What a fantastic day at the #CNIConf yesterday! Great music from Jonny Walker to open; inspiring and challenging words from the patron Bishop Tony Robinson; great to hear what projects are doing including recognition for Bridlington and Halifax Street Angels and to hear how the 3 minibuses will be helping people on the streets. Stories from Festival Angels Leeds and the need for volunteers and the offer of first aid training from Street Angels First Aid.
Jarrod Cooper was amazing - a spot on message around the most powerful and important thing we bring to the streets is ourself. Jesus did ministry with a rag-tag of people and went around helping people - rather like what we do on weekend evenings! The need to realise that in life we juggle balls and the work ball is the one made of rubber whereas the family, friends, spiritual, health balls are all made of glass and they are the ones that will shatter. Jarrod encouraged us to travel, read so that we see things differently and to renew every 7 years so that we don't become stagnant - we need to be life long learners. When we look at humanity often the help we offer is only a sticking plaster - but when we bring Christ we touch the soul of the brokenness - when heaven is in us we can change atmospheres - when heaven kisses our life we can kiss the world!
The afternoon saw various workshops - Jonny and his church of the holy kazoo; Kym-Marie Cleasby and the amazing work of Wash My Pink Jumper; Tom Spencer and team talking around counter terrorism; Beth Tash helping new areas to think and be equipped to launch Club Angels; Richard Staples and how to link with the media especially how to tell stories that will be covered; and the I.AM film - wow what a powerful 25 minute film and one that many projects are considering how it can be used within night-clubs, pubs, pop-up shops, the safe place drop-in's, schools on the new vehicles, etc.
Philippa Hanna finished the day (and evening concert) with a mix of story and song - from a life where she felt the odd one out and self-harmed, struggled at school, drank and had not much direction to today where she sings on stadium tours to 20,000 and shares her story to help others. Some of the young people we help on the streets are the Philippa's in 10-15 years time - from a life that is battered and bruised to one where love, hope and faith take over and life has vision and purpose.
I hope all that attended had a great day - if you missed it you missed a significant and special day as local groups connected, prayed and committed to support one another as a region in the future. From yesterday 24 local projects will not be the same nor will the communities they serve as we renewed our commitment to be the kiss of heaven...