The last couple of weeks have been really quite exciting as the picture of what lies ahead of us this year comes more and more into focus. One thing that is clearer than ever, in flashing neon lights, is that if anything is to happen, if our guys on the front lines are to continue the incredible work they are doing, they need help!!!
On any given day there are around 17 team at the Fusion office in Athens, Greece. These guys have been in the heart of the troubles, finding real and godly responses to the needs around them. Kids are fainting at school and people have been found having died for lack of food. Not only have they found practical responses but they have found their voice in speaking to the heart of their generation through professional quality film and television production. They are amazingly skilled and gifted! But they need help, support, training, fellowship, finances, so that they can continue the job they have been called to.
In Poland is a small group of mates, just starting out and exploring their first steps in becoming a Fusion centre. Becoming a Fusion worker means receiving no salary; these guys need help as they raise their support base and get trained. They have exciting, workable, plans and strategies but they need a hand.
There are the guys in Albania, an amazing group of die hard young people committed to seeing their country changed. They have found that running major theatre productions linked in with local high schools gives them an effective and fun way to engage with the young people, serve their communities, and bring joy and hope. This year i think they are doing the Hunch Back of Notre Dame. They are called upon regularly by the local authorities to help manage community events and youth services. But this growing team need training and support, they need financial help to put food on the table and equipment to run effective youth programs.
Moving to Ghana we have a team there, led by Francis. The team have turned the Fusion centre into a hub for the community. Not only is there fresh running water from a pump and tank that serves several communities within a wide radius. But also most days there is an after schools sports program and kids come to hang out with the team and work together. They have a radio station that has been shut down by the remote powers in Accra and the community is up in arms about it, the Regent is appealing to the powers that be to have it reinstated. The problem is that Yendi is a volatile town, and the powers in Accra fear that a radio station will fuel the violence, but the local leaders plead the evidence to the contrary – the team’s broadcasting program has helped the community come together. Then there is Timothy in Bauku – several times more volatile than Yendi… It can easily feel for these guys, like they are going it alone. They need fellowship, support, training …. you guessed it!!
Travel east from Ghana through Togo and Benin and you reach Nigeria, take the road north to Abuja and then further east to Kaduna, then work your way to the north of the city and you come to the suburb of Nassarawa. Nentawe is there, leading a small Fusion team, now respected and sought after by the community and its leaders. The work that these guys have done is breathtaking, bringing schools and communities together, leading recovery programs to outbreaks of violence or responses to a cholera epidemic, massive community interschool tournaments. A couple of months ago he was in a motorbike accident and required hospital treatment, a few weeks ago he was mugged and had his laptop and mobile stolen. Until we find an answer he is isolated from all support and fellowship and his hospital bills have yet to be paid.
Head down south to Cape Town and we have three young guys from KwazuluNatal who have this last week made the 24hour bus trip from Durban. They are returning to work with Derrick in Kewtown where they have been running kids clubs and day trips, targeting kids in a community where the norm is to drop out of school and enter gang life by your early teenage years. They have been doing a research project on the community and will be using that to help raise awareness and bring about change for good. I would love to send someone in for a few weeks to help get some key administrative jobs done that will set up the team for the rest of the year… from week to week they dont know how they will pay for groceries…
And I haven’t even mentioned the teams in Jamaica and Ukraine, India and Indonesia!! These guys need a team of us to serve them on the front lines – working to keep them connected, to tell their story, to raise support, to encourage them, to assist them in getting to training and in visiting each other for placements and support.
Would you like to be part of that team?