I can’t believe I haven’t posted since September! Time flies doesn’t it, especially at the end of the year? I am so sorry. I have no excuse except the holidays and that we did a bit of traveling. We were in the Midwest in November for 16 days and then again in December for 9 days. It was a really sweet time seeing friends and family who are far away. I am sure most of you relate and didn’t have time to keep up with us anyway 😉 It takes a little bit to get back in the swing of things once the new year rolls around and now it is mid-February. We have had the blessing of hosting family and friends this month and then come April I may have to take another little hiatus when we welcome our second child into our family. I don’t think I ever officially posted on here that we are expecting another baby boy but the news is out! I am due mid-April and there is definitely no hiding it now.
Well, I will keep it short and just give you the highlights from the past few months. I hope most of you got our Ride Nature family photo we sent out with our Christmas cards. When I look at this photo, I am overwhelmed by amazement and thankfulness with the team the Lord has orchestrated. This is a diverse compilation of people who are hard-working, talented and most importantly passionate about Jesus.
There have been a couple trips that have happened in the last few months. In December, we sent a team to Peru to work with our missionary contacts Craig and Daisy in Huacho and the Christian Surfers Organization in Lima. Ethan and I were blessed to travel to Huacho, Peru back in December of 2015. The people that Craig and Daisy minister to definitely hold a special place in our hearts.
In January, we sent a team to Japan and the Philippines for 18 days. On that trip, Ride Nature started working on their latest film project “To The Ends.” There are some amazing stories that came out of both of those trips but ultimately the goal is to support and build up the leaders who are already there working full-time. Here is a little video trailer about the film “To the Ends.” This trailer was put together for a kick-starter campaign we held a few months ago. The documentary trailer ends at about the 2 minute mark.
Also, I wanted to share with you a little recap video of our team we sent to Cuba last year that our local supporting church, Summit, put together to show their congregation. This video shares an awesome picture of how the Lord works in the mission trips we take and what it looks like to minister at skateparks.
On the local front, we have been as busy as ever with BBQs, packed out wake churches, worship nights, and weekly skate church. Also, Ride Nature has been blessed to set up a coffee bar at a weekly college gathering at Summit Church and be involved in their college ministry. Then, on Thursdays at The House of Ride Nature a group is hosting a weekly series called Alpha. This series invites people from all backgrounds and faiths to come together and have discussion. They show a video that is Christian centered but there is open discussion for each person to ask questions and share their thoughts. At the end of the series, the prayer of the leaders is for conversions and the start of a church plant. https://alphausa.org/
Finally, coming up in two days on Monday 2/26 Ride Nature will host their annual fundraising banquet. Once again Summit Church has been so gracious to allow us to host it at their building. We are expecting between 200-280 people and pray that there are many new people we can share the work and vision behind what God is doing through Ride Nature. The funds raised at this banquet help fund the ministry for the rest of the year so it is always our prayer for a good turn out and generous hearts.
In our weekly Ride Nature ladies bible study, we have each taken a week to study and lead a Psalm. Last week we went over Psalm 130. It is only 6 verses so I would love for you to take a minute to read it and soak in its truths.
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
We had an awesome discussion over the verses and how we should posture ourselves daily like these verses portray. We especially discussed verses 5 & 6 in what it means to wait on the Lord. No one likes waiting. However, waiting is just part of life; waiting to grow up, waiting to get married, waiting for a promotion, waiting for a vacation, etc. But our whole life should really be one big period of waiting to be joined with Jesus in eternity. If our primary thought each day was “I can’t wait to be with Jesus forever,” our whole life would look drastically different than our daily to dos and getting caught up in the distractions of this life. It needs to be my prayer daily to have an eternal perspective. I would then feel a even greater sense of urgency to share the truth of Jesus with others and be in daily preparation to be with my savior forever. A better eternal perspective will be our prayer for you too!
Here are a few short prayer requests:
- Ride Nature’s fundraising Banquet on 2/26. That our team would be faithful to share what God has been doing through Ride Nature. That we wouldn’t be boasting of ourselves but of the Lord and that testimony would strike a cord with the people who are attending.
- The upcoming mission trip to Costa Rica 3/15-3/28. There will be two trips happening in that time period. The second trip will be with Naples Christian Academy, a group of 25+ 8th graders.
- Our preparations and the birth of our second son. We are so excited but of course times of transition can be challenging too.
- Just this morning (2/25) we discovered that our truck was stolen last night. Talk about a pit in your stomach. Our insurance will not cover theft so we will be out a vehicle and the money it was worth. We currently had the truck up for sale and were looking to downsize to a cheaper vehicle. Our prayer is for the truck to be found and returned but God will provide even if we never see it again. ***Update! Our truck was found this afternoon, 2/26, by the same officer who came to our house and wrote our report! No damage, just looks like it was used for some joy riding. Thank you Lord, you are so good!!!
We are continually thankful for all of you who pray for and support us! Thank you for your faithfulness and we are truly honored.
In Christ’s love,
Ethan and Sandra