Report on CS Wales Regional Conference
1st May 2009
Over the weekend of 17-19 April approximately 50 of Christian Surfers Team met together at the Pembroke Adventure Water Sports facility in Pembroke Dock. This was the first of the Regional Conferences for the 2009 Christian Surfers UK year and it was a great time of fellowship for all concerned.
The Centre is a great facility, which now sleeps well over 100. Friday night started with some praise and worship led by Mike Arnold and a really thought provoking discussion led by Mike’s wife, Kirsty on John 6 v22 – Jesus walks on water
Saturday morning saw the normal 6am surf check and with Fresh Water West only 20 minutes away it was not long before 20 or 30 of the team were paddling out into small but clean waves. Great time had by all and the sun began to rise for what turned out to be a beautiful day. Back for breakfast followed by the main session which started with worship and a thought provoking devotion led by James. Phil Williams then shared about Christian Surfers UK over the previous year with some new video footage and exciting stories of just how faithful God has been, as well as looking forward to some of the challenges for 2009, and in particular the need for people to “step up to the plate” and continue to “get out of the boat” in response to God’s call. Phil Johnson also shared an amazing story of boldness by which Christian Surfers Wales gave out Bibles to the Welsh Surf Federation at the Welsh Nationals and were blessed by one individual who gave his life to the Lord after reading the Bible. A really encouraging story. The afternoon was free and as the sun was shining Fresh Water West was the place to be - small waves - some on longboards and one or two groups further down the beach on shortboards.
Surfers of all ages attended the Conference and they had different levels of skill - but all had a great time in the sun.
Early evening saw a shared dinner at the Haven café in Pembroke. One individual sneaked off to watch the Chelsea vs Arsenal semi final (yours truly!).
Saturday evening saw the launch of the Surfers Bible for the first time in Wales and this was followed by a great time of fellowship and the sharing of a movie about ‘Return to Nias’. Amazing resource well received by all concerned.
As Sunday morning dawned the surf was smaller but the day was beautiful so after a dawny check no waves were ridden but all the team went back for a quick breakfast and then to church where Christian Surfers Wales led the service. This was a great honour for us all; worship was led by Paul Andrews and Mike, with Paul then sharing a really powerful message about just doing what God calls us to do despite the climate around us. This spoke to many people and was a powerfully blessed message.
We were also very excited to comission Jen and Paul Dowey, as they head up the work in Pembroke. Lets keep praying.
The final event was a shared lunch before everyone returned home - some detouring via Fresh Water West where they enjoyed the last rays of sunshine in waves which by then had picked up to be quite fun.
A huge thanks to Paul, Jen, Phil, Paul Andrews, Kirsty, James, Mike and all the others who played key roles including Johnny Hillman for being the MC at the church service.
We know that lives were touched and indeed one or two decisions made to follow Christ for the first time - for which we praise God. We are now looking forward to the next Regional Conference - the South West England Conference over 19-21 June (more details on website soon).
Great time, great food, great fellowship and a truly blessed conference. Thanks for making me feel so welcome.