You know you’ve hit the right buttons at a conference when people say things like, ‘I travelled two hours to get there but it was worth every minute. ‘And, ‘I could have stayed all day for each session!’
You know you’ve delivered the right stuff when professionals who are used to training days tell you, ‘An amazing day. This is the best dementia conference I have ever been on in all my nursing training and care manager training.’
It blesses us when someone who has been on the dementia journey and knows what it’s like writes, ‘Having completed the Alzheimer’s journey nursing my wife at home for eight years as main carer you have given an excellent and valuable information with practical examples of living by God’s grace.’
Our conferences on issues of old age and dementia are different. They are not run of the mill; they don’t have up to a dozen speakers there to promote their own services. They may not be the most sophisticated and slickest (especially if I’m one of the speakers), but they include a vital element that’s often overlooked – the spiritual life at the core of the person. ‘Deep calls to deep,’ says Psalm 42:7. Watchman Nee wrote that, ‘Only a call from the depths can provoke a response from the depths; nothing shallow can ever touch the depths, nor can anything superficial touch the inward parts. Only the deep will respond to the deep. Anything that does not issue from the depths cannot touch the depths.’[i]
So although we share knowledge gleaned from our experience and research, we always include spiritual truths. Our seminars are holistic in the real sense of the word – and we are blessed by the response. Sometimes years later people tell us how what they learnt helped them, particularly when it comes to looking after loved ones with dementia. It’s also good to see how people at the end of the dementia journey are encouraged by what they hear, both from the seminars and from each other.
It was a great day altogether yesterday in Horsham. Everything was superbly organised, from the good natured teams serving refreshments to the impressive visual/audio systems and the seating – thank you Brighton Road Baptist Church!