Happy September! Ethan and I have had a slower month but Ride Nature (RN) hasn’t slowed down. In the beginning of the month, we welcomed on two new staff and two interns. I’m going to give you a quick introduction to our team and highlight our newest team members because we are pretty blessed and stoked to have them!
Top Row: Mark and Shannon Koch the founders and directors of RN, then Ethan and I the missions coordinators. Second Row: Frenchie is our internship director. Next, Tim just joined us and is actually from Branson, MO (where we lived for 5 years). He came with us last month on our Costa Rica mission trip and is taking over directing our local outreach. Next to Tim is Eduardo. He’s is a surfer and wakeboarder from Brazil and came on to oversee our business development. Last on the second row is Isaac who is an intern and a really talented graphic designer.
Third Row: Joshua is an awesome skater and is here as a leadership intern. Next to him is Theo a BMXer. He came on as an events intern and traveled to the US for the first time all the way from Germany. Virgilio, is from a town called Immokalee about 45 minutes away from Naples. RN has been doing weekly bible studies and making a huge impact at their skatepark for the last 5 years. Virgilio is here as an outreach intern and he is a testimony to the weekly skatepark outreach RN is involved in. Lastly, is Mark and Shannon’s little girl, Ellis. She is acting as the RN mascot. 🙂 You can find more information about our local and international team on our website. http://www.ridenature.org/team/
We decided to take a staff retreat to Orlando the 9th-11th for team bonding and growth because we had so many new additions to our team. Each day we had morning worship and devotions along with nightly devotions. In addition to that, we had lots of time for team bonding. One of those activities included going to a thrift store and shopping for someone else and then we went out “on the town” (aka: Chuck E Cheese and the biggest McDonalds in the world).
Later in the month, we were invited to bring out our mini skate park and tent to a concert outreach event a local church was hosting. RN’s hope is to give kids who don’t go to church an opportunity to hear the gospel by going to them in the skateparks or other outreach opportunities.
Later that same weekend, we were able to connect with our missionaries from Peru. They are back in the states on furlough until the beginning of October. Craig and Daisey are an incredible couple and through hearing their testimonies it is so evident how the Lord brought them out of death and has given them life! They are currently doing skate and surf ministry in Huacho, Peru. They said the skate culture there is so huge and that the average Peruvian child in their area would rather have a skateboard than a soccer ball! We are praying that the Lord would allow us to take a trip down to support them in December. We would LOVE for any of you to join us! For more information about Craig and Daisey or the trip go to http://www.ridenature.org/peru/.
If you’d like to check it out, this video is from the trip RN took to Peru last December. https://vimeo.com/122482990
I also want to introduce you to another side of RN you may not know about. We have an online store, The House of Ride Nature, with skateboards, shirts, hats, and other accessories. All of the proceeds for these products go back into supporting the ministry (local or international outreach). Also when we sell a board either online or at one of our booths, we are able to send a board overseas to a child that would never have to chance to “Ride Nature” or to a missionary to use as a tool for outreach/discipleship. For more information about The House of Ride Nature check out: http://www.thehouseofridenature.com/pages/about-us
I wanted to share with you a short video about our “Buy One Give One” commitment.
The video below is from a recent trip to Addis Adaba, Ethiopia where Ride Nature was able to bless a group known as “Ethio Skate” with 15 new skateboards. Be on the look out for a full length documentary we are currently producing about Israel, the local man who started Ethio Skate, and the impact he is making in Ethiopia through skateboarding. Coming this year!
Be sure to watch our other videos on our RN vimeo page!
- India Trip : Ethan left yesterday for Mumbai with two guys from a Church near Fort Myers. Please pray for their travels, for the vision to be cast and solidified in God’s mission through Jose (our local Indian missionary), for the partnership between Jose, RN, and Renovation church, for divine appointments, and for open hearts to receive the message of salvation through Christ.
- Future Trips : RN has a lot of trips in the works. We are trusting the Lord to work out the details and make these mission trips possible.
- The Philippians at the end of October. A small group of RN staff will go to connect for the first time with missionaries we have been talking with and praying for, for over the past year.
- Peru mid December. Tentatively, we are looking at December 12th-20th. It will be summer there and we would love to be able to take a team down to help support the ministry going on there.
- Cuba sometime this winter. This would be RN’s first time in Cuba but we were contacted by a local woman who goes there frequently and has provided us a contact there. It would be a staff vision building trip.
- Lining up trips for summer 2016. We are hoping to be able to plan multiple trips for this coming summer with youth groups to countries/missionaries in which we have solid ministry partnerships with.
As always, we are so thankful for those of you who take the time to keep up with us and are intentionally supporting us prayerfully or financially! We thank the Lord daily for His provision through you! We could not be doing what we are doing without your support!
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns!” Philippians 1:3-6