Going to the white sandy beaches of Pensacola, Florida, to learn how to ride the waves, you can detect single no ordinary camp for surfing… What do the surfing and the preaching of the gospel?
“Did you know that surfing is mentioned in the Bible? In the Book of Acts, in describing the shipwreck, it is said that Paul and the others sailed to shore on boards,” says surfer Ben Martin.
Ben Martin surfing in childhood. Thanks to their innate abilities, he has successfully performed at competitions and almost became a professional surfer. However, this dream was not destined to come true, and Ben, leaving school, got into the world of drugs and crime. One night while under the influence of oxycontin and alcohol, Ben flew off the highway in his car, and he rolled over several times. And, according to the guy, then he heard God told him: “You asked Me to help you, and I will do it. You will be difficult, but I will help you all through. To do this, I want you to come back to the scene of the crime.”
Ben really returned to the scene of the accident, was arrested and eventually spent three months in prison.
“I was so addicted to oxycontin that I almost died from withdrawal. I, just like a fish, fought on the floor. But then God came into my prison cell, recalls Ben Martin. — It was like the scene with the woman taken in adultery. He came when I was the worst, and said, “I don’t blame you. Now go and sin no more.” Such a lack of judgment on His part gave me the strength to get through this. I’m telling you, God has changed me in that cell”.
After that night Ben never looked back. He felt that God was calling him to use his talent to acquaint others with the joy of surfing.
“He showed me a very simple formula — it’s like the ABC of surfing. Thanks to her and God’s anointing and grace, I can teach to surf almost any person. The best surfer is always the one who gets the most pleasure,” says Ben.
Surfers come to Pensacola from all over the United States. And even though they love the huge waves off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, camp surf “Innerlist” they are particularly attracted to a spiritual component.
“We didn’t even know that this is a Christian organization or company, and so when he started to pray, for us, it was a pleasant surprise! — shares of Kelly cates. — We decided that we would stay in this camp and will ride with them.”
“When you get up on the Board, it resembles the moment when you child first went on the bike, says Jeff cates. — You stand up and feel… I don’t know… hair flying in the wind. Great feeling!”
“Ben always helps us and always advises us to turn to God. He uses surf, so we can better understand Christ. He baptized us in may. He became a mentor not only for us but for our parents,” says Sarah Francis.
“Usually these surfers in Pensacola will not meet. They use the Bible as the rope that you attach to your Board. It becomes like a tether,” says Zachary gray.
“I love that I can still surf, even at my age, says Rhonda gray. It is so interesting and fun! And to do this to the same with my son — even more interesting!”
According to Ben, the adults are much more afraid of surfing than children: “We have to overcome fears about why we can’t. Fear is what we taught the world. But when we apply force and break through fear, we understand that we actually can! And we think, why we have decided that we can’t?” he says.
Ben also loves to resolve concerns about what is under the water.
“Yes, I believe in the power of prayer, and God keeps me safe and sound. We got in the water a lot of sharks. But we put our faith in practice when they went into the Bay and believe God that He will save us. The sharks we have!” — Ben says.
For Ben surfing is not only a hobby, but a way to show the love of Jesus to those people who may never come to Church: “I do feel that I serve the Lord with surfing, because God gave me this talent. I feel that in this way glorify Him. Surfing opens the door for me to share with others the grace that He has poured out on me,” says Ben Martin.