Christian musician Jadon Lavik’s songs for ‘Beyond Sight’ help keep the movie focused on Christ
EDWARDS — God has been kind to Jadon Lavik. He lives in San Clemente, California, where his avocation is surfing. His vocation is writing and performing Christian music, which is how he ended up in Vail, playing a concert at Calvary Chapel for a screening of “Beyond Sight: The Derek Rabelo Story.”
They packed the place out. Lavik, by the way, wrote some of the music for the movie.
“Jadon has been a favorite a long time,” said Tommy Schneider, Calvary Chapel pastor.
Know a guy who knows a guy …
Lavik used to tour with John David Webster, Calvary’s worship director and a Christian music star in his own right. They even shared a booking agent, which is about as close as people can get without swapping jewelry.
Lavik went to college at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where Schneider was on staff as a youth pastor. Reconnecting with Webster also reconnected him with Schneider.
“The Calvary Chapel community has always been special to me,” Lavik said.
“Beyond Sight” producer-director Brian Jennings is a former professional surfer and is another of Lavik’s friends. Jennings introduced Lavik to Derek Rabelo, a blind surfer and adventurer whose life also centers on his faith. Jennings asked Lavik to write some music for the film, which he said was easy.
He wrote “Way Beyond These Eyes” in about two hours, he said.
“This one was on a tee. You don’t have to say too much. Blindness is something few of us can relate to. People are blown away by Derek’s ability to persevere,” Lavik said.
These days, Jennings produces faith-based films and uses the avenue of surfing to relay positive messages. You’ve seen some of his work about Bethany Hamilton, the pro surfer who lost her left arm in a shark attack.
“I hope that people walk out of the movie theater reminded that a true champion lives by faith, and not by sight,” Jennings said. “I hope people are inspired through Derek’s story to stop giving themselves excuses and persevere with strength toward their dreams.”
‘The angels were busy’
The film “Beyond Sight” goes like this.
Derek Rabelo’s father prayed that his unborn son would become a professional surfer, naming the boy after legendary surfer Derek Ho.
Derek Rabelo was born blind, but that didn’t slow him down. At 17, he started training, and at 20 surfed Pipeline on the North Shore on Oahu, Hawaii.
“Pipeline is one of the most dangerous waves in the world,” said professional surfer Laird Hamilton. “When you know what you’re doing and have perfectly good eyes, you can die. When Derek went out to Pipeline and surfed, the angels were busy that day.”
What drives Derek
Derek Rabelo’s father and uncles are surfers, and that little apple fell off the family tree and right into the water.
“I feel blessed by God to be able to enjoy his creation. I feel so much peace in the water,” Derek Rabelo said.
Learning to surf is a challenge for anyone, and especially so if you’re blind.
“All the time the people came up to me and said, ‘You can’t do that,’ but I never heard those guys. I was trusting God, put my faith in him and believed in myself,” Derek Rabelo said. “Fear is something that all of us have to face in our lives, but we can’t let it stop us. We have to keep charging. I’m unstoppable with Jesus.”
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.