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  • Writer's pictureJonny Nelson

Unorthodox Ministry

Dear JSAW Friends,

This past quarter has been filled with many blessings and disappointments. As JSAW’s Program Director my job is to plan all trips, camps and events that directly correlate with the ministry. This means every season I put together a beautiful spread of fun activities for riders for free or at low prices.

Unfortunately, not every planned activity works out how I want it to. This quarter I have really struggled specifically with getting our riders to sign up for JSAW’s Colorado trip. This has been disheartening because trips are spectacular ways to take riders deeper in their faith. But, I look back over the year and see how God has filled the other trips which give me hope.

All this to say, the past quarter has not been a waste of time. God has worked in amazing ways! One blessing is I have met so many new riders. I have also been noticing a shift in perception. It was only 6 years ago that Help Boardshop opened. Since then some of the core snowboard community has been skeptical of us Jesus freaks. This season I have noticed a shift from JSAW/Help Boardshop being out casted by the culture to being accepted. This is a huge win for the shop but also a win for Jesus Himself. For many of these riders a JSAW staff member is the only Christian they are going to run into throughout their week. This season I have even been able to visit multiple ski resorts. A few weeks back I had a great day at Buck Hill. I was able to meet up with a local rider and get to know all his friends. We even made a video together by the end of the day. Many of my peers are now coaches or professional snowboarders. One friend and I were talking about deep things going on in our lives. He shared about times in and out of rehab and his hopes for the future. I was blown away by his openness and continue to see and pray for him. Lastly, one of the most encouraging blessings this past quarter was seeing one of our local riders share his testimony on video. His name is Sam and is only 11 years old but has more boldness than most. He not only loves Jesus but has led his friends to Christ. He has been around for over a year now and we have worked with him closely by studying the life of Jesus in Bible study each week. I have known his story for awhile, but seeing it on video was powerful! Check out his video at God has also been so awesome to us at JSAW this past month. Our donors have given generously and we have wonderful volunteers giving their time and talents to rebuild our program room.

Recently, God has been teaching me to count my blessings because the disappointments can cloud my vision. Just before Jesus goes home to the Father in Acts 1:7-8 he says to his apostles, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witness in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” I am blessed by the little moments not by my own efforts planning out ministry events. I have loved watching the Holy Spirit move in incredible and untimely ways. I know my efforts are not in vain and God’s work in this world isn’t dictated by my plans. Please pray for JSAW as we continue to live boldly for the Gospel and strive to reach riders for Christ.


Jake Tastad JSAW Program Director

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