Thursday, February 09, 2006

Niel and Jen (and my first surfing lesson)

I met Niel and Jen last Friday. They stopped in at the Hile’s because Niel was installing the fence around their house. We talked them into staying for dinner as well as to church on Sunday. Niel has lived in South Africa his entire life and Jen is from Florida. She took a job over here as a Nanny last year and met Niel then... They were married just 2 weeks ago in the states and returned to Ballito just over a week ago. Niel is 24 and Jen is 22. As Friday evening came to a close, Neil and I exchanged phone numbers because he told me he would teach me how to surf and that he may be going out the following day (which was Saturday). He ended up calling me at about 2 in the afternoon and told me which beach to meet him at... it ended up being just up the road from my flat... and about 3 blocks from Jen and Niel’s... He brought me into the ocean, told me how to balance on my board and paddle out. Once we were far enough we turned and faced the shore... he told me when I see a wave beginning to break, start paddling and try to catch it.... I attempted to do this several times over the next five minutes or so, but all the waves were just passing me by... It was about this time that I realzed even though I was paddling toward shore, I was drifting further and further out into the ocean! I started paddling harder towards shore and was just starting to gain some ground when all of the sudden... WHOOOOOSH!!! I was on a wave! Even though I stayed on my stomach the entire ride, I actually caught a wave... err... maybe it caught me... So Niel and I decided that was enough for one day because the water was particularly choppy and not the best for surfing.
Niel, Jen and I sat on the beach and talked for a while... I wasn’t too sure about where they stood as far as their salvation and their knowledge of Christ and the Church. Jen told me that she has always gone to church, but has never been able to settle in anywhere and that Niel hadn’t really gone until they were married. I was able to share with them where I am at in my spiritual journey, how my faith and walk with Christ has shaped me up unttil now and how much it means to me... I think it did them some good to hear that from someone their age. I hope that God will continue to give me opportunities to speak truth to them in ways that they need to hear.
Since then, the three of us have hung out a few times... they have quickly become good friends of mine and I already dread the day that I leave and may never see them again. It makes me think heavily on making the most of my time here especially with the people that I come to know.


Steve Deur said...

Great updates Eric. Praying for you and your emerging friendships. :)

Nicholas Mark Wagenmaker said...

that is so awesome dude. Keep doing your thing down there. Im praying for you all the time and i miss you man. Sounds like your doing awesome and enjoying the experience dude. love you

Eric said...

If there is one thing I have learned about God is that if you ask Him for the opportunity to share your faith you will no doubt have many of them. Sounds like things are going great! I am keeping you in my prayers...stay careful out in the South African shark infested waters!!

Lindsey Noel said...

sounds like you are having an amazing time! When you master surfing want to teach all of us how to too....i'm sure lake mich can kick up some waves big enough. we miss you alot! keep up the work for his kingdom

lindsey rank

Brian B said...


Way to go on sharing your faith bro...keep it inspires me to get out there more and be connecting with unreached persons. That is where the harvest is...miss ya bro

Nate said...


Dude, I am really proud of you sharing your faith bro - that is so huge. GOd will give you more and more opportunities as you build more of a friendship with them. We miss you back here man:)

Nate & Lindsey