I’ve had a wee glimpse into what it might feel like to be a proud mum who watches her kids succeed and flourish in these last few weeks. It’s not that I’m not always proud and inspired by our guys at Fusion, but the last few weeks have been particularly special for me.
Fusion were asked to run a couple of sessions for the Social Development department who were running a six week programme for kids who are from difficult backgrounds and are not in school any more. They had asked us to come and speak on identity and our body being sacred, with respect to substance abuse. It was super encouraging for us to be recognised as “specialists” in this field (their words, not ours!) but more exciting for me was watching two Fusion-ites who we’d brought with us get alongside the kids and then share their stories of change – what their identity used to be and where they were heading now. Listening to them honestly reflect on their journeys, the struggles, the ongoing temptations but the freedom they were experiencing filled me with great hope…did my eyes well up? Yes maybe a little.
Every Tuesday night we meet for worship – it’s the only time when the whole Fusion community can come together and so it’s a really fun family time. We’ve been encouraging the guys we’re working with to step up and lead these gatherings and the result has been beautiful. Again, I (and the team) get to sit back and reflect on the stories of how these young people have changed, of how they are now moving forward and taking responsibility for their own stories. This past week I asked one of our guys if he thought he was ready to mentor someone else. His immediate response was nooooo, I’m not ready, I keep making mistakes, I can’t do it. In worship on Tuesday we had a new friend join us who was in the middle of cold turkey coming off heroin. As the group went into the prayer room for a time of painting, the guy, the one who wasn’t ready to mentor, stayed behind with this new guy and prayed and talked him through his pain, sharing some of his story and just being with him. It wasn’t big or dramatic, in fact it was entirely natural, how could he not help him when he’s been there? And just like that, he was ready to mentor!
Meanwhile, in the prayer room, one of our girls led us through a time of reflecting on God as a promise keeper and asking God what promise he wanted to remind us of today as we painted. One of my very old girls was back and she reflected on God as being light in
her darkness, another guy declared that God was like a light house, bringing light to him and showing him where to go, another painted one of the most amazing pictures I’ve seen in a long time (Sarah Portal I must show you this!). God just reminded me that he was with me, he was with us and he is busy!!
Could there be anything more? Well yes actually. Since I’ve arrived back in February 2011, I’ve been praying for God to grow and develop the female team. I’ve spent the last year walking alongside Fatiema (see https://itisnolongeri.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/home-part-1/) and it gives me HUMUNGOUS pleasure to share that she is now working with Fusion ten hours a week…to begin with, we hope. Yey! Also, during the 24-7 prayer week, we met a young woman called Chantelle who is originally from Manenberg and really loved what we were about. She’s passionate about meeting people where they are and is volunteering some of her time to meet young people on the streets and begin the process of relationship building. This is so exciting. In the space of a few weeks, the female team has grown and we are excited to see what God’s thinking in all this!
What does all this teach me? Well, that investing in people over a long period of time, building meaningful relationships WILL bear fruit. It teaches me that prayer works. It teaches me that God loves the broken hearted. It teaches me that God’s timing is not mine. And it fills me with hope…and so we invest and we build and we pray and we love and we wait.