I was born in Wales and moved to New Zealand as a teenager when my parents split up. I had given my heart to Jesus when I was around nine and then fell away through the years that followed. Now living in NZ I rediscovered Jesus at around 14yrs old. I would love to say that it was smooth sailing but I struggled with anger, drugs, and drinking in my earlier days.
At about 18 I went for my O.E to Europe to get away from the life I was living in NZ but ended up getting into a world of trouble! I returned to NZ even more broken. I then went through a divorce, unfortunately, but now I have a beautiful daughter called Maia.
After all of that, I truly encountered Jesus & I have been walking strong with Jesus for about 10 years now! I’m doing youth work now and last year I completed my degree at Bible College, which is a massive achievement!
Surfing has played a huge part in my recovery in life and it’s given me a way to express myself & I find it’s a place I can just be me! Without Jesus and surfing, I probably wouldn’t be alive right now. So I’m so thankful that Jesus created the idea of Christian Surfers! Ross Murray who is a great friend and mentor to me introduced Christian Surfers to me and Christian Surfers Whakatane has been running now for 18 months!
I work full time for Cross Roads which is a youth ministry in Whakatane. We work with 13 to 17-year-old boys. We try to bring a positive change in the youth’s lives through the love of Jesus and a change of behavior. A lot of these boys now come to our CS local mission and get to hear about Jesus on multiple different platforms. It’s super rewarding but always has its challenges!
We have an amazing CS team here in Whakatane and huge support from our local churches & surf shops. John Whelan is one of your leaders and is a great support; also my right-hand man Ross Murray is awesome as he is our old-school CS leader with years of experience in CS. New Hope Church help out with the use of their van also Liberty Life Church are our main sponsor as we get their van and funding for food which has been amazing and if it’s raining we crash the church for movie nights. Salt spray surf school gave us their old surfboards and Spot X surf shop & the Whakatane local crew help out with passing down wetsuits and boards to our local CS Mission!
We started with two youth on our first surf night and now we have had over 35 come to our local CS Mission! We average around 15 youth at each CS night. Over the last 18 months, we have had ten salvations and five of those got baptised!
Majority of our youth come from the hood and would never get the opportunity to surf which has been awesome to use this outlet to bring hope to the youth! Now we have a mix of kids and adults who come along! In summer we take all the boards down the beach and let the local community use them. It’s a great opportunity to bless the community!
We have affected the surf community massively! They see us giving the youth something positive and want to help in some way, even if it’s calling someone into a wave when they would usually take it for themselves. We are a being visible representations of Jesus out in the water and it’s changing the surfing community for good!
The work of Christian Surfers is 100% donor supported by generous individuals, churches, and businesses. You can help partner with us by donating here. Christian Surfers is a non-profit organisation. All gifts are tax-deductible.