Monthy (pronounced ‘Monty’) and Santiago had asked us to assist with the 10th Annual Surf Legends Classic, a contest geared toward honoring the “older” surfers within the Puerto Rican surf community. Much like last year, their greatest need for assistance was the contest’s setup, judging, and tear-down.
From day one, getting to know Monthy and Santiago has been a pleasure. Their character and testimonies speak volumes of the Lord’s work in their lives and their hunger to serve Him in whatever capacity they can. The Surf Legends Classic originated when Monthy saw a need for a contest dedicated to surfers over 35 years old. Historically, he couldn't understand why there was nothing of the sort in the Rincon area. In response to such a perceived need, Monthy set out to create just that, and by God’s grace alone, they are still going strong ten years later!
While the contest isn’t explicitly “Christian,” it was covered in prayer before each day, thanks largely to the presence of organizations such as Christian Surfers and our own - in addition to a devotion given by a local pastor at the opening ceremony. We're humbled to be able to say our hearts to help serve and be there for Monthy, and Santiago did not go unnoticed. Multiple individuals expressed to us how “safe” they felt with the Ride Nature crew around and how much they were encouraged by us coming down to lend a helping hand.
One of the women helping at the contest shared some of her story with us, explaining how Jesus opened her eyes after many years as a Buddhist, revealing to her that He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
When we weren't serving at the Surf Legends Classic, we had some time to get out to a few local skateparks, where we had the opportunity to pour into some of the youth in the area while also blessing some locals with much-needed gear. The skate church movements printed in Spanish ( a free 52-week devotional resource we offer at www.skatechurchmovement.com ) no doubt came in handy and provided a means for us to get God’s word into the hands of a bunch of skaters and surfers in the area. I was yet again encouraged by the fact that something as simple as a skateboard or surfboard opened up the chance to love on and impact the individuals we were able to serve in Puerto Rico.
What otherwise would have been a closed door was wide open through the power of action sports and the community that comes along with it. It’s through repeated encounters like these all across the world that we are continuously reminded of how simple it can be to share the love of our Creator when we show up ready to be led by nothing more than the simple passions the Lord has already placed in our hearts. By creating an environment for belonging, we pray what naturally follows is a community of believing.
We left Puerto Rico once again, encouraged by the work being done, and we are praying that Monthy and Santiago will continue to courageously proclaim the Gospel in the Rincon area while remaining a light within the surf community for many years to come.