Empowering young people in Plymouth
A Baptist Insurance Company grant helped All Nations Ministries support a group of Plymouth teenagers in a project using performing arts to explore how scripture could help them cope with pressure on a daily basis
All Nations Ministries was founded by Rwandan-born Pastor Osee and his wife, Marie Louise Ntavuka in 2001. The church provides services for refugees and asylum seekers and promotes social integration within the community.
Each year, it organises Plymouth’s Unity Festival, a multi-day event celebrating diverse Christian and African music, choirs, dance and drumming.
Deborah Ingram, secretary of All Nations Ministries, described how teenage participants in the project felt more empowered about their life in relationship to Christ and better able to deal with the challenges they experienced. The simple structure and regularity of Friday night meetings provided them with a safe place to openly be themselves in the heart of the church.
Performing publicly and speaking testimony at the Unity Festival became a goal for many; and their successful festival performances were a significant outcome of the project.
Peer pressure, racism, drugs and relationships explored safely with Christ
'Watching Christian films together, creating original scripture-based drama and music, sharing personal testimonies, dancing … these are things our participants loved about the project,' said Deborah.
'But, enjoying pizzas together, that’s when deeper conversations really began. Christ was alive in our conversations over pizza!
Participants in the project held monthly planning meetings to decide for themselves what activities they wanted to include over the year. They were supported by a team of intercessors at the weekly prayer meetings, and Bible study days and worship services were held by young people for other young people through the year. A special seven-day programme, just prior to the Unity Festival, provided the opportunity for lively discussion on topics the participants had explored over the year.
This project significantly helped those who took part to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to be effective ambassadors in the Christian faith and to reach other young people living outside the church, who may be facing hardship or suffering because of life circumstances or challenges.
'All Nations Ministries are using activities young people already enjoy as an opportunity to help them grow, explore and express their faith,' said Anne Bishop, Chair of BIC Grants Committee. 'In a world full of challenges, the positive impact on these young people will be felt for years, it’s a great example of investment for the kingdom of God.'
If your church is seeking funding for evangelistic work, Baptist Insurance Company may be able to help. Find out more at www.baptist-insurance.co.uk/grants