Walking on Water Wants You! Are you ready to jump in?

"Why do we need you?”, you ask…great question! You have been blessed with talents and gifts that are different than any other person and WoW would love to be able to have you use those talents and gifts to help us spread the love of Jesus to the surfing community. How can you do that? Another great question! This year, we have decided to create a handful of committees that you will be able to participate in and be a part of. If you are looking for a tangible way to get involved with Walking on Water, take a look at the list of our committees below and send an email to [email protected] with your committee interest. If you are interested in becoming the Chair/Co-Chair for one of these committees, please let us know that as well. Here are the committees that you can choose from:

1) Marketing, Development & Fundraising
2) Media & Digital Communication
3) Camps, Mentoring and Leadership
4) Outreach & Events
5) Mission Trips
6) Prayer Team

We look forward to hearing from you and getting you plugged in!

Israel Update

 In January we were back in Israel and had the opportunity to screen the Promised Land movie two different times. Like last year, Tom Curren joined us as special guest and really amped up the Israeli surfing community as he joined forces with a couple local musicians to rock the house. The first screening took place in Netanya to a packed out crowd. Nearly all the people attending were Jewish Israelis accept for a handful of pro surfers who were in the country for the first World Qualifying Series event of the 2018 season. We found ourselves in the most unlikely place for the Gospel to advance — in a pub. But since we were in the very land where Jesus walked, with the very people he ministered to (the Jewish people), we figured we’d do what Jesus did…So we brought the message to them right where they were at. The second screening was at our good friends’ surf school in Jaffa, and it was filled with stoked Israeli surfer girls. After the two screenings our team reflected on what happened as a group. One of the guys on the trip said, “How can we explain to people the importance of the Promised Land movie and how God is using it?” Then he said, “maybe it’s more like the work that went on in China with missionaries who smuggled in Bibles? It’s groundbreaking ministry which allows the seed of the gospel to be planted and take root.” We are grateful for all that God is doing, and the fruit it we trust it will bring!

Personal Story: Poi Smith

We all need an encourager in our life, someone who believes in us – maybe even more than us than we believe in ourselves. Poi has been one of those people to Bryan Jennings ever since they met at a showing of the Follow The Leader movie back in the early days of Walking on Water.

Poi was a new Christian then, and a surfer, which meant he felt an immediate connection with Bryan and the Walking on Water ministry. The two men quickly became a mutual encouragement to one another. Poi says that Bryan’s heart to obey and please God has always made a deep impression on him. Bryan says Poi’s gift of encouragement has blessed him. Poi always seems to reach out with a word of encouragement at just the right time.

When Poi and his family felt called to the mission field, they used the WOW films to share God’s love in many surfing communities. Working for a time as the director of Christian Surfers Tahiti, Poi sought opportunities to share God’s love with everyone he met. He found the WOW films to be an effective way to connect people’s passion for surfing with their need of a Savior.

After 8 years in Tahiti, Poi’s family felt called back to California last summer. A few short months after returning, Poi was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. By the time they found it, doctors said he shouldn’t even be alive. They told him he had one month to live at the most. Poi believed God told him that he was already healed. Poi determined then that this journey would be about using this trial to encourage others and grow in faith. Whether his healing was on this earth or in heaven, he chose to trust God.

It has been more than 4 months since Poi’s diagnoses, and though he has been through many highs and lows, today he is strong physically and spiritually. He continues to use every day and every breath to encourage others and glorify God. As the Walking on Water family, we want to support Poi and his family. Would you join with us in praying for them? We also hope you might visit his site and considering giving a financial gift to help his family through this challenging time.

To financially support Poi and his family during this time please mail a check made out to Lita Smith and mail to:
Poi & Lita Smith
C/O Hope Chapel
P.O. Box 548
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

To email an encouragement to Poi please email [email protected]



Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com

The Word : 1 Thessalonians 5:11


1 Thessalonians 5:11: "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."

Golfers have their caddies and even surfers have their coaches. In life and in ministry we need those really good friends who speak truth and encouragement and life when we need it most.

In this month's Personal Story, we read about Poi, someone who has been a great encouragement to Bryan over the years. Bryan recalls times in his life when the Lord led Poi to call and encourage him -- times when Poi's words were exactly the encouragement Bryan needed.

Sometimes we think people like this are just naturals. "It's just their personality!" we tell ourselves.

Yet, Poi shares that this was not at all how he was before he became a Christian. He described his life before Christ as being "like a hurricane", one where he damaged other's lives. When Poi got saved he believed the Lord said to him "I didn't make you for that. I made you to encourage others and to build others up."

And that calling on his life, Poi says, made all the difference in the world. Ever since then, Poi's life has been characterized by encouragement.

This reminds me that God created us all to be encouragers. It's his game plan for believers to live victorious lives in this dark world. We need each other!

If you have an encourager in your life, stop and thank God for them now. Reach out to let them know the difference they have made in your life. And then consider: Is there someone you can encourage today? A simple call or visit can make all the difference in someone's day. Stay tuned to God's leading, and never miss a chance to fulfill your purpose as an encourager in the world today.


Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com

December Hawaii Outreach

 What a blessed outreach trip we had in December to the North Shore of Oahu! Bryan Jennings was hosting a few families who won the VIP Pipe Masters trip at the Walking On Water banquets. These special families were blessed to watch the final two days of the Pipe Masters VIP style, watch Aaron Gold and Zane Cook do live bull riding at Kualoa Ranch, attend the Surfers and Cowboys movie outreach, and enjoy beautiful Hawaii! A few highlights were watching John Florence win his 2nd world title, Kelly Slater saying hello to our group, and being back with many of the core team who made the Surfers and Cowboys movie including Aaron Gold’s family, Zane Cook and his parents, Shormann Family, Scott Clark, Swanson Family, Faith Fay co-producer, Jason Fudge, Bruno Lemos, the Rita family, and Albert Silva (Hawaiian Cowboy). I love how God works through movies to form long time friendships! Everyone loved the Surfers and Cowboys movie and we raised some money for our good friend Gerard “Poi” Smith who has cancer. What a blessed trip!!!

Vision for 2018

We are so excited as we look ahead to 2018, and we are believing that God will continue to work in and through His Walking On Water ministry to share the Gospel with this generation through surf camps, mission trips, movie events, surf and serve days, and the girls’ ministry. Some of our ministry goals for 2018 include: Surfers and Cowboys Movie screenings in many new cities, surf and serve days for people with special needs, mission trips, writing the Walking On Water book, girls ministry events, young leader training camps, surf camps, training the next generation, development of new movies, and guest speaking at churches. We are looking for long term volunteers who we can match with specific ongoing needs at W.O.W. such as event planning, graphic design, admin work, editing, fundraising, and others. If interested in volunteering in 2018 please contact [email protected]

The Volunteer Dream Team

 The most powerful, dangerous warriors are not the ones who are doing it for the money but those who have volunteered to be on the front lines! We are looking for some new volunteers to partner with us in 2018! People have usually been very surprised to find out that the Walking On Water ministry has operated for 23 years with only a few full-time staff members. What they don’t realize is that God has consistently brought volunteers in from many countries to partner and serve with us. The newsletter you are holding was stuffed by our friend and volunteer Melissa Pederson who has been faithfully mailing out our newsletter for years! Monica Swanson has been writing and managing our newsletter articles for years and Chelcea Cummings has been our volunteer graphic designer. The Orange County banquet this past year was so successful because of a volunteer dream team of ladies who know how to throw a party! Huge thank you to Diana Smith, Teresa Taccolini, Lynette Monroe, Marissa Marquez, and Coco Makos. We are looking for long term volunteers who are willing to use their skills and strengths to help us share the Gospel with this generation. The ministry opportunities include event coordinating, photography, graphic design, filming, editing, admin, serving, fundraising, surf instruction, and others. To fill out a short volunteer application, please email [email protected]

The Word : Philippians 3:13-14

Philippians 3:13-14 "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

I have been reminded lately of how important it is to let go of the former things, and strive forth towards those things in front of us. God has prepared in advance good works for us (Ephesians 2:10), and to fully move towards them we need to make the choice not to be living in the past. Each day is a new opportunity, full of divine appointments waiting for us! Past hurts and failures should be forgiven and forgotten, washed in the blood of Jesus! Past victories on the other hand are important to remember, but only as reminders that God was able to do it then and he can do it again today or tomorrow! Past victories should remind us how good and how powerful our God is as we look ahead!
What might be lying ahead for you in this New Year? If your past is holding you back in any way, it is time to experience God’s grace and let it go. Let’s press on into 2018 with our eyes on Jesus, and a hopeful expectancy of all He has ahead for us.

Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com

Bryan Jennings at Branches Church

I also hope you can listen to this message I gave Sunday at the Branches Church in San Clemente! The message about Naaman in 2 Kings 5 is titled: GOD IS NOT INTERESTED IN JOINING YOUR PROGRAM, BUT GOOD NEWS HIS PROGRAM IS BETTER THAN YOURS!

CLICK HERE to listen online

2017 Year End Fundraising

Through your generous support and the successful banquets, God has already provided $234,500 of the $337,000 2017 year-end fundraising goal! We still hope to raise $102,500 by December 31st! With a very exciting 2018 ministry year ahead of us we are praying we can reach our end of the year fundraising goal! Will you please consider joining our monthly support team and/or making a one time donation so that we can continue to share the good news of Jesus Christ through surf camps, movies, and mission trips?
Make a donation online at walkingonwater.com/donate or mail in donation:

Checks to Walking On Water and mail to:
Walking On Water
5928 Balfour Court
Carlsbad, CA 92008