Africa has the youngest population in the world – its average age is just 19 years.
At African Enterprise, we know that the key to the continent is its youth; this is how the dream for the Foxfires, the youth arm of AE, was born. Foxfires play a vital role in AE city-wide and university missions each year, as they reach their fellow youth with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The program’s name comes from Judges 15 – where Samson ties torches to the tails of foxes and releases them into the fields of the Philistines. The name is symbolic of youth who, set ablaze with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, carry His fire into the world.
AE currently has Foxfires teams in Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Malawi, with each team made up of around 10 young Africans. Many of our Foxfires come from difficult backgrounds, but they have a passion for the Gospel, and they choose to devote a year of their lives to Christian ministry.
After 2 months of training, the Foxfires visit schools, children’s homes and youth groups, using energetic dance and drama performances to share the Gospel message. They also mentor younger leaders and present programs that help young people to contribute positively to society, while navigating issues such as peer pressure, drug abuse, crime, poverty and HIV/AIDS.
Julie Kibie, a social worker at Bro Beausang Education Centre, was overwhelmed by the effect that the Kenyan Foxfires have had on pupils at the school, describing the Foxfires as “the change agents that we so need for this generation!” One of those pupils, Lizzy, lost her mother at birth, and suffered from low self-esteem due to ongoing rejection by her stepmother. Speaking of the Foxfires, she describes:
“I have learned that my background does not dictate my future or how I should view things… Furthermore, my decision to welcome Christ in my life has had a difference since I can now speak my heart to God. I am forever grateful for the new me that the Foxfires program has carved”.
With COVID-19 having affected the Kenyan Foxfires’ schedule this year, the team are determined to continue shining their light in the midst of dark and seemingly hopeless circumstances. One team member, Brandon, encourages fellow youth around the world not to lose hope during this challenging season:
“Have hope and be positive. See the best that can be done to improve your skill as a young person during this period. Let your dreams keep hope alive. God honours his child’s heart’s desires. He will ensure that it happens in due time. Focus now on the talent, the gifting or the strength you have always passed over or ignored… Be that unmoved change agent for a better life tomorrow. God bless!”
Ben Campbell is the CEO Africa Enterprise and Laura Bennett is a contributor for African Enterprise and radio host at Hope 103.2 based in Sydney.