For me, Ripon was a chance to reconnect; with friends, with God and with myself. The rest of this year has been a bit of a roller-coaster for me but giving up three weeks of summer to be concentrating entirely on God and having the space to stop and think, was a massive blessing to me. I have always found that Ripon allows you the space to be, yet also, if you choose to get involved, provides the closeness of a community all devoted to making God known in the world. Ripon is such a powerful community because there is no hierarchy, no leading from the top, but a community that leads as a team.
The pace of the life, even in secluded mid-Wales, doesn't always provide the fellowship of a youthful community of believers who are honest and open about their lives and how they reconcile their experiences, and discover a greater depth to their relationship with our God. The range of testimonies this year really helped me to grow again in understanding of God and encourage me to keep going on my own personal spiritual journey with Him. Ripon taught me that community is one of the most important aspects of a relationship with God as we need others to help us along the way; just like at Ripon.
Ripon is a definite testament to the fact that life, and life with Jesus Christ in the driving seat is a journey, that is constantly moving and changing directions. The constancy, stability and presence of God is so apparent in a community of believers such as Ripon and that it is why I've come back every year for the past eleven years. To see the Ripon family grow and change as it has in my time here and to see so many give their lives over to God and explore the concept and experience a relationship with him, has been so exciting to see. The range of people that come to ripon is what makes it so special, Ripon is an international community which share in the praise and worship of our lord Jesus Christ.
I have seen many friendships and relationships formed at ripon, and the great thing about these is that the relationships formed don't just stay alive for the two or three weeks of the summer but carry on throughout the year. As a leader I have been blessed with members I've met throughout the years keeping in touch with me and keeping me updated on how God has been moving in their lives or the lives of their friends and how they want to bring more people to ripon because of their own experiences.
About the author:
Jenny Lovell is a third year student studying History in Lampeter. She enjoys music and is teaching herself to play the guitar.