While most of you are so glad it is finally April to see the signs of life emerge and temperatures on the rise, we are a bit sad to say goodbye to the beautiful winter weather here in FL. Today was the hottest of the year yet at 91 degrees. Here we’re settling in with our tank tops and flip-flops for the next 8 months of hot humid summer. ☀️🌴
Well, I have a couple of praise reports!
The House of Ride Nature illuminated it’s OPEN sign last week! The remodel was mostly done a month or so ago and we were just anxiously waiting and praying about our inspection. The inspections went flawlessly and we were blown away by God’s providence! We are still in the process of ironing out the details of our espresso machine and all the red tape involved once we have refrigerated items, like milk for lattes. We realize that the target audience for board sports is limited so coffee allows us to attract almost anyone. But for now, we are giving out free coffee to whoever steps inside the shop (with non-refrigerated creamer packets 😉). There has been an awesome response from the community so far. Mostly everyone who comes in has watched our progress and was waiting to be able to come check out The House of Ride Nature! It is amazing to be able to walk them through the shop and share the heart that’s behind it.
Ride Nature has been hosting BBQs on Friday nights and will continue in hopes to attract any weary soul we can entice with a burger. We also have an events board with an invitation to all our community outreach events.
I can’t say enough how good God has been throughout this entire process leading towards opening. 🙌🏼 It is a relief that we have been able to open and now hopefully some financial burdens will be alleviated. Here are a few more pictures of the finished shop!
Now, onto my second praise. If you remember my last update, I asked for prayers for direction in what our family should do for housing after April. Well, we prayerfully decided to try our hand at purchasing a house. We kept praying, “Lord, as we continue to walk forward please open or close the doors.” We were approved for financing and started looking at houses early February. Throughout the next month, we put in offers on two houses and then the third time was the charm. Lord willing, we will be closing on our first house on April 18th! The house is a modest 3/2 with zero curb appeal at this point so I won’t bore you with a picture but we couldn’t be more excited to have a home of our own. We are praying and trusting the Lord with the extra finances we will incur. Also, the house is just a block or two from our good friends and RN directors, Mark and Shannon. 🙏🏼🏡
Lastly, Ride Nature is having their annual fundraising event this coming weekend (4/7&8). We are doing it differently than we have in the past. Instead of a banquet style event, we are hosting two worship and dessert nights at two different church locations on Friday and Saturday. We will still share about the different things that have gone on and will go on with Ride Nature but the event will be more in the form of a worship service.
- We currently have teams in Nicaragua and Germany. Prayers for boldness, effective and Spirit-lead ministry and team unity.
- Please pray for the shop. That the Lord would orchestrate divine appointments there and that our team will be faithful to engage in those. Also, the final details of fully opening the coffee side of the shop.
- In addition to our staff and interns living in the Ride Nature girls and guys houses, we have had the opportunity in the past and currently to open it to other people in need that the Lord places in our path. Every situation is different but I ask for prayers that we can be a safe, hospitable place of relief for these individuals.
- Prayers for the Ride Nature Fundraising worship night. That it will be a genuine time of sharing and profitable fundraiser that will propel the ministry for the next year.
- Finally, all the details involved in closing on our home, finances, and some renovations before we can move in. Like I said, we know we will no doubt incur some extra costs and we will trust the Lord with those finances. For the past 2 years we have been supported by monthly donors for about half of our living expenses. The other half God has provided though generous one time donations or support from mission trips we have led. It is exciting and a bit scary purchasing a home but we know God will provide.
Thank you for your love, prayers and support! We are so humbled by and thankful for you! I’ll leave you with this well-known prayer of blessing from Numbers 6:24-26.
“The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.”
❤️ In Christ’s love,
Ethan and Sandra