Joseph Groffie shares with us about his first ever CS Surf and Serve trip. Enjoy!

I first found out about Christian Surfers while planning a surf trip to Bali. I have always loved to travel, yet when I became a Christian, traveling and surfing became much more of an epic experience. I could travel not only for my own sort of selfish desires, but now also for the Lord and give an account of this faith that has changed my life. Last minute, I found the CS Ecuador trip online and immediately signed up and became the final member of the awesome crew heading south. I really felt that God was putting this on my heart to use this experience to change and direct my life.

Never before have I been with a group of guys this surf driven, it was extraordinary. We would surf then eat, surf then eat over and over again until the sun went down. Definitely some of the best sessions in the water that I have ever had, in the warmest water I have ever been in. The sunburns were gnarly to say the least. The surf was epic, yet it was all the moments in between like trekking through the jungle, catching monstrous iguanas, broken boards, getting lost, bad surf recommendations from the locals and eating fresh fish every day that were most memorable.

But not only were we there to surf but also to serve. We had the pleasure of hanging out with the local CS chapter there in a town called Montanita. We helped clear weeds and restore an old concrete/steel half pipe that had been nearly fully eaten by rust.  We also got to attend one of their weekly CS meeting where we all talked and got to know each other, partly by translating nicknames they gave us according to how funny looking we were, followed by a message from the Bible. The last day we spent with the local CS chapter we helped them hand out invitations to the community inviting them to a movie night they were hosting. I remember how tired we all were from surfing that day yet everyone was so excited that the movie night was a full house! The locals were pumped by the movie, a Christian action sports film, and even more by all the raffle prizes they were winning. I remember the kids making fun of their friend’s goofy smiles for the camera, it was priceless.

It’s interesting how the Lord will take a group of people from all across the country, to travel to another country, to serve a community and make a lasting impression on the people there. Yet despite the amazing works of Christ there, it was the group of people I was traveling with that made the lasting impression on me. They thought they were there only to serve the local community but it was me that they were serving as well. I was moved more in my walk with Christ in those ten days than any time in my life as a Christian. The mix of travel, serving the Lord with my fellow brothers and sisters, and surf changed me forever.