By Francois van Heerden
“But I do not consider my life worth anything to myself, so that I may finish my task and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
On 21 August 2015, four of our National Leadership Team left Cape Town International Airport with anticipation for how God was planning to use us to reach the surfers of Namibia during our 10 day short-term missions outreach. Christian Surfers South Africa has been visiting Namibia for the past 5 or 6 years, building relationships, running surf camps, clinics and comps. The Namibian surfing community is very friendly and welcomes CS each year with open arms to share their waves.
Our base for the outreach was Swakopmund with one of the local families opening their home to us.
First on the agenda was taking surfers on a surf camp to Cape Cross, a remote desert surf destination with plenty sand, seals and waves. Although conditions were quite big for some of the groms, the opportunity presented itself to make friends and build relationships. There were however some good waves to be had if you were prepared to surf amongst thousands of seals! This place just so happened to have a consistently good skimboarding wave which attracted a lot of the younger generation. Evenings were of course spent around the camp fire under the desert skies with testimonies being shared of Gods goodness.
Back in Swakopmund, with new friendships formed, we ran surf lessons in the mornings, skimboard lessons in the afternoons and having the odd skate session. We never missed an opportunity to share our faith and even made a few alter calls on the beach!
We held a beginners surf comp the Friday morning and due to the popularity of the skimboard lessons of the week, we decided to run a skimboarding comp – the first ever skim comp in Namibia’s history!!
One of the highlights of the trip was the Friday movie night at Shofar church where we screened The Perfect Wave. A testimony was shared afterwards followed by an alter call. The response was overwhelming with many of our friends committing their lives to Jesus for the first time or recommitting. It was amazing to see how the Holy Spirit worked in their lives and how they could experience His Joy.
On Saturday the annual Swakopmund Shootout Surf Comp was held at Guns. This popular event is the only annual surf comp in Namibia, and it is held by CS! We arrived early in the morning to find perfect clean pealing A-frames. The stage was set for a great day of comp surfing with divisions for U16, -20, Open Men, Open Woman and Bodyboarding.
After attending church and sharing the vision of our trip on Sunday, a skateboard comp was held in the Indoor Sport Center with some sick tricks being landed by the small skating crew from all over Nam. Seeing a response after yet another testimony just reminded us that we need to be bold in testifying to the Truth and allowing the Holy Spirit to touch people.
Our time in Nam drew to a close with a special surprise from God: A rare Donkey Bay session with both a surf- and skimboard wave all to ourselves!
This trip was truly a humbling experience, to stand back and see how Jesus Christ reveals Himself to surfers and how He wants us just to be available to seek His Kingdom first and share the hope that is within us with friends.
Special thanks to Element Riders for all the arrangements and effort, the Koetz family for hosting us and making their Kombi available for our use the whole trip, the Swakopmund Indoor Sports Center for offering free space to run the skate comp, Yambeki for all the free lunches, Toulmin’s for contributing towards travel expenses and giving meal vouchers, Red Bull for free energy and last but not least, the surfing community of Namibia, for sharing the lineup, making friends and just being a cool bunch of dudes.