After exactly four weeks in Indonesia with a Surfing The Nations team, Josiah arrived home safely this morning. I was just a little thrilled…
It is wonderful to have him back.
He had an amazing experience, and I’ve only just begun to hear the stories of his travels, ministry, surfing, and even a few adventures I probably would be better off not knowing about.
If you know a little bit about Josiah, it won’t surprise you that as soon as he was home he began downloading Gopro videos and working on his movie. I think that will be quite a project, so while he did that, I sat down next to him and did a brief interview. I knew you’d all want to hear at least a few things about his trip, and quite honestly, I wanted to know a few things that he hadn’t yet shared as well. So here’s my brief interview with Josiah, and the rest will trickle in over time.
GM (Grommom/me): Hey World Traveler. Welcome Home. We missed you.
Josiah: Thanks Mom. I really did miss you too. But for the record, I wasn’t homesick.
GM: First of all, I know not everyone has heard of Surfing The Nations. But tell me briefly who you were with–what kind of group was this?
Josiah: I was with a group of about 15 people, most of them were in their twenties (except Kameron and I, and the leader, Tom who is older, but still surfs.) All kinds of people–students, musicians, workers…They were mostly surfers, and everyone wanted to go on the trip to do Christian ministry, and have an adventure. They all had amazing life stories.
GM: Tell me a highlight of your trip:
Josiah: Definitely the one week boat trip around Sambawa. We were east of Bali, and sailed around the Indian Ocean visiting little islands. It was awesome.
GM: What made it so good?
Josiah: All of us grew really close together. I got to know some of the most amazing people ever. And– And the surf was epic too.
GM: What was a favorite surf spot?
Josiah: Scar Reef. And really all over. The guys who worked on our boat would just take these dingy’s and take us to any break we wanted. We would just go and go all day long.
GM: Why is it called Scar Reef? Is there a story or…
Josiah: (Rolls up his pants and shows me cuts that he is still taking antibiotics for. He smiles.)
GM: So–How often did you shower?
Josiah: I had one hot shower the whole time. It was great.
But I rinsed off a lot–at least every three days.
GM: Oh. (yikes.) How about laundry–How often did you do laundry. You ONLY packed a couple changes of clothes because I was told you would be doing laundry…
Josiah: Yeah–I did laundry once.
GM: (Let’s change the subject--)What about work? Did you do service projects, or what did you do to serve the local people?
Josiah: Oh, we did all sorts of things. Surfing The Nations has been going to Indo for 17 years now, so they have a lot of relationships with people in the communities there. We did a lot of different things. We painted a building and made it look really good. We spent time with kids and gave away a lot of clothes and things we brought for the people there. We also handed out a LOT of these comic-book style Bibles (In Indonesian) to the kids there. That was awesome. We would see the kids a couple days later sitting on the beach reading them. They loved them.
GM: That could have been challenging. You were in a mostly Muslim community, right?
Josiah: Yes. It is a Muslim country, and there were these strange idols literally everywhere. All along the roads and everywhere you looked. Temples too. But it was cool. God gave me boldness and I felt really comfortable and at peace.
GM: Almost done, I promise. You gotta tell us–What was it like turning 13 on a boat in Indonesia?
Josiah: Epic. I was sleeping on the deck of the boat and they woke me and blind-folded me. I came down into the boat and they had a huge surprise party/breakfast for me. Balloons, banners, and a watermelon with candles.
Josiah: Yeah. The cook made it look like a birthday cake.
Oh Mom, I ate so many weird foods while I was there. Things I would NEVER eat at home. You would have died. It was awesome.
GM: One more question: Tell me how you think you’ll be different after this trip?
Josiah: Yeah, I think I’ll appreciate everything I have more. I don’t want to take my brothers for granted, and I want to enjoy people more. I think I will be more humble, and care about people who have less than I do.
And I think my surfing has improved too.
GM: Thanks babe. I love you.
Josiah: Sure Mom. Love you too Mom.
***Please keep in mind that this kid had been up for somewhere around 35 hours when we did the interview!
But before he fell asleep he did pass on just a few photos for me to share with you too. So I’ll end with those. At the end there is a short video which gives you a little snapshot into an afternoon on the boat with the team.
Thanks for tuning in guys, and see you all soon. Your support during Josiah’s trip has meant so much to me!