Adam & Katie Quinn, a couple from the New England region of the United States, recently embarked on an internship with us, spending 3 months working from our office in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. We had a quick catch up with them near the end of their stay.
How have you been enjoying your involvement with Groundswell Aid?
Katie: So far, it's been an incredible experience being in J-Bay in the office with the CS International team and learning from them. We are just honoured to be a small part in the larger 'pie' that is Christian Surfers and Groundswell Aid! I've really enjoyed catching the holistic vision for Groundswell Aid - the model is simple and empowering. A lot of the work that we are doing is continuing to develop the solid foundation that has been started by the team, such as growing the media presence, creating content such as video footage and photos for various projects, connecting with donors, projects and potential projects, as well as creating a news update platform for GS Aid. We also are able to visit and work with the two partner projects we have here in South Africa, which has been an awesome way to see the way Groundswell works tangibly. We pray God uses us however he sees fit in Groundswell for these 3 months!
Adam: Well, the CSI and Groundswell Aid mission and model includes just about everything that I am passionate about - surfing, reaching people for Jesus, building deep relationships within the local and global surfing community, surfing, empowering locals to be missional leaders in their communities, surfing, social justice, and almost forgot...surfing! I am definitely looking forward to learning more and diving deeper into CSI's greater vision for Groundswell Aid. I am stoked to meet and continue the work that the CSI and Groundswell team has started. They have laid such a solid foundation for this program, and it is an honour to be involved in any capacity. I am also looking forward to continuing to support our current partnering projects. In our first month in J-Bay, we were able to meet so many amazing people, locally and globally, who are working hard to reach the surfing communities for Jesus. We have been able to work hands-on with the Aleph program here in J-Bay, as well as travel to Durban to serve alongside the South Beach Stoke program and to deliver some generously donated supplies. If this first month is a reflection of how God is using Groundswell Aid to reach these programs, I foresee this role being an incredible platform to serve open-handedly and watch God act in mighty ways!
So you are interning with Groundswell Aid but you are actually fairly new to Christian Surfers, how did you get involved?
We spent the last year in the Canary Islands. As we came alongside the development of a Christian Surfers chapter on the island, we decided that it would be beneficial to attend the CS Europe Leaders Gathering in Hossegor, France to catch the bigger vision of CSI and to plug in deeper with the CS family. At this conference, we were first introduced to Groundswell Aid when CSI director Roy Harley presented it to the group. Right away, our ears perked up and we got so stoked about the idea of social justice + Jesus + surfing. When our time was coming to an end in the Canaries, we reached out to Roy to learn more about the vision of Groundswell Aid and how we could get involved. He then invited us to come to J-Bay for a three month internship where we are currently serving!
How did you both initially get into surfing?
Katie: I was raised on the beaches of New Jersey, so every summer I was at the beach and in the ocean, surrounded by the surf culture. My brother and I learned to surf as young groms. I remember when I was really young my uncle paddled me out on an 11 foot longboard and laid as the anchor so I could stand. After a gnarly gash-to-the-face in a surfing accident while a teenager, I stepped away from surfing for awhile until I met (and eventually married) my dreamy grown-up-grom crush, Adam, who rekindled my serious love for the waves.
Adam: I was raised on the coast of New England, spending most of my childhood and teen years outdoors. I could always be found in the woods or riding around on anything with two wheels. I never surfed as a kid though, despite living 5 minutes from the ocean. My first experience surfing was with my roommate in college in the cold waters of Massachusetts. After getting smashed and frozen for the first month, I was hooked and surfed as much as I could, including when the winter waves were filled with slushy-ice. And it paid off! I ended up falling in love with Katie, the only girl at my college who shared my love for the waves.
Thanks guys, we're stoked to have you with us!