Serving the Community

by Jessica Boggs '03

Over the years, APU has always encouraged students to get involved in local churches. In some cases, this involvement stretches beyond graduation, and develops into a lifelong ministry. This past weekend, a local neighborhood was touched through a handful of APU students and alumni who worked hand-in-hand with Neighborhood Christian Fellowship (NCF). The result: G.R.I.N.D. Skatehole (God’s Revelation in New Dimensions) celebrated its launch Saturday, November 16, 2002 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

“Our goal is to open up new doors to youth who would never set foot on church ground, and tell them about Jesus Christ on their level,” said G.R.I.N.D Director Tim Lee ’04. “It’s all about relationships here.”

“The church has put up barriers, emotionally and spiritually, between itself and the community,” said Gordon Coulter, NCF Pastor and APU professor in the Graduate School of Theology. “It’s time for us to move out into the neighborhood with a magnet and speak their language.”

Approximately 300 attendees celebrated the new outreach. The day included free stuff from Chrisitan Pro Skater Jamie Thomas and Zero; an Exodus Skate Demo; a skate competition; and live music which included Last Monday, Cal Logic, At Your Service, and 3 Point Circle.

Jedidiah Clothing & Apperal, Immortal Skateboards, and Exodus Board Shop also came out to support the event. “Tim told me about G.R.I.N.D. and I knew we had to be involved," said Rod Foster ’97, Exodus Board Shop owner. “The after-school program, the skating, that’s what we’re all about.”

The skatehole includes three four-foot quarter pipes, two flat banks, a three-sided pyramid with angled ledges, a fun box, a kicker ramp with a flat wedge, a grind bench, and several rails.

“It’s cool to know that the kids are here to have fun and skate, but they don’t even know what they’re in for," said Julie Hall ’04, NCF junior high intern. “The outcome is going to be awesome.”

“At the end of the day there was a man all the way from San Fernando who stopped to thank me for providing a safe place for his son to come and play," said Marlia Cochran ’98, NCF youth pastor. “He grinned and said, ‘I can tell God is here.’”

The skatehole will be open Wednesdays from 3-7 p.m. and Fridays from 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays are free and Friday sessions cost $2. All participants who are minors must have their parent or guardian sign a waiver before entering. For more information about G.R.I.N.D. Skatehole, contact Tim Lee, at (626) 915-6691 or email him at [email protected].