Below are Ray's words and then his friends.
Happy NEW Birth Day- Ray Comfort
On the 23nd of April, 2012, it will 40 years since I was born again. I am still exploding with gratitude, firstly to God, and also to a young surfer named Graham Read, who led me to the Savior. I recently contacted him and asked him to give his side of what happened. Here is his reply:
An old car weighed down with surfboards headed north out of the city of Christchurch late on a Friday afternoon for a weekend of surfing and fun. There were five of us packed in and I was the odd one out in this group because a month or so earlier I had become a follower of Jesus. This new life brought changes that were making it hard to ‘hang out’ with my old buddies who couldn’t understand why I had changed so much. However, the anticipation of great waves united and energized us on the two-hour journey to Kaikoura.
Ray was an icon in the Canterbury surf scene – one of New Zealand’s top surfers – owner of the local surf shop – an enthusiast for life, and fun to be around. Novice surfers like me had huge respect for him as he seemed to have it all together… Little did I realise the search Ray was on.
Being a little on the shy side I found his confidence and wit a little scary. Surprisingly, we somehow ended up bunking in the same room at Kaikoura. We were heading for bed when Ray started asking questions about the new changes that had taken place in my life. As we talked an amazing sense of God’s presence took over our conversation and before long we were talking at a deep spiritual level. As the Holy Spirit guided us, Ray acknowledged his need as a sinner to receive Jesus to be his Saviour.
Time seemed to stand still as God dealt with Ray, bringing repentance, forgiveness and an amazing joy… Wow! The room was full of God’s presence and for a number of hours we praised and thanked God for the new life he had blessed us with. Talk about a hungry new born baby! Ray was so determined to gain all he could from the Bible that the next morning, even though the surf was pumping and much to the dismay of our friends, he and I stayed back and read the Bible. We also prayed for our friends to find this new life in Jesus.
Our prayers were answered when, the next evening, my best friend Brian also welcomed Jesus into his life. A weekend of surfing and fun changed some of our lives forever. God began a deep work of grace in us that has multiplied to others many times over, bringing praise to our most awesome God.
~ Graham Read, Christchurch, New Zealand