We have received the written rezoning approval for our land in Avian Park after 3 years working with the Council to get it through.
Four staff members are half-way through the Foundations for Counseling School. Many topics we are studying are very relevant for Avian Park. Jan Buchanan has been appointed co-leader of the local outreach, from April – June, when we will set up the counselling clinic. We will be doing much of the counselling training in my home, where I have a large separate room. It is suitable, but 5km from Avian Park. It will be much more effective when the classroom is in place.
With the study and assignment load, it is proving too difficult to move forward with the building, so we will get plans submitted and the building started in April. We have a new team of local people and Brazilians running computer and soccer training.
One major aim is to train local people to offer simple information and counselling to neighbours on topics such as anger, fear, depression, family systems, abuse and addictive behaviour. Jan is setting up teaching venues and sessions with groups such as the local women’s refuge and “Disciple The Streets.” This group works with gangsters and has recently disbanded another newly formed teenage gang.
There has been continued gang violence and killings, but so far this year it has been in the squatter settlement, about 500m from where we work. Older boys from our ministry formed a new gang (No Rules Fanatics) which Marco is busy disbanding.
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