My name is Abby Garbark and, in January 2014, God took me on an adventure that took me to Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa. This town is known for being the number two surf spots in the world and that’s exactly what I was going to do: surf ministry. “Wait, Surf Ministry?” is the question you’re probably asking yourselves right about now. Yeah… I asked myself the same question and realized I could barely surf. This left plenty of room for God to quickly show me that you don’t have to be good at something for Him to use you, but just have a little faith and some pixie dust. Just kidding but it did feel like that sometimes. HAHA… That probably wasn’t funny!
It’s been a year and a half since arriving back in the states and I still can’t seem to put my trip into words. So bear with me. My trip to South Africa was over the course of a ten-month period.
During the first five months of my stay, I attended and completed the Christian Surfers Africa Leadership Training course. We went through a three-month training phase which consisted of discipleship and leadership courses, personal and spiritual development, financial and environmental stewardship, and much more. During this phase, a normal day consisted of morning lectures, a lunch break, and afternoon responsibilities. These responsibilities included assisting in the office, working in the second-hand shop, giving surf lessons to the children, and cleaning the house. The second phase lasted two months and focused on Christian missions. My group traveled to three different cities near Cape Town. There, we held bodyboard/surf competitions and skate competitions. These outreach events were for the purpose of exposing surfers and skaters to the gospel message.
The last 5 months of my time were spent solely with Aleph Surf International, a partner of Christian Surfers. Their mission focuses on restoring communities through the surf, leadership, education, and job creation. We worked daily to teach these children about Jesus in a fun environment. My job description consisted of many different titles: I got to be a surf instructor, bible teacher, summer camp counselor, photographer, and be an educator on Education Wednesdays. I also got the opportunity to share one of my passions, which is dance. I got to give dance lessons for several weeks, to girls but mostly boys. DANCE TEACHER TOO!!! YEEEWWWW!!!
Never in a million years, did I actually think ministry could look like this, let alone I could be apart of it. None of those things He had me doing during my stay in South Africa, did I ever meet the qualifications for. That is the amazing thing though, Jesus dying for us, redefined literally every aspect of how we could live life. Just imagine what it could look like for us to face our fears and take that leap of faith.
That’s all I have to say at 12:30 am on August 3rd, 2016. Go chase your dreams and watch what God will do in the process you being ready or not.
PEACE OUT GIRL SCOUTS!!!