Friends Helping Friends from Vail to Utah

May 23, 2016

I remember learning to snowboard and thinking, “This is way harder than I thought. The people are intimidating and catching my edge sucks!” But overtime, it got better. I started getting the hang of it, made some shred buddies, and catching my edge become a nightmare of the past. Similar to life outside of riding, every wipeout comes with a little lesson on perseverance and “getting back up.” Friendships built on chairlift rides and shred trips always seem to run deep, and a new kind of confidence is gained when you stick with it and eventually become a “snowboarder” (or “skier” for you two-plankers out there).

Building Partnerships with Local Ministries
Our friends at Holding Out Help (or HOH) in Utah are all about spreading love and building positive relationships in their community by assisting those who come from or are currently stuck in unhealthy situations within the polygamous sect of the Mormon community. They do incredible work: helping those who know almost nothing outside of the religiously oppressive cult adjust to life in the “outside world.” A huge part of what they do is simply engage these people in loving, genuine relationships as they figure out who they are and where they fit in this new world. It can be a pretty intimidating process, so having the support of encouraging people during this time is crucial. We have loved being able to help out and catch small glimpses of this process during our time there.

Teaching the Art of Shred
When we visit each year, Nicole from HOH gets together a crew of youngsters that have been brought up through the program and have an interest in snowboarding. We get the special opportunity of hanging out with these kids for a day, hearing their stories, and of course teaching them the art of shred. It is a day filled with heavy slams, lots of high fives, and loads of laughter as we all learn a little bit about “getting back up” when times are tough. It’s been so rad to see how Jesus works on these trips as we grow closer as a crew while spreading His love to some incredible kids.

Road Trips and Jesus Chats
The Utah trip has earned a special place in our hearts at SFC Vail Valley. There’s something about being stuck in a car with people for hours on end that brings out “real” conversations. After the first couple hours, all of the surface level talk runs dry, and we are forced to get into the nitty gritty, hear about “most embarrassing moments”, and have some good ole fashioned “Jesus chats”(my personal favorites). Considering all the relationship building that happens, we LOVE our trips out to Park City. God always does way more in our hearts than we expect or hope for. Every time I bump into someone who has been able to make it out for these trips, we never fail to have a conversation starting with, “Remember that time in Utah when…”

– Dylan Kobriger (SFC Vail Valley)