Well, it’s high time that my maternity leave from blog updates is over! Thank you for your grace and understanding as I have been getting used to my new role and responsibilities as a mom. This was a different kind of summer for me for sure. When July 4th rolled around, I thought to myself, “Wow, I totally missed June.” I suppose that’s to be expected the first month of becoming a parent. I would really like to share Seder’s birth story but I will save that for another time. However, before we get to the ministry update, it’s my mom duty to share just a few of our favorite pictures of our little love.
Ok, now that I have that out of my system, we can move on to business. I’m going to give you a quick recap on our ministry involvement this summer; even though we just had a baby there has been a lot happening on the Ride Nature front! There were several trips that happened this summer we just couldn’t be a part of them until recently. RN had a team go to Puerto Rico and Costa Rica in June. Also, we had a couple of guys return to North Korea in July.
In the middle of July, our whole staff and interns went up to Washington DC to do ministry in area skateparks and promote an event, Together, on 7/16/16. The vision behind the event was to gather Christians from all denominations and backgrounds in our Nation’s capital in the middle of the National Mall, to worship and proclaim that Jesus changes everything. The Ride Nature guys drove the big 15 passenger van up with a couple of skate kids they’ve been pouring into for the last few years. While us and our director’s family, flew into DC. This was Seder’s first flight and he did beautifully, a born traveler! It was crazy all the extra stuff you end up bringing with babies! Our whole team stayed in a house outside of the city. It was an awesome week of fellowship, outreach, and fun together!
Then Ethan lead his first trip since Seder’s arrival to Panama at the beginning of August, 7/28-8/8. There was also a team in Nicaragua around that same time too. During those 10 days, I was able to go back to the midwest to introduce Seder to many friends and family who hadn’t gotten to meet him yet.
If you don’t take the time to read about the trip, at least watch this AWESOME video Braden Dam, a talented young videographer/photographer who was on the trip, put together.
Click here for the Panama Mission Trip Video
Here is a recap about the trip from Ethan.
“I once again had the privilege of leading a team out of the country on a RN mission trip. I met a team of 10 college age and slightly under, plus 2 previous RN staff in Panama City for a 10 day trip. We started in Panama City, near the canal, and had an opportunity to help out at the Hearts Cry children’s home as they have been remodeling an abandoned Army building to become a facility to care for and host special needs kids. We served by painting window trim, power washing military grade ceramic roof shingles, removing debris and old materials, and one of the youth in the team filmed with his drone for a short fundraising video for the ministry.
Also while in Panama City, we went on a hike and took a short tour of the “Old Town” called Casco Viejo. Since this trip was longer than normal, we were able to fit in a bit more site-seeing than usual which gave the group time to bond and build stronger relationships with each other.
Our missionary contact in Panama, Dave Terrenova, spent the entire time with us and served as our tour guide, translator, and liaison. Dave runs Canal Skate, an indoor skate park that Ride Nature helped build back in 2012 next to the Panama Canal where he disciples young skaters and trains them how to share the Gospel.
For the second half of our time in Panama, we drove 5 hours north to a small surfing/fishing village that Dave has been visiting for a few years. We went to help a friend finish his concrete mini ramp and to hold a surf contest for the local kids. Through our time at the ramp we met tons of locals and got to share multiple testimonies and short sermons to the skaters and surfers. One day as we were painting the ramp, half the team got to walk to some rural homes and pray for some sick and discouraged people. We also got to hold a skate contest at the grand opening of the mini ramp and Dave got to reconnect and encourage the youth in that small town. Both the skate and surf contest/outreach were a huge success and all the kids were blessed by the team.”
(all photos on the Panama trip were taken by Braden Dam)
Finally, the last thing I want to fill you in that have taken place over this summer is the House of Ride Nature renovations. As you know, our ministry moved up to Fort Myers and has since been working on a building with living quarters upstairs and the plans of a coffee shop/retail space downstairs. It has been a challenge working with the city to get all of the right permits. We have to give God praise for bringing about people willing to donate services and work for the facility. This building has been an answer to years of prayer and we know God will complete it in His timing and for His purposes! Here are a few pictures to show the progress and a video link of a tour of the facility in progress.
Here is the link to the House of Ride Nature Tour.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! Our God is so good and faithful to us and some of that is accomplished through you! Here are a few of our current prayer requests to leave you with.
- Favor with the city in all the permits as we are remodeling the House of RN.
- Funding/Donations to finish the shop downstairs.
- There has been talk for a long about having a branch of RN for girls. We have just been waiting on God’s perfect timing and it looks like that may be happening in January. There is interest from several girls who are looking at coming down then.
- God’s guidance putting together the final trips that will be happening this year. Potentially being Philippines, Indonesia, Peru, Mexico, and Brazil.
- Prayers for us personally, that we would be good stewards of our time, finances, and relationships. Also, that we would be working out of the overflow of the time we are intimately pursing Jesus.
We love you all and pray that you are blessed! As always, we are praying for you and your families and would love to hear from you! I will do my best to get a post up soon about our latest trip we took with RN to Europe!
In Christ’s love,
Ethan and Sandra