The Abundant Harvest Fellowship Philippines Youth called the Armor Bearers held a film showing event at Ate Tania Bernardo’s house last December 10, 2011. We watched “Soul Surfer” which is about Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who lost her left arm due to shark attack but was able to pursue her dreams through her amazing faith in God.
Bethany Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of faith, determination, and hope. Born into a family of surfers on February 8, 1990, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, Bethany began surfing at a young age. At the age of eight, Bethany entered her first surf competition, the Rell Sun Menehune event on Oahu, where she won both the short and long board divisions. This sparked a love for surf competition within her spirit.
At the age of thirteen, on October 31, 2003, Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore. The attack left Bethany with a severed left arm. After losing over 60% of her blood, and making it through several surgeries without infection, Bethany was on her way to recovery with an unbelievably positive attitude. Lifeguards and doctors believe her strong water sense and faith in God helped get her through the traumatic ordeal.
Miraculously, just one month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water to continue pursuing her goal to become a professional surfer. In January of 2004, Bethany made her return to surf competition; placing 5th in the Open Women’s division of that contest. With no intention of stopping, Bethany continued to enter and excel in competition. Just over a year after the attack she took 1st place in the Explorer Women’s division of the 2005 NSSA National Championships – winning her first National Title.
In 2007, Bethany realized her dream and turned pro. Bethany has since participated in numerous ASP and World Tour Events with her major highlight being a second place finish in the ASP 2009 World Junior Championships. (See Career Highlights and Surf Related News for more results)
Since losing her arm, Bethany’s story has been told in hundreds of media outlets and she has been recognized with numerous awards, public appearances, and various speaking engagements. (See Awards & Appearances)
In October 2004, Bethany shared her life story in her autobiography entitled Soul Surfer. Seven years later, the book was made into a major motion picture bearing the same title which released theatrically in April, and for home entertainment in August, 2011. Other books Bethany has written include “Devotions for the Soul Surfer,” “Rise Above,” A “Soul Surfer” Bible, “Ask Bethany,” and “Clash,” “Burned,” “Storm,” and “Crunch.” (See Books for publishing information) Further, Bethany was the inspiration behind Becky Baumgartner’s 2007 documentary entitled Heart of a Soul Surfer.
From a young age, Bethany’s parents instilled their faith in Jesus Christ; and at age 5, she made the decision to have a personal relationship with Him. Bethany’s foundation of faith has been her backbone; her source of truth, hope, and strength.
Out of the water, Bethany has grown from a young teenage girl with aspirations of becoming a professional surfer into a twenty-year old professional surfer with aspirations of becoming a beacon of inspiration and hope. Through the platform of professional sport, Bethany has been able to touch a large number of people with her message, charitable efforts, and overall spirit. Bethany just launched her own foundation, Friends of Bethany, which supports shark attack survivors, traumatic amputees, and serves to inspire others through her life story, and is involved in numerous other charitable efforts.
Bethany’s story is continually growing as she strives to be the best at whatever God calls her to do. The future is truly wide open for this young soul surfer!
We met up at Trinoma and headed to Ate Tania’s house. We enjoyed our trip indeed. We peacefully went in through their gate and greeted everyone in their house a good afternoon. Before we watched the movie, we settled our foodstuff. As the movie was played, we focused on different perspectives in the life of Bethany Hamilton. After the movie, we ate our early dinner together and had some picture-taking moment.
We had our devotion led by Kuya Akeem. In the movie, Jeremiah 29:11 was emphasized which states: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” If we take a closer look at something, we may not have the right perspective. Some things happen in a difficult way that makes us question the will of God. But we learned that God’s perspective is different from ours. His “wonderful” plan is different from the “wonderful” plan we think.
We also realized that if that didn’t happen, she wouldn’t be standing in front of many giving hope and courage to the people who lose their faith. It is painful but the pain she felt was a blessing. We saw how God moved into the life of Bethany and how God made her a beacon of hope and future.
We learned the value of love, faith, hope, and wisdom in the movie, “Soul Surfer.” With all conviction and faith: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13. God bless!
About The Author of AHF Viewpoint:Ate Nikki is the Head Girl of The Armor Bearers which is the official Youth Ministry of Abundant Harvest Fellowship Philippines. She is also a writer for the Abundant Harvest Fellowship Web Team. A graduating senior, her testimony, viewpoints and, changed life is such a blessing to Abundant Harvest Fellowship Philippines, Her Family and Friends. We truly Praise God for Her Life.