as regional coordinators quite challenging.

Q. What are your current hopes and dreams for 2019 and beyond? 

Our dream is to have more thriving hubs established along the QLD coast. Our hope if that we know Christ intimately in our own lives and make him know in the lives of other QLD surfers. 

Q. For those that would like to support you and your role - what do you need and how would their support make a difference? 

  • $5000 for our personal travel and conference expenses.

  • $5000 for our region to purchase more beach equipment such as beach shades and hospitality equipment.

  • $10,000 for equipping our leaders with first aid training, surf coaching and judging and also to contribute to 5 leaders heading to new swell. 

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If you’d like to connect more with Rob & Cat about supporting CS QLD pls contact:

Email: robandcat@christiansurfers.org.au

Phone: 0405828907