Over the Summer a group of 15 lads undertook a huge challenge together. Check out their From Pizza to Pedalling story, of how they successfully rode bikes 80 miles over 2 days through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
This was a diverse group, varying greatly in fitness, ability and size, and more deeply in their cultures and faiths. While separated by only a few miles they lived in very different communities – maybe worlds apart. But emerging from the event is a story of two lives changed, reminding us at the start of this new school year just why The Feast exisits!
One is a Muslim. He is British with Pakistani origins, and lives in an Asian area where there are very few white people, let alone Christians. He lives a happy self-contained life, where he has no need for interaction with outsiders. Yet he is trapped, without the confidence or opportunities to engage with the wider world around him.
The other is a Christian. He is ethnically white British and also lives in an Asian area of their city. However he too was trapped, having had some bad experiences being the minority in his community, and so has retreated into his group of white, Christian friends. In fact for years he has been looking forward to leaving town as soon as he finished school.
Against this background, here they found themselves with The Feast, riding side by side along the Yorkshire canals and having faith conversations each time the group stopped for a break. For maybe the first time in their lives they were provided with a safe space that affirmed their identities as young men of faith, and which allowed them to break out of their isolated lives and form new friendships based on trust and respect.
After the ride was over one of their parents texted Chris, The Feast’s youth worker, to thank him and ask what he had done on the bike ride to change their son. Instead of mere tolerance of ‘those guys’ from another culture and faith, he now had a mate. Instead of being trapped, he had now opened a door to a new world of possibilities, laughter and fun.
These two young men are leaders who will help other young people, their families and their communities to overcome the barriers of prejudice that pervade our world.
Well done lads! We are very proud of you.