Things have been super hectic down here for the last month, sorry for the wait!
One Friday Ministry News
Heels on Wheels continues to grow and I've connected with quite a few new girls at the park. We've started a new bible study for skaters every Tuesday evening at Boardstore and the format; Pizza-Nooma-Study-Skate, is going really well.
Rob and Des had a successful trip to LA and San Diego for a trade show where they met new companies, a few pro riders and caught up with companies that we distribute. When they left Australia they had no place to stay in LA as their previous contact fell through. I connected them with my good friends Willsy and Liel who live there and they ended up staying with them and spoke at Willsy's church. Willsy and Liel are both from the Philippines so Des in particular connected with them telling them about our outreach to the Phillies earlier in the year. It turned out to be a really God appointed meeting and I was super stoked (and a little weirded out) that they were hanging out and blessing each other. I was also not at all jealous that they got to meet Willsy's new baby girl and hung out with his son Jet. Yep. Praise God that the trip went really well.
Boardstore Art Gallery
I wanted to do a series of art workshops for the kids before I head home for Christmas so I pushed ahead with an official opening of the gallery. More and more artwork flooded in and it took a long time to arrange it all and get it ready. I wrote a press release and a lovely lady in PR, Chrissy, who I know through the cable park sent it out to all her contacts. Here's a link to one article online:
The opening was last night and it went really well. So many people came and we had positive comments flying all over the place. Derek and our new mission builder Jamie spent all afternoon indoors on a lush day making 500 canapés and Melissa had the great idea to serve them on skateboard platters. Kodan spent ages stripping back skateboard decks which meant that as part of the evening Des, Mark and two graffiti artists Gavin and Adam spent their time painting the decks and talking to people about their art. Fabi spun tunes all evening, Shannon mixed up a massive punch and Chelsea and Holly helped hand out food as people came in.
It was really awesome and it took me a while after closing to sit down, settle my thoughts and realise it had been a total success. I really couldn't have done it without the grace of God and the help of those people on the night, everyone was so keen to support the venture and it was really encouraging to have so many people come, particularly people that I didn't know as that meant word was spreading!
Below are some pictures of the gallery and artwork that's gone in recently. Derek had his snazzy camera out at the opening so I'll ask him if I can put up some of his pictures for you to see too.
Photos by Mat Hardingham, surfboard by Mark Geltch
Day Dreamin' by Mark Geltch
Koi by Des Rountree
Isha and Richard, photos by Derek Ellens
Drawn decks by me
Pro model decks signed by Christian Hosoi when Rob and Des met him in LA
Pro model decks signed by Chris Cole in LA and Steve Caballero in Bondi
Pro model decks signed by Jamie Thomas in LA
Skate photography and art books
So now it's onto the workshops. I'll be running 4 sessions in the gallery on Wednesday nights starting in two weeks for people to design and create their own skateboards. I'm only charging $30 for the four sessions including the board and materials because I really want all kids to be able to come it they want and I totally see it as ministry not a money maker. I have no idea how many kids will show, I've encouraged them to register in advance but you know what it's like. Dave Fisher is Head of Visual Arts at Caloundra Christian College and he's been a big help with the gallery, exhibiting and offering advice and expertise. He told me last night that he has Wednesday nights free and will come to help which is a real relief especially if I end up with 40 kids.
God and Claire
I still feel like I need to come to God and ask Him to teach me about rest and balance in my life. I work work work, get exhausted and then find it hard to switch off and rest. Part of the problem is because I genuinely enjoy the work I'm doing I'm less inclined to step back from it and take time to rejuvenate. I didn't have anything planned today but still I've found it difficult to stop and let God bring peace into my heart, instead still feeling restless and like I need to be doing something productive.
I have always had the tendency to heap pressure on myself in anything I do and I struggle working out a timetable that includes time to rest. I'm used to a 9-5 job that has clear boundaries but ministry isn't like that. Ministry things can be all day and then in the evening too. The relationships I'm building don't just exist between 9 and 5. This has been a constant struggle since coming back into full time ministry and something God is still teaching me about.
Sunny Coast YWAM News
The July DTS are on outreach now in India and Indonesia and the September DTS schools started two weeks ago. Daniel Marks from Wales who was on my DTS is back as staff on the Waves DTS which is really great. It's so good having him back here, he is someone who really listens to God, speaks His word and carves a mean line on a skateboard so I'm super chuffed he's back. The other school is the Surfers DTS which is a new concept being run by Christie and Phil who staffed my school and Aaron who staffed a school last year. Already the students in both schools are pressing into God and on their evangelism walks in Mooloolaba have led 4 people to Christ. Praise God I'm so excited to see what else He has in store for them.
Tonight is our weekly Boardstore Bangers BBQ at Alex skatepark so I'm off to buy snags (ozzy hotdogs - I MISS English sausages... pork and apple... mmmmm)
Hope you're all well and please let me know if I can pray for you about anything!