Friends of Bethany Hamilton Beautifully Flawed Surf Day

 Bethany Hamilton is so special and has such a gift to encourage and inspire the world. (Keep an eye out for her upcoming “Unstoppable” film). We love Bethany and the amazing people who operate the Friends of Bethany Hamilton organization. They work so hard to empower young women who have lost limbs. Recently, we were honored to provide a fun day of surfing for their Beautifully Flawed Retreat. This retreat is an opportunity for young women who have lost limbs to come together for a weekend to encourage one another, learn, and be inspired by Bethany. Many times these incredible young women have to find creative ways to do a pop up and ride a wave. The Walking On Water volunteers often say this is the best surf session of the year! Keep going girls!!! You inspire us all!


Personal Story: Chris Bristow

Chris Bristow, his wife Aubri, and their five kids live in San Clemente, California. Chris is the Lead Pastor of The Ark Church, which was planted in the fall of 2015 with “no money, no people and just a ‘God-sized’ dream.” (Wow!)

Chris came in contact with Walking on Water back in 2000 when he was invited to a movie night at a local church. They happened to be showing the movie Noah’s Arc, which was Chris says was extremely impactful toward him as a young adult. This is where he saw that you can follow Jesus without being religious. Chris says, “The movie was so impressionable that when we were dreaming about our church several years later, the culture, the vision, etc.. I couldn’t help but think of Noahs Arc and the miracles that took place in that movie. We saw a church where people would come to know Jesus for the first time, receive God’s calling on their lives, and invite their friends. So when we were having to come to a place of naming our church, The Ark Church seemed like the perfect name.”

When we live out our calling with great faith it is amazing what God will do. The Ark Church is now growing faithfully as people come to faith in Jesus, discover their purpose, and begin serving him faithfully.

For info about The Ark Church, visit TheArkOC.com or to purchase a copy of the Noah’s Arc movie email [email protected]

Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com


The Word : Romans 10:17

There is nothing more encouraging than hearing testimonies of how people have come to faith in Jesus. The transforming power of the Lord is amazing, and no two stories are just alike. However, there is one theme common to every great testimony: Someone had to share the message! Whether the gospel is shared from one friend, neighbor, or co-worker to another, or someone invites their friends to church, or a movie showing where the gospel is presented, God invites us to share His love with others.

This is all rather mind-blowing, really, as God could do everything without involving us at all. In fact, the very act of using us broken, mixed up people to do His work could be seen as quite inefficient. Yet that is how God rolls! He loves us enough to include us in His work. He invites us to team up with Him to accomplish His purposes. What a good God!
I encourage you to consider the people in your lives who do not yet know the Lord, and ask yourself what their testimony might one day be. Then ask God if He would like YOU to be a part of it. It may be as simple as inviting them to church, an event, or a movie showing. It might be as honest and vulnerable as sharing your own testimony. Pray for them, and be prepared to be a small part in a very beautiful story of eternal significance.

Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com


$145K of $500K goal raised so far!

A note from Bryan Jennings • Founder of Walking on Water

I am more excited today than ever before because I believe God has given me His heart to share the Gospel with this generation and He has given us very clear next steps and assignments to accomplish what only He can do! These next steps include: launching a mobile entertainment strategy reaching this generation on their phones, Damien Hobgood and Hunter Lysaught producing a new core surf documentary, Roger Thompson and myself writing a script for the first Walking On Water major motion picture, and continuing to do what we have always done, (Surf Camps, Movies Outreaches, and Mission Trips) but doing them better. As we move forward we are committed to doing things with excellence or not doing them at all, to having our staff and volunteers working in the areas of their gifted strengths, to plan well, to work hard, and to remember in prayer that the battle and the glory both belong to the Lord! Please prayerfully consider partnering with us in this next season as a volunteer, financial supporter, and/or prayer partner! Our end of 2018 fundraising goal is $500,000 and God has already provided $145,790 towards it! See you on the front lines as we share the good news of Jesus Christ’s love with this generation who needs it more than ever! Through generous individual supporters like you, God has provided over 8 million dollars over the past 23 years for His ministry so we could reach over 50 million people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through movies, camps, and mission trips! The San Diego banquet launched the end of the year fundraising campaign and we are thankfully off to a great start towards our $500K goal.


Texas Tour

 Our group quickly grew from 5 to 20 as people found out that we were going out to the Texas wave pools to surf and show the Surfers and Cowboys film. First on the agenda, was to get barbecue in a city whose name I can’t pronounce. We fell into a deep food coma, and then woke up with just enough energy to surf an entire day at the NLand Surf Park in Austin. That night we showed Surfers and Cowboys at the surf park to a bunch of guests who had surfed for their first time that day. On Sunday, we woke up in Waco, went to Cowboy Church (yes, it is literally called that), ate more bbq, played with tractors, and shot some guns and blew some stuff up (safety was a top priority). That night we showed the film in Waco to a lively crowd of actual cowboys, families, and college students. Monday was our first lay day, so we sat in a circle and had a rad little bible study, talking about life and things we are struggling with. We were open and honest with each other. Surrender was the main theme – if you want freedom, you have to to be willing to surrender your life and dreams to God. Finally, the last of our crew braved the rainy roads to Dallas where we showed the film in the coolest little downtown theater. The response was amazing; people loved the film, and were reminded to place faith over fear.


Personal Story: Ryleigh Williams

Ryleigh Williams is a 10-year-old girl, who has always dreamed of learning to surf. Ryleigh has epilepsy, and last summer was scheduled for brain surgery to control her seizures. The week before surgery, her parents wanted to give her a great experience, so they searched for a surf camp. When her mom found the Walking On Water camp, she reached out, explaining the situation. They welcomed Ryleigh to attend camp.

Ryleigh says “I was never allowed to go to a camp before because the were afraid of my disability. Walking On Water helped make my dream come true. I met people that will be life long friends at surf camp like Bryan and his daughter Ella. They are always in contact with my family asking how I am and they pray for my recovery. I will also never forget my friend Orion. He took the time to learn my story and in return he told me his story. He says my story touched him but his story touched me and helped calm my nerves before surgery.”

Ryleigh had surgery, though it left her right side with temporary paralysis. She says, “I am pushing myself to walk again so that I can attend Walking On Water surf camp again next summer!”
Ryleigh’s words to others who might be considering a WOW camp:”Walking On Water is a great surf camp. Even if you’re afraid of the water or get knocked down by a wave the staff and fellow campers will give you the encouragement you need to get back into the water.” And Ryleigh’s greatest lesson from camp? She says: “Through Walking On Water I have learned to always have a kind heart because you never know whose life it will change.”

Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com

Photos by Curren Taber • currentaber.com


The Word : Colossians 3:12

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” -Colossians 3:12

Ryleigh’s closing words in this month’s Personal Story were incredibly special: “Through Walking on Water I have learned to always have a kind heart because you never know whose life it will change.” Her words remind us of the power of kindness in our every day interactions.

How often do I pass up opportunities to be kind? And why is it so hard to be kind sometimes? Shouldn’t kindness just come natural to us as Christians?
I suppose there is a reason the Apostle Paul reminds us in Colossians to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” He knows these qualities do not come naturally. Just like we must clothe ourselves physically each day, there is effort involved. (Have clothes ever put themselves on you?) In the same way, we must choose to “put on” Godly character qualities. There is a team work between us and the Holy Spirit! We choose to obediently clothe ourselves with God’s character, and the Holy Spirit makes us able.

Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com


2018 Year-End Fundraising Campaign Launched!

We are excited to share with you that after the San Diego banquet on October 27, God has already provided $129,000 of the $500,000 year-end fundraising goal amount! We hope you can join us at the Orange County fundraiser banquet on November 2nd at the Dana Point Yacht Club with special guest Aaron Gold! Since 1995 God has provided over 8 Million dollars that paid for staff, camps, movies, events, and mission trips that thankfully allowed us to share the Gospel message with over 50 million people! God has always provided every dollar needed to accomplish His mission through our generous friends & supporters like you!

CLICK HERE to make a donation

CLICK HERE to RSVP for the Orange County Banquet

 


Letter from the Director

As our daughter Ella and I were flying west bound back home from Texas we ended up with a two hour long gorgeous sunset. The closer to the sun we got the more beautiful the sky lit up! People recently have been asking me how we were able to accomplish so much over the past 23 years of the Walking On Water evangelistic surfing ministry and my simple answer has been that we did one thing right, we stayed close to the Son and kept going towards the Son — especially in the darkest moments! Jesus always gave us the next assignment and we would by faith go towards it. I am more excited today than ever before because I believe God has given me his heart to share the Gospel with this generation and He has given us very clear next steps and assignments to accomplish what only He can do! These next steps include launching a mobile entertainment strategy reaching this generation on their phones, Damien Hobgood and Hunter Lysaught producing a new core surf documentary, Roger Thompson and myself writing a script for the first Walking On Water major motion picture, and continuing to do what we have always done (Surf Camps, Movies Outreaches, and Mission Trips) but doing it all better. As we move forward we are committed to doing things with excellence, to having our staff and volunteers working in the areas of their gifted strengths, to plan well, to work hard, and to remember in prayer that the battle and the glory both belong to the Lord! Please prayerfully consider partnering with us in this next season as a volunteer, financial supporter, and/or prayer partner! Our end of 2018 fundraising goal is $500,000 and God has already provided $129,000 towards it! See you on the front lines as we share the good news of Jesus Christ’s love with this generation who needs it more than ever!

From Bryan Jennings • Founder & Director of Walking on Water


The Word : John 5:17

“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” – John 15:17

Summers packed with surf camps and mission trips can be an exhilarating, and exhausting time. Pouring out God’s love to others and seeing young people put their faith in Jesus for the first time is about the most rewarding experience you can have. Yet if we were doing it in our own strength, we would wear out physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Thankfully, ministry is not meant to be done in our own strength or from our own power. Jesus even claimed that he only did the work that he saw his father doing!

In John 5:19-20, Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.”

When we are trying to work or serve or love the people in our life in our own strength, we will wear out. But we need to remember John 15:5, when Jesus says: “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” We were not meant to do it on our own! We are meant to stay connected to the vine, and to depend on Him! If you are feeling weak or worn out now, turn your eyes to the Father. Learn from Him. Abide in Him. Find rest in Him. And be amazed at what He can do in and through you.

Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com