As it's still fresh in my mind, here are some thoughts before they drift away. Foundations 8 was, by unanimous consensus, our best yet. Here are four reasons why I believe this was so.
Firstly the environment provided by Abbot Hall hotel was just right for us. The hotel may have been on the small side, but it provided the intimacy that was a major factor to the fantastic atmosphere of unity and co-operation that prevailed. The staff were incredible and so helpful, going far beyond the nominal service we have received at some other places we have been at. Secondly the structure of the conference worked really well, particularly the elements that provided for personal expression. The high points were the yeshivas that involved up to a half of delegates and last for up to 90 minutes - challenging times for our teachers, but an invaluable experience for all. Also the 'show & tell' hour each day was enormously successful, where seventeen people were able to share what was on their heart, from leeks to hobbies, reminiscenses to hints for godly living. The image of the 'Von Stevenson' family singing together will live long in the memory. Finally, the craft tables provided a valuable oasis for some, a trigger for great conversations and a wonderful outlet for creative impulses!
Thirdly, God had brought together a fantastic group of people. The teaching, spearheaded by our 'Bible men' David Andrew and Chris Hill, was not just excellent but, as the theme of the conference demanded, was a spur to action and will ensure that what happened at Abbot Hall will not stay at Abbot Hall! My team stretched to 30 people, each playing their part in the jigsaw but it was fair to say that everyone there contributed in one way or another. There are just too many examples to mention here. If you were there please send us your testimonies!
Finally we thank God for tying it all together and ministering to everyone who was there perhaps in ways that will only become apparent over the coming days. A lot of work went into this conference, it was all so worth it!