The conference in New Hampshire was my first real exposure to Snowboarders and Skiers for Christ. I arrived with no idea of what to expect, and a bit of uncertainty as an outsider. Rowdy people quickly filled the airport shuttle van and sped through Boston traffic to meet the bus to Loon Mountain. My walls of apprehension came down pretty quickly as everyone began meeting up at our bus stop. Some guy was grilling burgers for us in his truck, and everyone was trying to stay warm. People were excited to see old friends, getting stoked for the upcoming season, sharing ministry stories, and eagerly meeting everyone new. I immediately felt like I had common interests with these people, and a surprising comfort level. I knew I was already among friends, and those friends loved Jesus and snow.
I am in no way new to Christian conferences, having a background in youth and college ministry, but I was struck by the felt sense of community. Maybe it was the openness, and lack of pretentiousness, or the sense of eagerness for the gospel to go out, or perhaps it was all the guys with beards and long hair, but I just sort of felt like I was experiencing life in the Acts church period. Honestly, more than the training sessions, I was impacted most by the vision I got from seeing young people who are being changed by the gospel, and the desire they have to reach further into their spheres for Jesus.
Loon Mountain already has a long established SFC ministry; over 20 years now. Their impact on their mountain and community is not only impressive, it is more than I would have thought possible in a ski town. Beyond the benefit of the training times, the Loon Mountain SFC ministry stood out to me as an example of what a ski and snowboard ministry could possibly look like in Whitefish and other resort towns.
After a quick three days, very tired, we all piled back into the bus and headed for our homes. We each left with more than we came with; an increased sense of community, the training, and the gospel vision was leaving with us. We were equipped to be the light.
Pray for Snowboarders and Skiers,