Hi.....I'm Luke, the co-founder and manager of Sanctuary Surfers...
Sanctuary Surfers was started in May 2007, not long after i decided to give my life back to God.
As a result of giving my life back to God in January 2007, i started attending Sanctuary Christian Ministries and soon started thinking of ways how i could share my Faith with others around me, reach out into the Community and share what i believe to be true Christianity with some close friends of mine.
I was chatting to my mate Paul one day, and he said why don't you take people surfing in one of the Church buses, and show some sort of DVD on the way.
I instantly thought he was onto something and started working out how to get things going. I spoke to my Pastor and that week we bought a 12 seater Toyota Coaster Bus (with a little help from my boss at the time). At this time i was working full time as a plumber, so the only time i could take people surfing was on Saturdays. A week or so after we bought the bus we had some surfboard racks and a canopy fitted to the church trailer, 12 boards, and almost 12 wetsuits to take people on surf trips to Goolwa beach.
The first trip was with a bunch of awesome mates that were in Australia from Norway, studying to be Nurses...(i think they all passed, somehow studying inbetween surf trips)!!!
The trips were all run as a free service, including the most awesome, gourmet, aussie BBQ lunch, you'll ever have! And it was a massive hit right from the word go! I think the bus was full for all of these trips, and sometimes we even had to take 2 buses and share the boards! (I heard it was the BBQ that brought everyone back...wait till you try it and you'll know what i mean).
The trips were proving to be such a success, that i decided i would go ahead with doing a level 1 surf coaching course and become a credible surf school, we also decided to open a shop so that we could provide boards and wetsuits to all the people that came on our trips when they decided they wanted to become pro surfers. To do this though it would mean that i would have to quit my full time job as a Plumber, sell my beloved Kombi van and put all my time into running the surf shop as well as the surf trips. This was a very difficult decision to make. (not just because of the Kombi). At the time a guy at my work had just left and a position had opened up to not only take his place a bit higher up on the ladder, but also to eventually move into a role of taking over my boss's position so he could retire. When my boss approached me on this i was excited at the prospect but i didn't know what to do because i had already started thinking about leaving to start the shop and run the surfing ministry full time. I decided to ask my boss for some time to think and pray about it before i decided what i would do. The job would have meant a HUGE payrise, which would also mean longer hours.
After 3 weeks my boss called me into his office out of the blue and asked me what i had decided.....I still wasn't sure at the time and knowing he wanted an answer i gingerly said "yes i'll take it". Straight after i walked out of the room i wasn't sure if i had made the right decision! All that weekend i couldn't stop thinking about it and couldn't sleep. I remembered back to some Bible verses i had been reading through the week...the only answer i had from God through the Bible was to wait. When i realised this, i knew i had to tell my boss. So first thing Monday morning i did and he said "no worries" "i'll still give you the job for now and let me know by the end of the year what you are doing." (the best boss you could have, well most of the time ;-))
The end of the year came and it was clear i would leave my plumbing job in March 08 to open Sanctuary Surfers! The opening night was packed and we had over 60 people show up, what a great start! Since then we have had heaps of trips and met heaps and heaps of unbelievably awesome people!!! We've blown up 2 engines in our original surf bus, (so now we have decided to put an unbreakable V8 engine in it and hope to have it back on the road soon) acquired a 25 seater coach bus, a dedicated surf 4x4 and surf trailer (with 30 surfboards and 30 wetties) plus 2 other 4x4 Pathfinders - well almost an extra one if you count the full overhaul we've had to do on 1 of them....Oh and i can't forget the Mazda 'Old Faithful' Bus we had somewhere in the middle there too (we blew the gearbox up in that one)!
Here is an article about our surfing ministry in the "RISE" magazine (on pages 12-13).
Some of the trips we do and have done are:
Day surf trips to Goolwa beach, 2-3 day adventure trips to Kangaroo Island, surfing and 4x4 trips to Robe and Yorke Peninsula, Shark Diving in Port Lincoln, 4x4 hiking and adventure trips to Flinders Ranges, 4x4 trips from Pinnaroo to Mt Gambier along the Border Track and along the beach from Robe to Beachport, and surfing in Mt Gambier, Yorkes and Robe!...we have a number of schools booking us to take their students for a great surfing day outing. Our interstate trips have included week-long road trips to the snow in the winter months (see snow webpage) including a outreach screening of the Nations Foundation "OneYear" snowboarding movie at Mt Hotham, Adventure trips to the Gold Coast via Sydney, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbor, and Brisbane, Surfing along the Great Ocean Rd, and a surfing, road trip to a Youth conference in Rockhampton returning via the sunshine coast!...Skydiving at Goolwa has also been a HEAP of fun (this ministry is run by my good mate, John Delany - see skydiving webpage). We hosted a "Walking On Water" outreach at Robe (see poster) including jetski rides and a screening of their surf movie. We are now in our third year for the surf shop and beginning our 2nd summer season as an Australia wide recognised, accredited Surf School through ASI (Accredited Surfing Instructors) - we have 4 qualified surf coaches in the ministry. We have set up our surf trailer and 4x4 to transport all our surfing equipment and BBQ - plus our larger bus is a real God-sent and we use it ALL the time to travel the countryside in comfort and style.
The journey this far hasn't been easy, but it has been by far, the most exciting part of my journey through life. I couldn't have brought this ministry as far as it has come on my own. Firstly there is my Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ! Without Him none of this could have been possible. Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"
Also there is Pastor Neil Aitchison of my church who has been there through every part, doing most of the work to help set up and keep this place running...A massive thanks also has to go out to some very special people who have made all this possible with their financial contributions! You are all amazing!
The journey we have embarked on, is only just beginning and we hope you will continue to be part of it with us!
If you have been blessed by this surfing ministry, been on one of our trips, had a good time or even a bad time with us we would love to hear about it! So feel free to reply to this discussion topic and tell us all about your encounter with us!
Please feel free to invite all your friends to join me in my ministry!
Love you all...
Luke and the Sanctuary Guys!![Back To Surf Page]