News from Whitley
We had a fantastic National Conference this month at the beautiful House of Bread. It was a real family feel, with great opportunity to reconnect with each other and God's heart for us. Colin Piper led several powerful sessions challenging us to consider out character if we truly are living for one another. We'd love to have you with us next year.
After working on it for several weeks - Anika finished producing our Annul Report 2017 (picture above!). Inside you'll find a word from our National Director and Trustees. Plus very interesting stories from all our UK centers and much more!
At the start of November Anika and Claire attended the first National Youth Ministries Conference put on by Youth Scape. About 600 leaders in youth ministry gathered in Birmingham, it was a great time of hearing what's happening across the country as well as being inspired by some great speakers. There were brand new, innovative, tried and tested resources launched over the weekend that we are looking forward to making use of in our local work both through Fusion's programs and in our churches. We're looking forward to attending next year's one which will take place the weekend before the Fusion National Conference.
Here are some of the stories from our Centers, that you won't find elsewhere!
Has one of your teams had to dig deep over the last 12 months, stepping out in faith not knowing how it was going to happen?
'We’ve had significant staffing changes at 2nd Witham Boys Brigade over the past year. Our CYO School’s worker left in June, our operations manager left in February and our programme/youth sports manager is on two-months leave for an internship in the USA. This has left Jason with significantly more responsibilities and time commitments. We’ve hired a part-time school’s worker, which has alleviated some of that load.'
How have you seen transformation happen? What are the signs of hope you see?
'Participation in BB Programmes is growing in numbers in the Junior Section and also in the Anchor Section - Which is really good news, as we are able to interact with and involve more youth. It is critical to the future numbers in the programme.'
Have you seen any volunteers having to rise above circumstances to come and serve?
'Lach Unwin was serving baked potatoes on his gap year after having struggled getting through his first year of Uni. He was approached by Dan Evenhuis at Fusion Wheatley to see if he wanted to experience Christian youth and community work and worship leading. Lach dropped everything and joined our team for 4 months. Now with kids basically hanging off him in each program, he’s loving teaching them about God, helping them to worship Him through music and prayer. He’s even enrolled himself in a Bible school one day per week so he can be better equipped. Lach is now approaching a church where he’s from to see if he can work for the church while studying for a career in youth and community work.'
As a team, have you found a new sense of life / vision / purpose in the community where you are?
'It is a constant challenge for us to work out how to ‘be’ a missional community together, loving and serving our community, but also be a church body together. We are constantly needing to be drawn back to the fact that our primary goal isn’t to run good programs, but to be a missional community together. It’s easy to drop back to just running programs well, but forgetting it is the life between us and God in us that produces effective ministry. We’re being called back to this.'