Cardiff young people challenge
IgniteHOPE saw thousands of teenagers make a positive impact on South Wales for the third year running
From Butetown to Bridgend, thousands of young people challenged the stereotypes by investing in communities and sharing their faith through word and action, while having a great time themselves.
IgniteHope 2010, the third of its kind, saw more teenagers than ever volunteer and make an impact across schools, communities and churches in South Wales during the late May Bank Holiday weekend.
Over 100 social action projects took place in 26 areas around Cardiff, the Vale and the Valleys and consisted of gardening, fun days, BBQs, litter-picking, car washing, requests for local residents, repairing fences, children’s activities, graffiti removal and delivering leaflets.
Delegates gathered each morning in a big marquee for passionate worship and teaching from Pastor Dai Hankey. During the day they gave free invitations for the evening meetings to people that they encountered. Evenings included evangelistic talks from special guests such as Mike Pilavachi, Andy Hawthorne and Kate Martin and late night gigs with well known Christian rock and pop bands including Superhero, Tom and Olly and LZ7.
40 young people became Christians for the first time and many were challenged to get closer to God. The lounge and Show Jesus cafés were popular hosting other entertainment acts.
IgniteHOPE was made possible for the last 3 years largely due to the hard work of two lads in their twenties. John Lewis and Nathan were inspired after their experience of Soul in the City London, to run Soul in Dinas Powys and they began co-ordinating mission and social action for that small part of Wales. Suddenly the prospect of the wider initiative, IgniteHOPE, arose and they got stuck in immediately, galvanising support, signing up volunteers, meeting with authorities and holding launches. Since then relationships h\ave been strengthened with the local councils and South Wales Police and churches are excited to see it continuing too.
John Lewis said: “We felt like we just could not stop and that God wanted us to keep up the momentum and continue doing good stuff in South Wales. Each hour that we give to others is an hour where we are worshipping God by following the example of Jesus. Being the Gospel as well as talking about it
“It is so exciting to bring churches together and seeing young people go out with the vision of making Jesus known. It is such a witness that young people, instead of being confirmed as trouble makers are volunteering to do this and even paying for the privilege.”
Chief Superintendent Josh Jones, Commander of Cardiff BCU said: "IgniteHOPE 2010 is a great opportunity for young people in Cardiff to make a difference in their local neighbourhoods by getting involved in worthwhile projects and activities. So often young people are wrongly seen in a negative light but this event - where youngsters carry out acts of kindness - will help readdress that balance. South Wales Police is delighted to support local churches and their young people in this exciting venture."
IgniteHOPE focuses on enhancing the lives of young people and enabling them to share their faith with others with the aim of making Jesus known, meeting people’s needs and engaging with the community.