A group of young Christian surfers saved the lives of a mother and her two teenage sons after they were pulled away from the shore by a riptide on Christmas Day.
The New Zealand boys, part of the Oceanic country's North Shore Christian Surfers Group, saved the family with their surf boards after learning that they were stranded far from shore, according to a report at the New Zealand Herald. Darren Celliers, 20, Caleb Lemkus, 21, Olly Mason, 23, Lewis Mennie, 16, and Troy Duckworth were alerted by a fellow beachgoer that a family was struggling out in the water at New Zealand's Bethells Beach, located about an hour west of Auckland.
"The younger brother was just freaking out. He was scared and in shock," said Celliers, a part-time surf-shop worker from nearby Browns Bay.
"We spent the first few minutes trying to calm him down and explain that he was going to be all right."
The surfers believe that the three family members were only minutes from drowning before they came along. "They were pretty exhausted and pretty far out, and weren't making any progress towards land. It was pretty freaky," Celliers said.
But thanks to the use of the group's surf boards and some quick actions, the mother and her two teenage sons made the 30 meter trip back to shore safely.
Christian surfers are nothing new, as groups around the world have assembled to use the art of surfing as a place to evangelize God's Word for generations. According to the Christian Surfers International website, groups "are mobilising surfers to reach surfers using their surfing. We are an authentic surfing movement. We are showing how our surfing is submitted to Christ as a servant not a master."