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“Testimony is the biggest tool to experience God for the first time,” Collin comments.
Collin grew up going to church with his parents. He attended youth groups, church camps, and VBS. “I even watched Veggie Tales,” Collin jokes. Though he went through the motions, Collin had no personal connection to Jesus. He thought that church was just the right thing to do, so he followed along with his family. He even got baptized in high school because it seemed like the next thing in line in church life.
In 2018, after graduating, Collin moved out of his parent’s house and stopped going to church shortly after. He didn’t see the need to and had no interest in it. “I was kinda Agnostic,” Collin explains. “I believed there was a God, but I felt like he was putting me through the wringer… a mysterious type of God.”
During Collin’s first few years on his own, he was interested in Jui Jit Sui and loved training in the gym. He spent time observing many professional fighters. He recognized that many of them were both disciplined and religious. Collin decided he wanted to search for a religion so he, too, could reflect the lifestyle of a pro-fighter. Collin found a podcast that interviewed ex-Special Ops military personnel who practiced Jui Jit Sui. He said 9 out of 10 of the guys in the podcast mentioned their faith in Jesus. They all struggled with their mental health and talked about the hope they found in him. Collin’s mental health has fluctuated over the past five years, so he resonated with these veterans.
Last Christmas, he was driving home from his parents’ house and listening to an episode. A man named Eddy Penny was being interviewed. Eddy was an ex-Special Ops soldier with a wild testimony. After coming home from the field, Eddy felt purposeless and hopeless. He shared how Jesus saved him from that. Eddy now travels the world, sharing his story and the gospel at conferences. For Collin, Eddy’s story was the final straw. He wanted to follow Jesus, too.
Collin texted his only Christian friend from home and told him the news. He thanked him for being such an influence on his life. During this time, Collin met an SFC staff member named Josh in the back bowls at Copper. Josh is a goofy guy who stands out in a crowd. He wears a yellow helmet, so you can’t miss him on the slopes. Collin had seen Josh out on the hill riding with other guys and passing out PB&J’s in the park. He met up with him one day and shared his testimony. Josh connected Collin to Andrew, a local SFC Leader who runs a men’s Bible Study called Bibles and Brews. Collin was grateful for the information, but three to four months passed without Collin doing much about his newfound faith. Snowboard season had ended, and mud season had begun. Collin felt low and purposeless. He spent much time on his phone and kept coming across Instagram clips about Jesus.
One night, when it was thunderstorming (a rare occurrence in Colorado), Colling went out on his porch and prayed. It was the first time he had prayed in four years. He asked Jesus not only to save him from his sins but also his mental health. He talked to the Lord about everything that had happened over the past four years. He decided it was finally time to reach out to Andrew about Bibels and Brews. Once he started getting plugged in, he didn’t stop. Collin then heard about everything SFC does through the Bible study. He began to understand what SFC was all about and got involved. He decided to attend SFC’s Southwestern Conference. While there, Collin realized SFC was a vast, global organization. Collin is now engaged in SFC and shares about the organization with many people. He even hosts wax nights for the SFC Summit County Group in the gear shop he manages after hours.
“In a small town, it can be hard to get in touch with people,” Collin shares, “but it can also be easy. SFC is kind of a middle ground for that.” And that, friends, is precisely the mission of SFC: to be a light of Jesus on the hill and build a bridge between shred culture and the church.
A wise man once told me, “If your travel before a ministry trip goes smoothly, the devil is not bothered with it.” I kept that in mind as I drove up to the airport, and behold, the first hour of my Time Travel Trip to the UK was anything but boring: my booking and I were not to be found in the system, my board bag almost didn’t get checked in, I got pulled over for an additional security check, and upon my arrival at the gate, I saw how our flight got delayed. I couldn’t be happier! The devil is interfering, but my eyes are set on Him, and He even blessed me with the opportunity to share the gospel with the person sitting next to me on the plane!
My travel buddy for the trip was none other than the best Czech guy ever to live, Libor Osouch. Libor and I started attending SFC conferences three years ago, and look at us now! Upon our arrival in Glasgow, we were welcomed by the smile of an SFC hero, Jenny, and for the next two days, she showed us around Glasgow, together with Bobby and Andrew, who cooked the most impressive Scottish meal (yes, I do love haggis) for us. There was no shredding here because their indoor dome closed down, and there was not enough snow in the Scottish Highlands.
A time travel to the UK means indoor shredding. That is how the SFC UK crew on this little island bridges the shred culture and Jesus. They organize hangouts in the park, movie nights, etc. There are active Jesus-loving shredders in the UK. SFC legend and UK National Coordinator Andy Brumby organizes worship sessions at the church he and his crew started in the mall where the local ski dome is situated! Genius! Shred the park Friday evening and invite people to church for a hangout! Conrad, in Milton-Keynes, does not have a church at hand, but his attitude to keep showing up and to keep serving the tiny local community of skiers and snowboarders for nearly a decade is worth looking up to.
Altogether, Libor and I traveled for six days, of which we spent 2 hours and 10 minutes on the slopes. It was not what we had hoped for, but the warmth and kindness with which we were welcomed each time is what truly set this trip apart! As we were invited into people’s lives and homes, we got a taste of who these people are and witnessed their hearts for Jesus and our unique ministry. SFC in Europe has its own identity, SFC UK has its own identity, and I love it! I pray for togetherness for the SFC’ers across this nation and for new leaders to come up and continue this indoor shredding ministry.
Libor and Cedric
This year’s SFC North East Regional Conference was a blast! We launched the weekend by catering dinner at one of our partner’s venues, Loon Mountain Ministry. Their thrift and coffee shop was the perfect setting to dive into vision and planning for the season of shred ministry ahead. Seeing old faces and making new friends was so much fun. We worshipped, drank coffee, and learned together. It was like a big family reunion!
The following day, we headed to the hill at Waterville Valley to shred together, share a meal, vision cast, and pray. For many of us, it was the first time shredding for the season. It’s always encouraging to make turns with people passionate about bringing the light of Jesus to the ski culture from all over the region. Many great stories and conversations were held on the lift rides, and playful, joyous turns were made together on the runs. Halfway through the day, we met at the ski lodge for lunch. As we ate, all Individuals, Groups, and Partners shared their ministry plans for the season, needs, and ideas. We closed our time together in prayer, praying over everyone there and their aspirations for the season. We’re looking forward to carrying out our new plans for collaboration and mutual encouragement moving forward for the 23/24 season.
If you live in the area but could not attend the conference, contact Randy or Marcus and see us sometime this season.
Jesus has reconciled me, through his death, presenting me holy, blameless, and above reproach to God. Take some time to sit with the reality that when you look at Jesus you see God.
Jesus didn’t have the Fast Tracks pass, he had something greater: deity. And he chose to not use it to his advantage, but to save us!
The literal laying down of our friend’s life so that he may save others while serving in the military, set off a chain of events that lead at least two people to laying down our sinful, “old man” natures and giving our lives to Christ.
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