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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Frothy Monkey


  So the last post was about what happened with Hurricane Irene and now I’m going to give a little more of an update on what the heck I’m doing! 
  As you may remember in one of my previous posts I talked about a trip to New Zealand. Well those plans have been slightly altered. Through a series of events I decided to call off my trip for this year. The original plan for our time out there altered right as we were about buy tickets. Then the Hurricane hit the island and cash flow from work ceased. Then I broke my elbow, which wasn’t a huge trip stopper but it just left me with an overwhelming feeling that it wasn’t the right timing for a trip to New Zealand.
  Now to fast forward a little bit… You may be wondering why the title of this post is ‘’Frothy Monkey”…? Well that’s just the name of the coffee shop I am sitting at in Nashville. Why am I in Nashville…? Well I am currently on my way to California and am seeing friends and family along the way. My next stop is Houston. I’ve decided to go back home for a good portion of the fall and winter and then head back to North Carolina in February. “Why back to North Carolina”?  Well as the summer wound down and the rest of the guys staying at the skate park went home and back to school it was mostly just Jerry and I. And soon it would be back to mostly just Jerry after I left.  While we started brain storming on ideas and checklists for things that needed to be finished in the building and how to make it more than just a building with a skate park in it, I started getting the overwhelming feeling that I needed to join up with Jerry full time and help him see this vision through. It is absolutely needed on the island and it has so much potential. So in February after I spend time with friends and family back home in California, I’m going to make the trip back to Hatteras Island and join up with Jerry full time to see where God takes this ministry!!  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hurricane Irene


























  So it is a bout time I post a new blog update. Things have been fairly chaotic since Hurricane Irene pummeled the island I’ve been living on, but I thought I would finally share some of what has been going on since.
   During the storm I was staying at an Inn that offered up a safe place to stay, while we were getting hammered, and after as the power was shut down to the island. At first it didn’t seem like there was too much damage on the island and I even went surfing a few times. Then Jerry came by the inn one day and said that the North end of the Island was decimated! He was spreading the word and getting people to go up in teams and help with the clean-up effort. I joined in and was astonished at how much damage there was. Everyone who lived up there was just in shock. The major brunt of the damage was caused by the tidal surges from the sound. There were some reports of 8-10 ft of flooding for 10hours straight. We decided our job was to help people tear carpets out of their house and get all the damaged furniture out to prevent the spread of mold. People had nowhere to go so they were still living in their houses. 
I’ll let the pictures do most if the talking.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Parasailing and Goodbyes
















Is the summer winding down already....? I'm not sure it is for everyone but I'm definitely feeling the effects of it lately. In the beginning of the month we said bye to Eli one our fellow park staffers. He had some family things to attend before heading back to school. Then this past Monday we said bye to the 3 remaining guys living at the park besides myself. It was time for them to head back home and prepare for their return to college. Last weekend was that sort of smack of reality as we did a final deep cleaning of the skate park building and the guys started packing up all their things. I know it was especially a smack of reality for them. Summer at the skate park is over... there was a hint of sadness among them but I think it was greatly overpowered by the joy from what they had experienced this summer. Sunday at church we did a big prayer send off for them and after that Jerry took us out on the boat to do some Parasailing which was so much fun! It was great getting an aerial view of Hatteras Island.
Then on Monday we had our last "Monday morning discipleship" led by a couple of the elders and said our goodbyes. So now its just me and Jerry left as the park crew and I'm the only one left living at the park, so I'm holdin down the fort!!! Keep me in your prayers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Slipin and A Slidin!!











Hey everyone! Awhile back we were trying to brainstorm on an idea for the one big summer event we were gonna do at the skate park. One idea that kind of fell into our lap was to put on a concert in the park. There is a family from Pennsylvania that comes to the island during the summers and is a part of our church. Their son is in a band called Coastal Rise that is starting getting some national recognition, and offered to perform.
One of the other ideas we had was to do a big slip n' slide party and BBQ so we decided to merge them together. The slip n' slide party was held at a house that is about 100 yards behind the skate park. The house had a grass lawn that went into a pond so we figured it would be an awesome idea to build a ramp where the grass met the pond to launch off of.
The event was held on a Saturday so on that morning I built the launch ramp, we stretched out a huge roll of painter's plastic on the lawn and lined the edges with tiki torches. It worked like a charm!!! With a little soapy assistance the bodies started launching into the pond. Some of the kids who couldn't get enough speed we used a sort of sling shot method to get them some air time! All in all it was a huge success in FUN!! We held Big Air contests, Best Trick contests, and Belly Flop contests. There were however a few injuries. One of the kids collided with a dog who didn't seem to want him sliding and got a gash over his eye. Then another kid who had just gotten home from surfing 20ft waves in Mexico slid one time and ended up fracturing his wrist on the bottom of the pond. Probably the most dramatic incident was with this man by the name of Erik who was from France and he was staying on Jerry's couch for a couple days through this website called CouchSurfing.com. He had never seen a slip n' slide before so we convinced him to give it a try, and without giving it a test run he just started barreling down the lawn. With one glance at him on the run you could see that he wasn't the most coordinated person and instantly I though to myself "Oh no! This could be bad"... As he reached the point you normally jump and slide he just kept on running on the plastic and slipped as he tried to slide. He landed really hard and awkwardly and got really bad whiplash. He got really confused as to where he was thought he had broken his neck. We helped him out of the water and had him lay down for a long time and I'm pretty sure he ended up being ok.
Then right before dark we had everybody walk over to the skate park for the concert. Once the place filled up Jerry and P.J., one of the guys living at the park with me, got on stage to introduce the band and share a little bit about what the park is and what point of the whole day and night was. Then P.J. shared a vision he got one Sunday while he was at church. He was asking himself, something to the extent of, why do I follow Jesus? Then moments later he had this vision of being trapped in this jungle type prison camp with a bunch of people that he knew. Then this man kept on walking through the camp looking like he wanted to help. Then finally P.J. called out to him asking for help, and so the man broke everybody out and then went back into the jungle but P.J. didn't follow and they all got caught in the same traps and ended up back in prison. I guess the cycle happened a few more times until P.J. finally said to himself "why don't I just follow this guy who keeps saving me. He seems to know what hes doing and and how to go through the jungle without getting caught?" Its a simple and straight to the point vision but i also think it was very powerful! Then after that the band came up and rocked house for a couple hours, and all in all it was a great day of fun!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Prayers and Praise!!! Part 2 New Zealand


…Now to expound upon that subject I brought up in my very first post of this blog. New Zealand! It became a place of interest for me last year when I started brain storming about ways to go traveling again in order to hopefully regain that joy and happiness I felt I had lost. There were tons of work abroad programs to choose from like working in vineyards, sheep farms, or organic farms. But before I would commit to anything like that I chose to visit my family in Tennessee and North Carolina as you all know. Then I think sometime around April I got contacted by a girl named Lindsey who works with the missionary program I was involved with in 2006 called Youth With a Mission (Ywam). She started sharing with me a vision and a plan for the school she is going to be leading next year at the Ywam base in Oxford, New Zealand. Crazy! I know! It’s the same discipleship training school that I was apart of in Maui but instead of being about surfing its focused on sustainable living, organic farming, and general care for the earth through a biblical approach. And through many conversations with Lyndsey and hearing her heart and vision for the school, along with a lot of prayer I have decided to help her and the base in Oxford make that vision for the school a reality. The next school doesn’t start until March or October next year, but there is a trip taking place this October to do a bunch of work on the base in preparation for the schools next year. The objectives of this trip are to make the base more self-sustainable by building a garden, possibly a green house or 2, a shed made from re-claimed wood for gardening tools, chicken coups made out of re-clamed wood and, to begin the process of composting, and also just brainstorming about ideas for the base and how to make it more self sustained and functional by the time the school started next year.

I know some of you may be thinking that its an awfully long way to travel to just do a few building projects, but another objective that’s more specific to me is to meet everyone on base, help and serve them, and to see if I would be interested in being a member of the school’s staff next year… Well, I should say that I am already interested in joining the staff but I feel that I need to go there and meet everyone and see the base for myself before I commit to staffing it. That makes sense right…? Haha! If I do feel led to becoming a member of the staff it will be at least a year commitment, and not only will I be staffing the Earth Care Discipleship School, I will also taking leadership courses through the base as well.

So to kind of summarize all of this, I am going to finish out the summer here in Hatteras and then in October try and get to New Zealand to work on those projects on the base. I’m not sure how long I will be there for but I’m guessing as long as God wants me there. “My” tentative plan is to be there for a month or 2, and hopefully get a feeling for joining staff next year. Then somehow make it back to Cali for Christmas so I can spend it with my family. And if I decide return to New Zealand in March I will spend a good amount of the time I am back in the states spreading the word about what I’m doing and getting prayer and support. It’s going to be kind of a whirlwind of events and it’s going to take a good amount prayer and support for it to happen but as long as I am seeking out God first in all of this I have no worries. There will be specifics on how to pray for and ways to support me hopefully soon. But you are welcome to contact me at any time at Matt.Pollastrini@gmail.com.

I love and thank you all for taking the time to read this!

Prayers and Praise!!! Part 1


Well it’s been a little over a month now since I have been in Hatteras and I still love it. There were only a couple things that needed to happen for my stay here to work. One was finding a place to live.... and the other was to find work. And as you know, if you have read my other posts, I found a sweet place to stay that has been a huge blessing not to mention ridiculously fun! Then when it came time to find a job the Lord blessed me again! The second place I walked into hired me on the spot and I started that day!!!!! It’s a retail and souvenir shop at one of the boat marinas so it’s nothing fancy but all I really need right now. The Managers really like me and I happened to get a perfect schedule as well. I work 40 hrs a week Monday - Friday during the day and have nights and weekends off. I don't have to miss the set skate nights for the kids... any of the wed night covered dish dinners at church.... or any Sunday church services!!!! Praise Him!!!! There is also a bunch of Ukrainian exchange students that work there too and its awesome getting to talk to them and hear there stories and share mine about why the heck we are on this island!

One not so cool thing that has happened is my surfboard got stolen 2 weekends ago… : ( Along with 2 boards out of my friends car. I had surfed some really fun waves that Saturday evening then Sunday before church Charlie, one of the guys I live with, went to go pick up some grape juice for communion and realized the boards in his car were gone. He ran upstairs and asked me if I had my board in my truck last night, it was, so I ran downstairs and saw that it was missing from inside my camper shell. Its definitely a bummer, especially since I had done a lot of the work in making it, but at the end of the day its just a surfboard and I’m glad he/she didn’t take anything of greater value to me.

I also have a prayer request that may put some people on the spot but I definitely feel I need to share this with everyone to get some serious prayer power going!

My family has been pretty plagued with divorce throughout the years and after recent talks with my Dad I have come to find out that his marriage with my step Mom of 10+ years is very close to being over as well. They have had a very tough couple of years especially last year with my dad getting badly injured on a job site and then right on the heels of that he found out that he has cancer. Those are some really tough things to go through and it has definitely taken its toll on their marriage. I pray for healing of their hearts, and that they would earnestly fight for each other and rebuke the spirit that is telling them its over, that it can’t be fixed. That is a lie. By our own efforts, sure its impossible, and I know words are a lot easier said than put into but in Matthew 19:26 Jesus says, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

I truly believe that and I know my Dad and step mom do to! But they are broken and hurt and out of hope. I ask that all who read this will pray for them with me. Also if you know of other situations like this I hope this inspires you to pray for them as well!!!