ENCOURAGING AND UPLIFTING TIME AT THE CSUK NATIONAL CONFERENCE
25th June 2012
With Phil, Johnny, Darren, Malcolm and I holding down a half assembled marquee in 30mph winds and horizontal rain it felt that this year’s CSUK National Conferences theme had a slight irony to it; ‘don’t always wait for the perfect conditions’! It has to be said that the set up to this year’s Conference was a bit of a challenge but as the first attendees arrived and battled to get their tents up things came together and it was all well worth the effort.This year’s Conference was all about not waiting for conditions to be perfect, or how we think they should be, before stepping out it faith and taking the gospel to our local surf communities, also not to think that we have to be perfect before God can do great things through us. Matt Timms shared a really encouraging and uplifting word, looking at the story of Joshua and reminded us that we are to ‘be strong and courageous’ and that we do all things through faith. Matt also reminded us that the men and women God used in the Bible were far from perfect and did stop God using them to so great things. Once again Kris Lannen and various people from the Tubestation lead us in some great times of worship, encouraging us to let go and be free as we give praise to Jesus. Nathan Thomas from St Ives and Darren Mountain from Brighton also gave some really encouraging devotions.There was such an exciting vibe to this year’s Conference with the weather not dampening the mood one bit. It was great to see long time CS members and new faces coming together to be inspired and encouraged by the work God is doing through Christian Surfers in the UK. Phil Williams also shared about some of the activities going on across Europe; it was also great to get the worldwide picture of Christian Surfers. Despite there not being much in the way of waves over the weekend everyone made the effort and got in anyway, with people surfing at Putsborough and Woolacombe and a few even making the trip up to Lynmouth. On Sunday morning lots of us got up early for a surf at Wooly, as the winds had dropped and the sun finally came out.Other highlights of the weekend where seeing the England v Sweden game, which we had recorded and after a few attempts finally worked out how to get the freeview box connected to a big screen, it was well worth the wait! We also made the trip into Braunton to see the Museum of British Surfing. They have a great collection of boards from as far back as the 1900s and it was good to connect with the staff working there. On the Saturday night we had the European premiere of the latest Walking on Water movie, ‘Promised Land’, which was introduced by the film’s director Todd Morehead, who also took questions after the movie. There was a very positive reaction to the film, which was also attended by a few North Devon locals. We are hoping to do more showings around the UK, so do get in touch of you are interested.Overall this year’s National Conference was a very encouraging and uplifting weekend, despite all the challenges with the weather, everyone came away feeling inspired and looking forward to next year!