Blog: 2011

Tuesday, July 19


Tuesday, July 19

Reflections on my trip to UrbanPromise ~ July 10-16

And Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

This past week at UrbanPromise, I saw the Kingdom of God coming with power.

  • I saw little children being welcomed in the Name of Jesus and God’s grace being heaped upon the poor, the vulnerable and the least of these.
  • I saw campers, StreetLeaders, work groups, interns and staff revolving around one another in a joyful, spirited dance—like the Father, Son & Holy Spirit do.
  • I saw a community in which the usual dividing walls of race, age, gender, culture and social class were powerfully overcome by the reconciling love of Christ.
  • I saw fearful and indifferent standing still give way to risky and love-motivated road-crossing.
  • I saw leaders who refused to lord their power and positions over others, but who served and laid down their lives—making the first ones last and the last ones first.
  • I saw young people with visions and old people who dream dreams working together for the flourishing of individual lives and entire communities.
  • I saw creation being restored—first fruits of a New Eden.
  • I saw the city being restored—a preview of the New Jerusalem.
  • I saw the power of wasteful love and naive grace transform the lives of moral failures and spiritual zeros.
  • I saw mustard seeds of faith become trees so big that several hundred of Camden’s “birds” could perch in its branches.
  • I saw a pinch of yeast work through the dough of entire communities, changing them from the inside out.
  • I saw a plentiful harvest with plenty of harvesters and nets bursting at the seams with fresh catch.
  • I saw Jesus feed several hundred children with a prayer and a box truck (and no money).
  • I saw the faces of the abused, neglected and hopeless transfigured in the light of Christ’s glory.
  • I saw women rejoicing over their lost coins, shepherds leaving the 99 to find the one that got away, Father’s scanning the horizon for lost children to come home.
  • I saw the salt of the earth preserving it from decay, and the light of the world inviting others to praise their Father in Heaven.
  • I saw the rich building smaller barns and not taking things easy.
  • I saw the poor going home full, and being pulled out of their cycle of poverty.

I love going to UrbanPromise and being a part of what God is doing in the city of Camden.  I always leave encouraged, inspired and renewed.  But most importantly, I leave knowing that although the Kingdom of God has not yet come in full, it has already come.

And Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

Bill Hodgeman ~ Whitinsville, MA
Pleasant Street Christian Reformed Church

Sunday, July 10

Luis took some time off to hang out with an ex-intern, and Jesus and I (with a little help from our friends…) got the job finished. :)

Saturday, July 9

and mercury is no longer in retrograde! at least, we hope it’s not and we’re praying that what (or who) ever is testing us and our commitment to this board launch will please lay off now….! Jesus has the latest update…

Saturday, July 9

There are no good words for the crazy-ness of the shop at 8.30pm on the first night we should have fully and properly off, but somehow, Jesus found some. so, over to him.

Thursday, July 7

Tim Dion, our new best friend and fin shaper extraordinaire, told us this on one of his visits. The boards that we are making, well, the design harks back to the first paddle boards to be paddled in open water, the fins reflect two distinct designs and periods in the history of surfing, and the shield design that we put on this weekend is reminiscent of shield designs from way back when too.

and yes, we blatantly stole our ideas from the great designs of the early days of surfing and paddling, with some guidance from our friends out here, and we are hopeful that the surfing and paddling community will embrace our ‘handcrafted in Malibu’ boards with all the love and care that we, collectively, have put into making them.

things are winding down here, yet they are also stepping up a notch- we’re putting on all our finishing touches, lacquer, epoxy, finish sanding, sugar coat, and that all involves a lot of waiting and drying, but at the same time, everyone here is getting pumped for this to be finished and for the boards to be launched, to actually get out and paddle them. to test their seaworthyness.

we’re pretty excited.

(here’s a little peek into the making of these boards, and where they’re at now…)






Wednesday, July 6


Our logo and grip shield pattern went on the deck. A deep walnut stain works incredibly well to brighten up a specific area on these boards. The edge was then be outlined with a little household latex, which seemed to just place itself in a perfect curve around the pattern. Next we faired all of the frames and stringers that shape the board from the interior. Running a straight edge across the top of the board is a quick and painless way to find your hills and valleys and fix them up.  Once the tops of the frames, stringers and sheer were all fair and ready, a generous heap of glue consistency resin mix was applied to all of those edges to receive the deck; a simple two man (or woman) job. Since the deck was cut exactly for the shape for the hull, setting it atop the hull assembly is as easy as putting the lid on a tupperware.


Ok.. here’s what’s really happened.

Our logo and grip shield pattern did in fact go on the deck. However.. do you know how hard it is to hand draw a duplicate logo (quite large, in fact) on two different boards? I don’t either, but Luis didn’t seem all too thrilled about it. As for the stain.. a minwax walnut would have been delightful, but budgetary restrictions birthed a mean creativity within us. After trials of coffee stain (with and without cream), powerade, and pepsi, we decided to go with a lovely stain made from equal parts pepsi one and hershey’s syrup. It looks like ebony and smells like a sundae. Yet.. chocolate doesn’t quite dry the way proper stain does. So? We’ve had to “re-texture” this deck design several times to use chocolate’s natural glossyness to add depth to our wood grain as opposed to letting it just puddle and shine like melted kisses. The edge line, you ask? It was ok. I think MPC’s Mike Morgan almost had aneurysm from trying to paint in a fair curve.. which he described as the definition of stress.. pretty significant coming from a youth programs director. Then, we faired everything. It was horrendous. The kids couldn’t quite grasp the idea that if you hold a sander to a surface and then start a conversation with your friend about the awesomeness of goldfish crackers, you WILL gouge the surface… which means the rest of the lines now have to be brought down to that height. Wonderful indeed. Finally.. we glued the deck. Did I mention we ran out of thickener for the epoxy? No? Well maybe I didn’t mention it because I bought double what the plans called for… the kids must’ve been eating it. So we scooped handfuls of wood dust and plane scraps off of the floor/tables/cabinets/sawhorses/tools/shirts to create a lovely wood glue resemblant of three month of clam chowder. Incredible. Yet, as always, it worked. Everything worked. Even using a heap of bibles to weigh down the deck onto one of the hulls when we ran out of cinder blocks worked. That’s the beauty of wooden boats.. they go with it. They let you give a little here and take a little there without much of a fuss.  Beautiful.


Monday, July 4

Luis and logos

Saturday, July 2

so much for normality.

today was a day of learning curves.

luis in the waves with a surfboard.

jesus in the shop learning to place fins.

mike in the van planning a steep teaching curve.

me learning to let go a little, use the math that was hammered into me, accept peoples generousity.

we all had to learn to let go of our schedule, to lean a little more on each other and those around us, and to be grace-filled people.

it’s definitely getting to that point, that breaking point, that exhaustion, running on pure adrenaline, haven’t had enough time off point and so the little things get big and the big things…. phew.

but the end is in sight. this week, after the weekend, will be a delight.

the deck design is almost ready, the fins are in place, the boards are readying themselves for their unveiling. my goodness things are shaping up around here, and the conversations? well, they just make me laugh. and want to bring all these people back to camden. the things we could do. the ideas, the energy… it is marvellous. hopefully we’ll catch some more of that and you’ll get to experience it too.

until then you’ll have to make do with my witterings.

peace and love -suz


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