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Stories of Impact Blog

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! 
-1 Chronicles 16:8

Transforming A Bar Into A Church

Transforming A Bar Into A Church

Since moving to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua to launch La Casa De Ride Nature (the first International branch of Ride Nature) in September 2020, we learned quite quickly there were going to be some hard adjustments and learning curves along the way.  One of the focal points for the action sports ministry of Ride Nature was to join a local church and help edify its body of believers. 

This would also allow us to point anyone we meet and disciple to their place of gathering, as we hoped to add to the local church’s ministry. What we learned in due time, was the demographic of young men and women we were meeting at the beaches and skate parks, were generally frowned upon or placed with instant pressures to change as they walked in the front door of the Church.  Naturally, we saw a need and began meeting on the beach, sitting on paint buckets, playing a ukulele and reading the Word of God to our team and anyone else that would walk by and be willing to listen.  However this was difficult due to the noise of motorcycles, buses, parties, you name it, San Juan has it. 

At the same time we were gathering on the beach, the tiki bar in front of our ministry headquarters was booming with disco music at decibel 10 from Thursday through Sunday.  The music was so loud it would literally rattle our walls until 5:00 AM!  It only took a few months of this before we decided to start laying hands on the bar every Wednesday during prayer walks and praying for the bar to shut down.  Well, the Lord listened and made moves on our behalf. 

The Tiki Bar Across The Street. FUN FACT: The owners of the property are the Executive Producers of the popular TV series, SURVIVOR.

The owner of the bar arranged a meeting to discuss the possibility of Ride Nature buying him out of his lease and the contents of the business.  At first, this wasn’t a possibility because his price was too high, but after a few back and forth conversations, prayer, and of course the help of Ends Cycling, we were able to come to an agreement to close the bar and let the restoration of the building begin.  The structure would soon transform from a corner of darkness into a beacon of light.  

Since the takeover, we have been able to hold all our team discipleship classes there, meet regularly on Tuesday and Thursday nights for men’s and women’s bible studies, host a bi-lingual church gathering on Sunday nights, operate a kitchen for a hired cook to prepare meals for our staff and mission teams, and most recently allow space for a concrete skate mini ramp to give the skate community a safe place to gather and be poured into by our staff and outreach leaders.  Needless to say the identity of the space has been completely made new, much like that of a person coming to Christ.  The old has gone and the new has come.  We now see a consistent group of 40 plus people every Sunday there to learn about Jesus, his grace, love, truth and commands for us to follow.  

It is truly a work of the Lord to see transformation in this world because of the utter brokenness that makes up so much of it.  But when you do see the change and better yet, experience it, you are able to taste and see that the Lord is good and loves to redeem his people.  

Going forward, we are excited to announce that the property continues its identity transformation with the addition of a business as missions Coffee shop in the church called, “The Ends Cafe”.  The purpose of this is to gather more ministry opportunities within the community as people come together.  A setting like a coffee shop allows for people to slow down, have conversations and build relationships.  We also believe that a business-as-missions model in a coffee shop layout, allows for work training for our staff and students to learn business functions that prepare them for other ministry or work environments.  And lastly, the model will show how a bi-vocational manager of a business can provide an income while doing ministry through the business.

It is truly a work of the Lord to see transformation in this world because of the utter brokenness that makes up so much of it.  But when you do see the change and better yet, experience it, you are able to taste and see that the Lord is good and loves to redeem his people.  


Pictures from the 2021 Wagon Wheel Bike Ride

2021 Wagon Wheel Bike Ride Participants


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