It was just after 10 a.m. May 31 and North Cape May resident and recent college graduate Jesse Lambert and his friend from college, Nate Thompson, of Pittsburgh, were preparing to start their all-day epic longboarding adventure from Atlantic City to Cape May - a 47-mile trip.
The duo had vowed to make the journey to raise money for Lambert's upcoming missionary trip to Mozambique, where he will be filming and producing a video on Iris Ministries' efforts to build a vocational school for the impoverished children of Mozambique.
Lambert and Thompson's friends, family and the members of Cape May County community were sponsoring their skateboard-a-thon, and Lambert's father agreed to drop them off outside at Caesars Casino Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, their starting point.
The guys' backpacks were filled with energy bars and sports drinks and their spirits were high. But then they run into a little problem: Lambert forgot his longboard.
His friends Cristian and Tricia Valencia, of North Cape May, drove the board up to Atlantic City for him, and after about an hour delay they set off.
The moral of the story is "It's never too late to start over again," Lambert said.
Lambert graduated from Geneva College less than a month ago with a degree in elementary education. But when it came to student teaching, near the end of his schooling, he said he realized the job wasn't the right choice for him.
"Once I realized I did not want to teach anymore, I was thinking, 'How could I combine filming, traveling and my love for God and make a career of it?'" he said.
He came up with a plan to travel the world, document the good works of missionary groups and create films based on their work. So far, it's working. The trip to Africa will be his second since he graduated. He is currently in the Dominican Republic and might be heading to Columbia in August on a similar trip.
On June 1 - the day after the skateboarding adventure - Lambert and Thompson said despite their initial, slightly embarrassing/amusing mishap, some harsh winds, a bumpy road for most of Strathmere and Sea Isle City and sore legs, their journey was a success. It took them about 10 hours, from 10 a.m. to about 8 p.m., and they made their $1,000 goal.
Lambert also created a video based on their trip: vimeo.com/ jesselambert/ac. He said producing videos is something that a lot of his friends and family know him for, and it's something he takes a lot of pride in and has fun doing.
This career path is "a combination of my love from filming, traveling and then my love for God," he said. His hope is to spread awareness with his camera about the great things going on around the world.
"You can send out emails, you can send out pictures, but it doesn't hit you like a video would," he said.
Contact Elisa Lala:
Watch the trip
To see a video of the trip, go to vimeo.com/jesselambert/ac