I had no clue what that would look like but I knew God was calling. I tried every excuse I could come up with, "God, I am not a good speaker, God, I can't skate, God, you must have the wrong person." He just kept saying, "Josh, I thought you said you were willing." So that following Tuesday I started going to the local outdoor park with hot dogs, water, and a few others to help me. I had no clue what was in store. To be honest, the first few weeks were rough, most the guys there tried to get us kicked out. Yet God kept saying to press on. In that first summer we went from 5 kids to over 20 kids. Skateparks around here shutdown in August, so we started praying or a place. Within 2 weeks a friend of mine called saying, "my dad heard you were getting kids off the streets and he has a warehouse that you can use if you want." I was blown away, God was coming through in ways I couldn't have imagined but the building is only the tip of the iceberg. As we went to see the building we pulled into the lot of a casket warehouse company, kinda creepy. We went around the back of the building to find out the warehouse we would be using was the second story and he would be selling coffins on the first floor. Oh, and by the way he went on to tell us he is an atheist. All I could do was laugh at God's sense of humor in that moment. So as we talked we decided we wanted to call the park "Life Over Death." The idea was that we would be sharing life through Christ on the second story as he would be selling death on the first.
Out of me seeing my dreams and plans die, God showed me what abundant life could look like. I was broken going back to my old job, and God was saying this is only the beginning. I was at a hopeless spot in my life crying out "Why" and God was saying Trust Me and you will bring hope to others.
Every Tuesday night for over ten years the skatepark grew and multiplied, hot dogs got consumed, ramps got built as funding came in, and Christ was shared. Out of the skatepark, other ministries have been started, a traveling skate team was formed that went all over the country ministering to thousands along the way. Also out of the skatepark a church was born transforming the city of Johnstown and reaching the homeless and outcasts. Out of death, came life. Life Over Death's History is truly HIS STORY.
P.S. Those same guys who originally tried to kill the ministry at the start are now all believers leading a local snowboard ministry themselves.