The Kahu Nehemiah 12 1-27
The Hawaiians have traditionally had a a Kahuna (Leader or Chief) and a Kahu (priest or holy man). This Kahu would perform many different duties but one that directly relates to me was the blessing of surfing events. The ancient Hawains took surfing seriously religion tied into this form of ancient surfing; in an attempt to call forth big swells from the sea, Hawaiian priests would whip the waters with vines and surfers would pray fervently at shrines. Similarly, ancient Hawaiian surf boards were crafted with special religious rituals intended to bless the craft – especially so for boards meant for royalty. Now days I am called upon to do a blessing to pray for safety and surf to remember those who have passed and those who are unwell. The Kahu or priest and faith are intertwined with the ancient origins of our sport.
Similarly we see here in Nehemiah 12 that the Levites and priests were intimately involved in the work and are listed in this chapter. so what’s the difference between a levite and a priest?
The Levites were the tribe of Israelites descended from Levi, one of the twelve sons of Jacob. The priests of Israel were a group of qualified men from within the tribe of the Levites who had responsibility over aspects of tabernacle or temple worship. All priests were to be Levites, according to the Law, but not all Levites were priests.
Similarly I would say all followers of Jesus are to care for others to (minister to them) but not all followers are to be ministers or chaplains or priests. This involves a gift and a calling.
For me it has been an inescapable desire to serve and help surf athletes. I began just turning up at events and helping, getting alongside the surfers I knew and making friends with those I didn’t. I did this locally then nationally then internationally along the way I was recognised and appointed as chaplain and have received excellent training from Sports Chaplaincy Australia Cert 4 in chaplaincy.
So you see we may feel called, but just as building the wall took time and sacrifice so does fleshing out a ministry. The other thing to reflect on here is that to be faithful in big things you must be faithful in the little things. I’ve had so many people want to start at the top with Chaplaincy. to be world tour chaplain and to travel etc. That often changes when I explain its voluntary and I pay the cost of it all. I usually ask them how they are serving the surf community where they live, how is their gift and calling as Kahu (chaplain) being fleshed out at home. They say they’re wanting to serve professional surfers or that they are called to the tour. I don’t buy into that being a Kahu a chaplain, a surf priest, is a compulsion, its a calling deep inside I can not help but be of service to my people.
I have never done this in this forum but here is just 2 testimonials from the surfers I serve.
My years spent on tour, you helped me a lot. Through your guidance as a chaplin and a friend.
Competing generates a toll of emotions, from the highs of a win and the lows of a loss. As well as the strain of being away from family and partners, and the issues that come of that.
You’ve been there to help with the hard times, celebrate the good and keep me pointed in the right direction, in both my surfing career and personal life.
I’m extremely grateful to have had you on tour and your generosity is not lost on me or my fellow competitors.
Your photography has been great as well, keeping social media updated and sponsors happy.
Your presence on tour has been so positive throughout the years, thanks for taking the time and putting in the effort. N
Andy has been a huge part of the longboard tour for as long as I can remember.. as the chaplain he has been there for every single one of us at some point when we have needed the support for all different reasons.. and off his own back !
He has personally helped me a lot through my years on tour and feel he should be supported to continue to help and support our longboard community.. B
You see as much as the Kahu is the one who serves he also needs help and those behind him to help him serve. The people who build the wall and rebuild the community are working together in this effort.
If you are interested in surf chaplaincy shoot me a message.
I need and value peoples prayers and support to help me do what I do.
“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” Vincent van Gogh
“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.” ― Marianne Williamson,
“I believe there’s a calling for all of us. I know that every human being has value and purpose. The real work of our lives is to become aware. And awakened. To answer the call.” ― Oprah Winfrey
““Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you're put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”
Vincent van Gogh”