Grace McSharry, International Student Linkup Developer - Fusion
Grace's most recent update is here:
I've been working for Fusion for a whole year! To finish off my first year as part of the team, I've had a jam-packed couple of months, and probably the best so far. Fusion has grown- in numbers, strength, and vision, and I can feel myself growing with the team. I knew it already, but my experience in church and as a part of the Fusion team has me more convinced than ever that life in step with God's voice, coupled with doing it in community, is the only way.
God has done soooo much since we last spoke. Settle down with a cuppa, because this is going to be a long'un.
The last nine weeks...
We have reached 400 international churches signed up to Student Linkup. That's 400 churches, mainly in Europe, but nevertheless from across the world, who have understood what Fusion stands for, and want to be a part of it. Epic.
We go into this new season expecting this number to grow rapidly and for God to connect us with key churches.
I went to Soul Survivor, where 9,000 young Christians came together. I spent the week on the Fusion stand, linking up future uni students to Student Linkup, selling our resources, and attempting to inspire some courage into those who weren't yet looking forward to uni. I lost count of how many people I got to speak to, but being in a position to encourage so many is so much fun.
We had Uprising, our Student Work Conference, and not many days in my life have surpassed the days I had there. It sounds dramatic for a conference, but I saw over 300 people gathered for the same purpose, God moving SO powerfully, and the team united in their calling. Also, on a personal level, I didn't experience a moment of anxiety the whole time- I was able to connect with countless student workers and I was left buzzing.
As part of the conference, we had our international guests a day early. We sat and shared storied of how God has been at work in their contexts, including a duo from Budapest who have seen their movement grow from a prayer meeting of 5, to weekly gatherings of 1,000. To be in a room with people from other nations who share the same conviction and passion for student mission as Fusion was mind-blowing.
I haven't necessarily learnt anything groundbreaking and new over the last couple of months, rather God has reminded me of what I already know, and nudged me to actually grasp hold of it all. The top thing being that where we see dead ends of obstacles, more often than not God sees life. Ezekiel 37, the Valley of the Dry Bones, was our inspiration for the conference this year and I'm really determined to look through God's eyes more often than I look through my own. I'd highly recommend digging into this passage as there's so much to reflect on.
The other thing that dropped further into my heart was just how important it is to be investing in students, future and current. Anything goes at university, and young people are at their most influential. It is VITAL they are invited to church and discipled, as they are the future nation changers, who are currently being lost to university culture.
Team Grace, please join with me in praying for Student Mission. Whether you know any students or not, it is up to all of us to pray for the coming generations. Please also pray:
- That conversations go further with international churches, and that relationships deepen
- That we reach our goal of +50 churches signed up to Student Linkup per quarter
- That more people are drawn to work for the international team at Fusion
- and ask God what He is saying! I'd love to hear what He says to you for the Fusion team.
Thank you so much for being Team Grace- if it weren't for you I would not be reporting on any of this, as it simply wouldn't be possible. If you're on my prayer team and feel moved to start partnering with me financially, all the info is below.
That just about sums it up. An amazing couple of months, with the added bonus of a glorious retreat to Italy, where God surprised us with the most breathtaking views I have ever seen, as well as some brilliant vision casting with our worship team at Holy Trinity Church back in Leicester. God is so good- dare to tune in, He is always speaking!
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Grace's March - May update:
A little background to Grace:
I am currently working for Fusion, a movement that’s passionate about student mission. We do everything we can to connect students to their local churches, equip churches to work with students and train student workers.
My role within the team is connecting churches on an international level. I have the privilege of chatting to international church leaders and getting them to sign up to Student Linkup. This is such an important task, as up to 75% of church-going youth stop attending church when they go away to university and we reckon this figure is a lot worse in other countries. My Italian friend Denise once said to me, “It would be a miracle to find a Christian friend at university.”
I cannot do this alone though. The reason I am able to do this as a job is because I have people on “Team Grace” who have partnered with me financially and who encourage and pray for me. Will you be part of my team too? It could be that God wants you to partner in this vision with some of the resources God has given you.
To chat to me, to find out how to give, or to be put on the list for my updates, please drop me an email at grace.mcsharry@fusionmovement. org
What verse are you holding onto at the moment? Romans 12:12 has been mine for a while: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.