Diane’s Story: A life changed at Holiday Club
Diane shares how David*, a 9 year old Vietnamese boy from a Buddhist background, was deeply impacted by Balham Community Church's first ever Kids Holiday Club, this summer.
"Coming to the Kids holiday Club over 4 days gave David a real sense of belonging and acceptance as he has never felt at school. He reveled in the 1:1 attention, loved the games and had lots of questions about Jesus during the small group times.
During the club it became clear that his slightly unusual behaviour may be mildly autistic (He presented with lots of symptoms of Asperger's syndrome.) I have since been able to speak to his class teacher, and the observations that I shared were taken seriously... The teachers approach him with a different attitude now, and he hasn't been sent out of class for shouting out or inappropriate behaviour since!
He also still wears his 'THE4POINTS' wristband that he was given at the club, and remembers what the points mean too!
The Fusion team who supported our Church team were amazing! They threw themselves into all the activities with enthusiasm and joy! They shared their talents and experience and inspired the rest of us to step out of our own comfort zones and try new things too!"
Nick’s story: How Fusion’s support is helping to transform his “forgotten community” into a place of belonging
Rev. Nick Graves shares about how running Fusion's model of Community Festivals has changed lives in his multicultural community of Purley, London.
"Our community has in the past defined itself as the forgotten community due to its physical location and lack of services and provision. After our second annual summer community festival event with Fusion this year the community said that they felt valued and loved making comments like ‘we have never had something like this before, just for us’ and ‘this is the best day we have ever had since we moved here 50 years ago’.
The community has, over the last few years, started to warm to us as a church due to our community focus, but this summer something changed and people started to ask me how they could be involved in the next thing that we do. In fact we are due to do another festival this coming week and a number of people from the community have been involved in organising it and will form a part of the team that help run it.
Apart from the obvious physical help of bringing a team of volunteers to help us, Fusion’s support has been invaluable in casting a vision for community transformation within our church. Although we have always had that vision we have been blessed tremendously by forming a longer term relationship with Fusion and over the last year benefited from their excellent training and tapped into their vast experience. Fusion’s ‘process of mission’ has now been adopted as our mission strategy and shapes the way in which we approach mission in our community."
Emily’s Story: How Fusion has helped her share faith
In July of this year Fusion staff member Skye Leon asked Emily to share some of her reflections on the Fusion Wheatley Kids Club, the team, and how being on the youth team has contributed to the person she is today. The full article can be found by clicking the link below.
Skye: The people who have been your leaders, who are now the people that you are working with, what do you think they’ve helped you to learn and grow in?
Emily: They’ve given me a lot of opportunities to lead the bible studies or help them out with it and given me more responsibility than I would have kind of expected, not in a bad sense. It helped me to see what I am capable of doing and other ways to serve these kids and stick with them; learning how to share with them, have great conversation and get to know them in general.
Skye: Why do you think the youth team is important?
Emily: It helps you see what being a Christian means, what it looks like to live that out, to keep them interested. Because so many of the kids, when they hit high school, if they were going to church before they can lose church because it doesn’t look cool. They get to see us older ones who have kind of gone through that, to see that it is acceptable to be a Christian.
Skye: It can be fun too!
Skye: How has being a part of the kids club team helped you/equipped you?
Emily: One of the things that it’s most helped me with is talking to people about my faith. Before I guess I kind of wouldn’t really have been up for talking about it, I was just kind of hoping they’d get it from my actions, but I didn’t want to share it. (The team) have shown what a difference it can make. It’s given me a lot of experience with working with kids which has helped me out for a lot of different things; knowing how to relate to them and get to know them, what kind of things they enjoy doing.
Earlier this year Emily returned from Denver, USA, where she attended a short-term Bible School. As part of her training she worked with homeless young people, youth groups and even went on outreaches to ski slopes! Before starting university this September, she was working with mission organisation, Torchbearers, in Lancashire.