Thursday, August 20, 2009

180 SK8 Church
Being Jesus Christ in the World

This has been an incredible summer and now we turn the corner to the 2009-2010 school-year. But before looking down that lane here is a swatch of what the summer looked like for the skateboard ministry here in Belgrade, Montana.

We were able to have skate every Friday night for the summer and started opening up for additional nights towards the end of July. The need was apparent: kids wanted to ride the ramps on their bikes but the Friday session really is a skateboard event. Thursday is the Bible-study night so we opened the "yurt" on Wednesday nights for high-school and younger...bikes only.

Well, there was a number of high school grads who showed up and thus I was aware of an opportunity to branch out to a group who felt like "non-people"...grads who were still young at heart and who love riding their bikes (their goal is to be like the bike-riders who you may see on Extreme Game competition).

Now we are open to grads on bikes on Tuesday, Youth on bikes on Wednesday, Bible-study on Thursday and All Youth, skateboards, on Friday nights. This has been a great move. It has demonstrated the wonderful opportunity to reach the lost for Christ through the preaching of the Word of God and then the connect with some dis-jointed "olders" who are believers but are in need of direction.

What a blessing this is to get to be with so many young people who are seeing God more clearly and for some just learning about God for the first time...EVER!

Our house (mostly the front deck and lawn) looks like a scene from Mad-Max with bicycle parts all over the place as the Baber house has become the "bike-mecca" for the neighborhood kids! I even made up a tool-box with some tools for bikes, a bike-pump ($1 at a garage-sale) and sometimes I provide some training seminars on bike repair! What a great blessing to share the Lord with these kids.

Our numbers at the ministry site have steadily grown IN SPITE of summer activities. We always have 15- 20 kids on Friday nights and often, like tonight (Wednesday) we have 3-4 new kids. I don't know what the school-year numbers are going to look like but I am anticipating the walls heaving from the increase. This is why I have made it the goal to separate High School from the younger kids.

This past weekend we loaded up the van and went on a road-trip to Billings to skate the park there. What a great time of getting to know the skaters better and to work on helping them learn God's Word better. So, with all the gear packed--helmets, extra boards, enough water and Bibles for everyone--we left for Billings at 8:00 and returned at 4:30. I was the facilitator. Matt Kruze was the "hands-on" guy with skating tips for the younger, in-experienced skaters. And we both used our time to open up God's Word to them and show them how God wants to be involved in their lives.

Eventually, as the Christian kids mature, I see a team of skaters going to various places, not just to experience recreation but to blend their favorite sport with sharing Jesus Christ with others.

One of the things the Lord keeps reminding me of is the incredible opportunity to be involved in these kids' lives. I see young boys and sometimes (but not very often) girls who can be shown Christ's love in very real ways. I want them to come to know Jesus Christ, the Messiah, God who came in the flesh and was willing to sit down next to an outcast Samaritan woman...demonstrating God's desire to know her and a willingness to listen to her and reveal himself to her. I reminded the kids this week that WE are like that person that Jesus was willing to go out of his way to meet and that he really knows us and really cares about us.

Please pray for SK8 Church as we try to bring the good news to these young people. Pray that those who have decided to put their trust in the Lord that they will see the importance of studying God's Word so they can discern between his truth and the deception that is so prevalent in the world.

Please pray that the needs of SK8 Church will be realized as our numbers grow. Pray for additional workers to join in this ministry to young people. Pray for Lynne and me as we trust in God for our continued support in this work.

I praise God for all of you and ask that we hear from you so we can know how you are doing and how we can be praying for you.

In Christ,
Mike Baber