OFTEN WE ARE ASKED, "WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?"
For many this is a very difficult question for which they seek to find an answer their entire lives. However, Chris and Kathy know what they are passionate about, water sports and seeing the world, and God has brought their passions together through 3/20.
As Chris was growing up he spent a good bit of time at the lake teaching friends and other kids how to water ski, kneeboard, barefoot, and wakeboard while on vacation and youth outings. Year after year he lived out his passion of wakeboarding. However, Chris never realized that he could use his knowledge and experience as a means of reaching people with the Truth of Christ.
While Chris was busy livin’ life on the water Kathy was busy seeing the world. Starting in 1994 she took her first international mission trip to Ecuador. Her passion was to see the world but at the same time she wanted to tell people about Jesus. Since then she has been in over 30 countries and has led many different teams all over the world to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
So how did God bring Chris and Kathy together to start this ministry? In 2003 Kathy agreed to help train leaders at Chris’ home church, Ebenezer Baptist of Hillsborough, NC, to lead the church’s first international mission trip. God had been working on Chris’ heart and after much prayer he joined the team and agreed to go on his first mission trip.
However, little did they know God would use this mission trip to bring them together and then marry six months later on April 24, 2004.
SO WHAT'S BEHIND THE NAME 3/20?
The name 3/20 comes from Kathy’s favorite Bible verse, Ephesians 3:20, “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”
Often we meet people who have a gift such as water skiing but they have no idea how God can use this gift for His glory. Our desire is to allow people the opportunity to use their gift(s) in ways that go far beyond their wildest dreams!
NEW PARTNERSHIP IN 2008 - CENTURION BOATS
At the end of 2007 we had to turn in our loaner boat from Malibu. Starting in February Chris, Kathy and Brandon started visiting the boat shows and meeting with boat dealers to research opportunities for securing a new boat for the summer. Our desire was to partner with a company that believed in what we are doing and would be a part of our ministry. At times it seemed that doors were opening and we would start to walk through them to find that it quickly closed or it was the wrong door. However we continued to pray and trust that God would lead us to the right person at the right time.
One day Chris and Brandon took a tour of the Centurion plant and meet with the folks there to discuss some possibilities. When Chris came home he was so excited! They found that several of the folks at the plant were believers and he said that they "had church in the parking lot." As well, he was impressed with the operation and felt that Centruion was excited about working with our ministry. After much prayer and many phone conversations we decided that it was time to order a boat.
Ordering a boat was a huge leap of faith since we didn't know how the nonprofit would pay for a new boat. However, we know that God is always faithful to supply all our needs. Well, somewhere in this process we had dinner with some friends and they presented us with a check that would cover the boat payment for almost two years. PTL! The ministry now has a 24-foot Ski Centurion 240 ENZO and we love it.
THE STORY BEHIND THE ORIGINAL BOAT
In 2006 Chris and I knew that God was leading us to proceed with the boat ministry but we didn’t have a boat. How do you start a boat ministry without a boat?
We know that there are times in our life that we just have to hold tight to the fact that God has spoken and we are to obediently follow His direction for our lives regardless of what we can see with our earthly eyes. This was one of those times!
In May of 2006 we met with a local Malibu boat dealer, explained our situation and they agreed to sell us a boat at a reduced cost. However, we both felt that this was not the final answer and we needed to pursue other possibilities with Malibu.
Why Malibu? It was our understanding that Malibu’s top leaders are all believers and we wanted the support of a Christian Corporation.
Chris and I continued to pray and in June, God used a Pro Wakeboarder we had met in February to help arrange a meeting with John Sisson, VP of Tennessee Operations. During our meeting we shared our dreams and goals for 3/20.
As well, John shared with us that he believed in what we were doing and would help us with a boat where the price would be good for all parties involved. Chris and I were so excited and after retuning home quickly put in an order for a boat.
And so we waited . . . Almost a month later we still had no news as to the progress of our boat and what the final cost would be. Finally one afternoon the dealer called Chris and explained that John had been extremely busy and was sorry but there had been no time for him to work on our boat. . . BUT if we wanted, he did have a Pro Wakeboarders boat at the factory that we could use this year so that we could get going with our ministry. On June 23rd we drove to Tennessee to pick up our boat. God is always on time!
We are thankful that God has used Malibu in an incredible way to bless our ministry with a boat for both 2006 and 2007. So how do you start a boat ministry without a boat? You pray and wait on God!