Walking on Water Banquets

 This year we had the best Walking On Water fundraiser banquets in our 23 year history! They were held at gorgeous country clubs, had great food, live music, and we worked hard to offer really great auction items! Thanks to our super star volunteer event planners Diana Smith, Teresa Taccolini, and Lynette Monroe the banquets were packed with special friends who care about the W.O.W. mission! Almost $200,000 was raised through the San Diego and Orange County banquets helping us reach our year end goal of $337,000. God has always been so faithful to provide for HIS ministry! We are looking for a volunteer who would be willing to help us plan the San Diego banquet next year and make it even better! If interested please contact
[email protected]


The Word: The Gift of All Gifts

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." -1 John 3:16-18

The longer I walk with Jesus the more I appreciate the gift he has given us. He was willing to be born into this very imperfect world and the Bible says he came on a mission to serve not to be served! Before I knew who God was I always wondered if God might be evil or play tricks on us, however I was so thankful to find out he is absolutely perfect and is love. We have so jacked up the word love. Study the scriptures about love and you will quickly see it is an action word. God says if you love me then obey my commands. It was love that compelled Jesus to be born into this world with the mission to lay his life down in our place! Jesus you are simply amazing and we want to say Happy Birthday this Christmas and thank you for showing us how to serve, how to love, how to lay our lives down for others, and thank you God for being the gift of all gifts because without you no gift matters.


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year From Walking on Water!

 Check out some of these Walking on Water highlights from 2017, including mission trips, camps, outreaches, banquets, films and more! Click through the photos using the arrows below.


2017 Year-End Fundraising Campaign Update

 

I want to share with you our 2017 year-end fundraising campaign goals. But first can I ask you this question? Isn’t God magnificent? He put a dream in a young surfer’s heart 23 years ago to start a surf camp and that small surf camp turned into a worldwide ministry that has since shared the Good News of Jesus Christ through surf camps, movies, and mission trips with over 40 million people! None of it would have been possible without you - our faithful friends, volunteers, encouragers, financial supporters, partnering ministries, and prayer warriors! In 2018 the Walking On Water ministry is hoping to launch a new surf & serve program, an online tv show, an app, a new surf camp location, more mission trips, young leaders training camps, girls’ ministry program, the Surfers and Cowboys world tour, production of two new movies, and a Pipeline Masters live webcast commercial. We will need to raise $337,000 during our end of the year fundraising campaign to afford moving forward with these plans. Thankfully so far through our fundraiser banquets and our generous supporters God has provided $231,000 of the $337,000 2017 year-end goal!

To join our monthly support team or to make a one time donation please visit walkingonwater.com/donate


Bethany Hamilton's Beautifully Flawed Retreat

 Every year it is such a blessing to partner with Bethany Hamilton as she hosts the Beautifully Flawed retreat. The retreat is for young ladies who have lost limbs through different types of accidents. We are so honored to partner with other local surf schools to teach these courageous women how to surf! It is more blessed to give than to receive and this Surf and Serve day is always a highlight for our Walking On Water team of volunteers! The smiles were absolutely huge as these girls overcame their fears! Thank you to Friends of Bethany for including us! The photos say much more than words! Find the photo gallery at lovelockandco.zenfolio.com/friendsofbethany


Personal Story : Kelsey Johnson

As part of the Beautifully Flawed Retreat, we are honored to meet amazing young women, and hear their stories. Kelsey Johnson, a student at the Georgie Institute of Technology was one of the girls who inspired us this year.

Kelsey has spent her life living with Scleroderma, a chronic autoimmune disease affecting connective tissues. A year ago, Kelsey faced having one of her feet amputated. Before she had even recovered from the procedure, she began planning to attend Beautifully Flawed retreat this year. Kelsey has been through so much pain and suffering, and had begun to struggle spiritually, questioning God’s goodness in the midst of it all. She hoped the retreat might help renew her faith.

The retreat did renew Kelsey’s faith, and more than that–it changed her life in many ways. Meeting so many girls who had been through a variety of traumatic experiences, yet held on to their faith, was a huge inspiration to Kelsey. “There were so many ‘me too!’ moments as I got to know other girls,” Kelsey said, “People there acknowledged my fears…they understood me. Yet they pushed me to do more anyways.”

A highlight of the retreat was the day Kelsey decided to move beyond her fears and try surfing. Kelsey was concerned that she could get injured if she fell off the board, but she didn’t want to regret not trying. She told Bryan Jennings her concern, and he looked right at her and said, “OK! Then you’re not falling!” This assurance filled Kelsey with courage, and before she knew it she was surfing a wave, surrounded by cheers and applause. “I felt on top of the world, like I could do anything.”

Kelsey took that feeling home with her…Along with a renewed faith in God’s goodness, and many friendships which will last a lifetime. We are so proud of you, Kelsey!

 

Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com


The Word : Romans 11:36

“Everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory”  -ROMANS 11:36 (NLT)

God has given us everything we have, and we were made to glorify Him with all of it. When we use our gifts, talents, possessions, and relationships to bring Him glory, it is amazing what He does with it all. Yet, when we allow these same things or people or work to become our main focus, it is amazing how things begin to fall apart.

God does not want to share the throne of your heart. He loves you with a jealous love, and He knows that your life will be the best when He is at the center. Therefore, He will allow circumstances to correct you...relationships to fail you... and life to lack peace when He is not at the center.

Yet God is also a patient God, slow to anger and abounding in love. So when we make adjustments, turn our focus back to Him and get our priorities in alignment with His, He is quick to shower us with His mercy and grace. Let's not waste a minute putting anything but God on the throne of our hearts. Making Him #1 is for our best and for His glory.

 

Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com


Puerto Trip Report

The Puerto Escondido Trip was a smashing success. Puerto Escondido has long been known as one of the best and most serious beach breaks in the world. If you are a surfer who loves to travel, Puerto Escondido would definitely be on the top of your bucket list.

Ronne and Sheri Jones prayed about having a world-wide ministry, but after a visit to Puerto Escondido, they realized that the world comes to Puerto Escondido. So they set up a base camp for ministry that reaches the world in one beautiful little beach community —which happens to have a pretty good wave out front. 28 years and 9 kids later, the Jones family continues to do amazing ministry through the world of surfing and soccer on a world-wide stage.

Our team was reminded again of the power of short-term missions. Not only the impact it had on our personal lives, but the encouragement it brought to all the people doing ministry on the ground in Puerto Escondido. We were blessed to serve in a hospital visitation ministry started by an ex-cartel member, build a new fence around the amazing soccer complex, lead a church service, and host an outreach event. The outreach event was a massive highlight as we gave awards of appreciation to the lifeguard legends of Puerto Escondido, awards and new swim fins and binoculars to the current lifeguards, and showed the Walking On Water movie “Beyond Sight”. We were praying for 200 people to show up and God blessed us with an incredible turnout of over 450 people with many making first time commitments to Christ and receiving a brand new Bible. One highlight was a blind man showing up to be a part of the movie showing with a friend whispering over his shoulder the whole movie to tell him about what was going on in the movie.

God is good and we all can’t wait for Puerto Escondido Trip next year, and you may just want to join us on this next one.


Tapachula Mexico Mission Trip Update

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where God did not provide in a circumstance where you thought he should have–a circumstance that seemed to be lined up with his will? I recently had this happen to me. Despite a tremendous amount of prayer and promotion I could not raise up the needed amount of people to make this year’s trip to Japan happen (which would have been the 13th annual trip).  So in June I had to cancel Japan and the opportunity to go back to a children’s refuge in Tapachula Mexico came up, and within a week I had my team.

Although I was truly sad we would not be going to Japan this year I was very grateful to go back to Tapachula where we led a team seven years ago to serve at Misión México. Misión México provides a loving, secure home for children of all ages who have been abused, neglected, orphaned or abandoned.  They built an amazing facility on the coast complete with lodging and a swimming pool with hopes of using it to reach out to the local community. They call this place Misión Surf.

They asked Walking On Water to come down and run surf and swim clinics for both the children’s refuge and for the kids that live in the neighborhood surrounding Misión Surf.  In addition we also put on a life saving class and did a couple Bible stories with the kids.

On the team we had a fluent Spanish speaker, a former swim instructor, a high school surf coach, a life guard, a fire captain and someone who was incredibly gifted in relationships—making everyone she met feel special and loved, plus a hand full of amazing kiddos.  It’s as if God had put this team together!

A highlight for me was to see the enjoyment on the village kids faces when we took them from the pool to the surf. Although their village was on the beach they had never been given the opportunity to surf, as they are very poor.  A picture is worth a thousand words, but I forgot my camera…so I’ll have to use words.  Mauricio (14) and his brother Paco (9) were among these kids who surfed.

Both of them were wearing green pants in the water because they didn’t have any board shorts (Dang, I wish I had my camera!). That didn’t stop them though from learning how to surf. The pure joy on their faces from riding the waves said it all.  These kids are hooked on surfing now, and they have a place at Misión Surf to help fuel this desire.

Our last day of swim and surf clinic for the village kids was kicked of by a Spanish narration/drama of the story of Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead. This time was special because the kids heard that Jesus has the power to raise the dead, and this is ultimately our hope in Messiah.  I am encouraged that the vision of the mum (she’s Australian) at Misión Mexico is to use the center down at the beach as a place of outreach in the community, to do Bible studies, and bring the love and hope of Christ to this little village.  I feel privileged that we were afforded the opportunity to build into this vision.

While down in Mexico I found out there was a super typhoon, headed not only for Amami island—our destination in Japan, but for all of Japan. This storm was so big that all flights and ferries were canceled to Amami Island. If we had gone to Japan I’m not sure we would have made it to Amami Island, and if we did, we wouldn’t have been able to leave our place of lodging!  I believe God in his infinite wisdom did not provide a team to Japan for a reason, I can’t prove it but I have a strong hunch.

There is a documentary about the children’s refuge called Somewhere Near Tapachula. CLICK HERE watch it for free or purchase the DVD from the Walking On Water store.

Written by Todd Morehead


Personal Story : Kieran Anderson

Kieran Anderson is a professional surfer and a big wave charger. He learned about Walking on Water through his friend, Damien Hobgood, and this September Kieran got to be a part of the WOW mission trip to Puerto Escondido, Mexico. The group went over to work alongside Ronne Jones, a 30 year missionary to Puerto Escondido. Ronnie has a great soccer facility, which he uses to reach hundreds of up and coming soccer players for Christ. Of course the team had planned to surf on their trip, but when Kieran split his lip open and could not surf for the rest of the trip, he realized God had other plans for him.

Kieran felt that God was teaching him how to serve, how it is truly better to serve others than to serve yourself. He had an amazing experience, working alongside the WOW team, and getting to know the people of the community they were in.

As part of the trip, the WOW team planned to show the “Beyond Sight” movie on the beach, hoping for a crowd of 200. Over 450 people showed up, and the team saw God using the movie to inspire people and draw them to Himself. The other faith building experience the team experienced was being in Puerto Escondido when an earthquake hit. Helping the people, and witnessing the people help one another especially impressed Kieran.

Kieran’s life was impacted by his experience in Puerto Escondido. As he continues to surf waves all over the world, he will always remember that everything is better when serving comes first.

 

Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com