"Hey guys hope all is well down under. The last week I was working at the Boardstore in Maroochydore I had the blessing of hearing two incredible testimonies of some of the impact we have had on the community. I meant to share these with all of you before I left but it got put on the back burner. I hope this encourages you all as much as it did to me.
One of my first customers of the morning was a mom, her son, and the son’s friend. The son was only around 12-13. They spent a good deal of time looking around the store. Once they had found a few items the mom came up to the counter to purchase the items while the two boys continued to look around the store. As I was ringing her up the mom grabbed a skater Bible off the counter. I told her they were free and she could take one. She replied by saying: “oh no thanks we have one at home.” She then proceeded to tell me that her son has the read the skater Bible cover to cover and it’s slowly falling apart. They moved from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast a year ago and came into our store when they first arrived on the coast. She complemented us saying that every time she has come into the store and her son absolutely insists on taking there business to only the Boardstore when it comes to all there skating needs. What made me so happy is that the Skater Bible this little boy had been given early on had read it over and over. And bonus, he was a skater through and through.
Later on that day an older lady came in wanting to speak with one of the guys. I told her I was the only one working that day and I could do my best to answer any of her questions. She told me that she was taking a class at the local community college on community development. The class she was with had been assigned to find out how local sport locations affect the community and find out about the people who frequent those facilities the most. She had to have been in her fifties and had been assigned Alex Skate Park. Earlier that day she visited the park to interview some of the local kids who skated there. She told me she was a bit intimidated approaching the typical “skater.” She started off by approaching a group of guys. She asked the various and basic questions about skating. The group of guys started telling her about some of the other things that happen at a skate park such as drinking, smoking, occasional fights that break out and then they started telling her about this group who hangs out on Friday nights at Alex. The boys told her how were there every Friday night to put on a free BBQ and that all of the guys work at the Boardstore. One of the boys spoke up and said “all the guys down at The Boardstore are Christians, there always there to answer any of our questions but they don’t shove their religion down our throats.”
The lady when she was talking to me was really impressed that the group of “rough around the edges” boys had so many compliments to pass on about the crew at the boardstore. The lady and I talked for a bit and I told her all about the things we do in the community. I told her about skate church, skate BBQ on Fridays, the skater Bible, and filled her in on all the happenings that go down with One Friday and The Boardstore. Before she left she told me that when her teacher had assigned her to the skate park she was scared and intimidated to speak to a “skater.” She walked out of that store with a complete change of heart. She was blown away that the guys at the skate park gave us so many compliments.
I walked away from working that day so uplifted. Hearing that a little boy had read the Bible we gave him a year ago over and over, front to back. What the second lady who was working on her University project didn’t know by reveling what all those boys at Alex had said about us was that we had been making a real impact in those kids lives at the skate park.
I just wanted to add one more thing to this very long e-mail. It was something I found myself thinking after I got asked the question by a church member when I arrived back from Australia. The question was “so how many people accepted Christ while you were over there?” I thought for a second and could have made up an answer but my answer was I don’t know. And I was completely comfortable with that answer. Why should I know how many people I lead to the Lord? Is that for my own personal glorification or to brag about it to a congregation. Just because I don’t have an exact count of the people I converted doesn’t mean in any way that I wasn’t doing the Lords work. So I hope that this little light bulb moment that I had encourages all of you. You guys are blessing people all around you whether you realize it or not. One of those people you blessed was me. I can’t thank you all enough for everything all of you blessed me with. Keep up the good work. You’re making a difference in the world one step at a time."
What an encourager you are Esther! You rule. She's now working in a ski resort shop, no doubt being an absolute blessing to everyone there. Part time snow bunny, full time radical Jesus loving ray of sunshine. Miss ya x