Summer is action packed at JSAW! If you have been following JSAW ministries on Instagram you will have seen photos of all the trips, camps, events, and weekly programming. It has been a blast! Here is a short review of each of them.
The summer started with a wake boarding event called Ride Day. 14 riders and their families attended. There was riding, food, and pro wake skater Matt Manzari’s documentary and testimonial video was shown. Some of these riders stood up on a wake board for the first time. These moments of celebration are what JSAW staff members treasure. The documentary was powerful; it included messages about faith, hope, suffering and of course wake skating. This event was the kick off for JSAW’s weekly summer wake sessions. Each Thursday JSAW invited riders out wake surfing on Lotus Lake. This activity attracted 27 riders in total and many came to multiple sessions. Conversations about faith happened frequently around the grill while waiting for hot dogs to cook. Many riders involved in these conversations were not from Christian homes. After wake surfing sessions on Thursday evenings JSAW conducted Bible studies for riders 18 years old and up. This brought in 11 riders over the course of the summer. The group went through the book of 1 Samuel in the Bible. Bringing in and challenging older riders to stand up for their faith greatly influenced the younger crowd.
Wednesday night Bible studies at Help Boardshop this summer were off the hook! 27 riders attended at least once yet most attended multiple times. These Bible studies were centered around topics riders voted on back in early May. Topics like angels and demons, the Bible, church, drugs and alcohol and many others were openly talked about throughout the summer.
JSAW has the dream of training up riders in their faith and sending them out to every park in the Twin Cities. This dream is now in process. Over the past two summers on Tuesdays, JSAW staff has gone out to local skate parks to ride, build relationships and share their faith with other riders. JSAW staff engaged 29 riders over the summer on a weekly basis at multiple parks. JSAW staff handed out cold water, served pizza, prayed over riders’ injuries and emotional wounds and were intentionally present every week.
Many younger skaters came to JSAW skate camps. 15 riders participated in camp. The theme of each week was back to the basics. JSAW staff focused on coaching riders to develop a solid foundation of basic tricks before moving onto more advanced tricks. We also focused on developing riders’ spiritual foundation. JSAW staff addressed questions like what is a Christian, who is Jesus, what is prayer, and why do I need to go church? Both weeks of skate camp were exceptional. Riders built deep friendships with each other and were introduced to Jesus along the way.
Last but not least is the skate trip. Riders embarked on a once of a lifetime trip to Colorado to skate United States’ best skate parks. The topic of the trip was how to be a Godly man. Each day was filled with new adventures and life changing conversations.
This has been a short list of the highlights from this summer! God has been and is still at work in the lives of JSAW’s staff and riders in action sports. The good news is that there are still a few weeks left of summer programming. Please continue to pray for JSAW and the riders it serves.