Just back from my fourth Forum! Madness! Was quite weird being there and not being a student or relay worker but I did have a lot of fun in the kitchen with the other volunteer cooks which was great.
Got me thinking about my first Forum and how influencial UCCF and the associated training has been to me. My first Forum was in 2005 and I was just heading into my second year at uni. I thought I pretty much knew everything and was great mainly because I was a CU leader – that didn’t last much more than an hour into the conference tho! Was really challenged by Terry Virgo speaking on Romans and sin in general. That was the first time that the gospel really opened up for me and I saw just how deep it really was and that there was so much mroe to it that I understtod – which then was so so shallow. The next two years through New Leaders Training weekends, another Forum and just input from our staff worker – Peter Dray – really helped me but Relay last year was yet another big challenge in seeing the depth and truth of the gospel over and over. I am so grateful to UCCF for everything that they have taught me and the many oppurtunites I have had to grow as a Christian.
This year was no exception. Although I was there ‘working’ I was able to make all of the main meetings which was great and I was able to hear John Piper on Ruth which was a book that i knew very little about but learnt so much about in terms of how it fits in with Jesus. It was so helpful to see how the Bible expects us to have dark days and we shouldn’t be surprised by them but actually we have a God who will see us through those days even though we won’t be able to see that at the time. Amazing!
Forum was also great for me to catch up with some friends from Lancaster which I really appreciated although saying goodbye was hard! And the mud! The mud was like nothing I’ve ever seen before – even had to go and buy wellies! You can see from the photos just how bad it was! But it was so great to be there and just have some great teaching – although not officialy involved in UCCF anymore it was great to still benefit from the teaching they’re equipping current CU leaders with.
So, I am now back in Southend which is nice. Coming back was hard on Friday (not helped by te horrendous weather on the motorway) but once I was back it felt ok! Had the chance to explore a little with Jon Delves (the other Ferndale intern) so did the pier (a disappointment!) and East beach (less of so) and Tomassi’s (an amazing ice cream parlour!)
And – I can now get to church, the Dray’s, ASDA, Tesco and town without the Sat Nav! Woo!!!