The Central Virginian

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Wakes, water and the Word

Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 9:00 am

 Wake on Water’s newest mentor, Devin Tatro, performs a textbook railey.

Wake on Water’s newest mentor, Devin Tatro, performs a textbook railey.

It’s a cool, peaceful Tuesday night on Lake Anna. The sun is slowly resting behind the coral-colored horizon, the music of David Crowder is softly playing over the boat’s speakers and local wakeboarder Devin Tatro is sharing his tricks of the trade with a few eager riders.

It is, quite simply, what the founders of the wakeboarding-based ministry Wake on Water envisioned happening back in 2013.

Formed by locals JG Staal and Paul Snyder, Wake on Water started off as a ministry where those ages 13 to 18 could meet once a month at Lake Anna to shred for a few hours before being presented the Gospel.

One year later, as the ministry launches headfirst into its second year, Tatro has joined on as the newest instructor for two different classes – WakeWarriors and LKA Shredders – are now offered to meet the demand of the steadily growing group.

“This group is going to continue to grow,” Staal told an audience of teenagers who attended the opening session of LKA Shredders, which caters to college age students.

The presentation of the Gospel in the ministry is simple, low-key and welcoming. Tatro, Synder and Staal don’t want to baptize you in the first few minutes, but they wouldn’t mind taking video of you tumbling off of a wakeboard. The talk at the end of the boarding session is more of conversation than a sermon.

“It’s not intimidating,” Staal said. “We’re all struggling with our own things. We’re down to earth here.”

And in order to further connect with a young, adrenaline-filled audience, Staal and Snyder enlisted the help of Tatro, a 24-year-old borderline-professional wakeboarder, to help out this summer. Along with his wife, Amy, Tatro is prepared to lead the LKA Shredders into the future this summer, while Staal and Snyder handle the 11-to-18-year-old division called “WakeWarriors.”

“I’m pumped,” Tatro said. “God is going to do some great stuff out here on the water.”

And it’s hard not to believe him. Tatro has the ability to develop instant credibility with attendees thanks to his wide array of tricks he can perform on the water, from full-wake jumps to 360-spins and raileys.

He doesn’t so much preach as he does perform, and with great results.

To read the entire story, see the June 19 edition of The Central Virginian.