I recently received an invite to join our brothers/sisters at Christian Surfers in serving the surf industry at Surf Expo, the surf industry’s biggest trade show, in Orlando, FL. I don’t know anything about surfing but I thought it would be a good opportunity to support our sister ministry in one of their annual outreach efforts and learn about how SFC might try to love the snow culture it’s biggest trade show (SIA).
Arriving the night before the expo, Christian Surfers’ missions director, Paul, picked me up from the airport and it was straight into the action. We used a chunk of my shoe to fix the coffee maker (big shout out to Van’s Shoes for making that one possible) so that we could pass out coffee and donuts to exhibitors each morning. The surfers and industry members received this gesture generally in good spirits, with many questions to the effect of, “It’s free? Why would you do that?” and open many doors to plant seed for the Gospel.
My favorite part of the weekend was when the show wrapped up for it’s final day and each exhibitor had about 3 hours at pack up EVERYTHING they brought or be locked out of the building for 24 hours. This environment provided amazing opportunities to serve: things to haul, pack, and load into cars. In total the surfers had about 25 volunteers ready to do whatever was asked of them, it was pretty amazing sight.
Imagine you’re a professional shaper getting your start in the surf industry and you’ve got a booth with dozens of your boards and only a friend or two to help. When it comes time to pack things up it might take hours just haul the boards back to your truck. Then 25 surfers, decked out in bright yellow shirts, come and knock it out in one load. This is the picture a handful of companies experience first hand each year at Surf Expo. It might seem simple but this simple act of service, one or two days a year, can mean the world to these industry members.
My weekend spent learning, getting to know the fine folks at Christian Surfers and experiencing firsthand the ministry that God has built at Surf Expo opened my eyes to plenty of areas and new ideas to bring back to the snow culture. We’re eager to love and serve this unique industry that we’ve been called to but there are still some roadblocks preventing SFC from serving in this way. Would you join us in praying for the opportunity and favor with the leadership at the SIA Snow Show to bring some of what we learned back to the snow industry?