Visitation to CS Crew - France & Spain
16th March 2008
March 9th -13th saw a three person team - Kenny Wells (N Devon), Cirsty De Gruchy (Jersey) and myself - Phil Williams, visiting the contacts and Christian Surfers members in SW France and NE Spain.
Check out the gallery http://www.christiansurfers.co.uk/v.4/gallery.php?album=94
Unlike last year, the weather was surprisingly mild and there was no snow on the ground. As far as the surf was concerned, we witnessed the battering of the coast by a huge Atlantic storm, with waves hitting Biarritz at well over 20-30 feet, and indeed Mundaca was also hit with huge waves.
The trip started with a short flight from Bristol to Toulouse and we met up with some Christians, one of which who surfs and lives in Toulouse. They explained how huge a university town it is, but with no Christian Union for over 60,000 students !!. The next morning we moved on to the West Coast to our good friend Jean Yves, an amazing wood sculptor and spent three hours looking at his work and, of course, catching up with all his news. It was great to see him, please continue to pray for him, and Cecille. We then went on to see the amazing surf hitting the west cost by Biarritz, which was truly spectacular. We then caught up with the Parentys (Australia) and Thomas and Dortie (Germans) good friends of ours from the Biarritz area. Following a great meal and catch up, we stayed over at the Parentys new flat which is now nearly finished - a big thanks to people like Mike Cotton for helping out.
Next morning we made an early start and headed for NE Spain. Following some sightseeing at some of the big wave spots, we ended up in San Sebastian meeting a lovely couple called Emily, and Marshall. This great couple are paying their own way and working and helping other Christian missionaries whilst over there. Unfortunately Gerald Griffin was out of town, but it was great to see these guys, and also the devastation that hit San Sebastian that night.
We then moved on up the coast and went to see Mundaca where 3-4m swells were crashing into the beautiful coast town. No one out, and no chance of getting anyone out, but impressive to see anyway, before finishing up the evening along a beautiful coastal route via a lovely church and also some spectacular secret spot potentials.
That night we ended up in Santander where we stayed with Darren & Maria Kilford. These were a couple that Cirsty knew well from Jersey. The next morning had breakfast with the guys from Gijon who travelled down, (thanks Shane and Andrew) and met up with ‘La industria’ pastor, John.
It was great to have fellowship with this crew and the best way to commit that fellowship was obviously having a surf, which we all had together in 18-20 degree air temperature at one of the local beaches on the outskirts of Santander.
Following the surf and a visit to the mission base at ‘La Industra’, we moved back to Mundaca where strangely enough there was no one out in the 6 foot swell. Unfortunately Kenny had pulled out his leash plug, so I was left with the decision do I surf it on my own or not? After much considering I decided not, as it was huge beach with powerful surf and strange rips. As a result we ended up meeting a film crew from Australia, who are filming big waves in Europe. After a 5 minutes intro we realised that I had met them last in England, and I was recognised from the video they’d made when I was surfing the seven bore. So we had a great hour or so catching up and they were amazed that there were Christian Surfers in so many different places, and strangely enough they kept connecting with them. Please pray for Shaun Dickson, and Gremmie.
We also met with Huicif on the way up to Biarritz on the last night. It was then back to the flat overnight and an early start to check out big waves at Guethary, but unfortunately the time meant we weren’t able to surf them before we drove back to Toulouse and got our flight back to Bristol.
We were really blessed by God on this trip in so many ways. More importantly, we give praise and thanks for all those missionaries in that area who faithfully left their homes to go to a strange land to do God’s work there. Please continue to pray for them, 4 years ago there was only 1 person.
Great trip, great opportunity, lots of driving, but lots of fun as well.