George (a.k.a. Shaboo) has come a very long way since he first started coming to Fusion’s programmes as a young person from Majesty Gardens. He had dropped out of school, had no family support or interest in his education, was focussing on dancing at parties, enjoying the attention this got him from girls, and had no expectation of getting anywhere in life. He was invited to New Generation Christian camp, and went specifically to look for girls. When he heard people’s testimonies and experienced Christian community he recognised that there was something missing in his life, and then as a Gospel Reggae song played, about living for Jesus and not turning back, he decided to surrender his life to Christ.
Soon afterwards, Patrick (one of the Fusion team at the time) invited him to come to a day trip, and recognised that Shaboo wanted to live for Christ but had no structure in his life so was always on the street. So Patrick asked him to come with him to the Fusion office every day, and we gave him volunteer jobs to do just to keep him occupied. He invested in the work with energy, and quickly became well loved by the children and young people at the school programmes, after school clubs, youth cafë and day trips. However, as another team member, Robert, listened to Shaboo’s story he was concerned for his future because Shaboo had not completed High School. So we helped him apply to Youth Reaching Youth school, and found support to cover the fees, and he completed High School there, continued to grow and serve, and also met Crystal.
Although Shaboo had dropped the old patterns of having many girlfriends, he and Crystal liked each other, and then one day he came to me looking downhearted, asking for money but not wanting to tell me what it was for. So I asked a few questions and listened. That is when he told me that Crystal was pregnant and they were considering an abortion, because he thought that his whole future (that he had now begun to see hope in) was under threat because of this news. Through the conversation his perspective changed, his hope and courage returned, and he made the decision not to pursue an abortion but to step up to the responsibility of being a father. He and Crystal have remained together, and have two beautiful children, Daniella and Daniel. Marriage is not common in Shaboo’s networks, but we have kept encouraging them towards it, and have supported them to go through counselling together in preparation. We were overjoyed when they finally announced that they were engaged, and even more so when they booked a wedding date.
Since leaving YRY Shaboo has worked at a gas station, as a security guard, and at the wharf, while Crystal has worked in retail for several different shops. Finances have always been tight, so as a family they have continued to live between her family’s home in Harbour View and his mother’s house in Majesty Gardens, which has not been easy. They have worked through the challenges together and been present and loving parents to their children, so it is a great joy to see them preparing to make the public and lifelong commitment to one another of marriage, before God and people.
This new chapter in their life coincides with a new chapter for Fusion, where we have invited Shaboo to step into a full time role with Fusion, doing youth and community mission to other young people who are coming from similar backgrounds. Having the support for his income is also a step of faith for Fusion, but we are hoping and praying that he will be able to start soon after they are married.