17 February 2021
An interview with Anthony Fisher
Today is the last day of our trustee blog series. It has been wonderful to walk alongside our trustees as they have shared their WorldShare journeys over the last few weeks. To round the series off it is, last but not least, the turn of trustee Anthony Fisher. Read on to hear some of his thoughts, memories and reflections…
What motivated you to be a trustee?
I had heard of WorldShare, and was interested to find out more. The more I learned, the more it appealed to me and it seemed I might have something useful to contribute. It is clear that WorldShare’s priorities are truly biblical – to support Christ-centred local ministries, reaching out to, and serving, poor, vulnerable and marginalised people in many of the most deprived communities in the world. Then within these situations, make a difference for the kingdom of God – to bring gospel hope and serve in ways which transform local communities for the long term. It therefore wasn’t a difficult decision to accept the privilege of becoming a trustee.
What other experience have you gained which could be helpful?
Before joining WorldShare a few years ago, I had (mainly!) enjoyed 40+ years in various areas of health service management. I had also spent some years as a churchwarden for our local church. Since the early 1990s, my wife and I have visited Romania several times, being part of a team which supports churches and pastors. Initially, we drove vans across Europe with essential supplies - something which had its challenging moments, having to negotiate border crossings with armed guards and incomprehensible paperwork! Our church team wanted to help Christian churches become established and grow in the towns and villages around the Valcea area (central Romania), where there was considerable poverty after the communist years. These visits were always humbling and encouraging. I am also a trustee for two other Christian organisations – an independent chapel in Sussex, which we attended before moving to Sheffield, and The Oakes Christian Holiday Centre in Sheffield.
What does your involvement with WorldShare look like?
I have gradually become more familiar with the various ministry partners throughout the world. As well as attending the quarterly board meetings, I am also a member of the finance sub-committee. When needed we meet monthly (mainly by phone or Zoom) but more generally we just keep an eye on WorldShare’s finances by reviewing the monthly reports. I have enjoyed visiting the WorldShare office for various meetings and events, which is a good opportunity to meet the wonderful staff team. Sadly, over the last year, Zoom has replaced face-to-face contact, but it is still good to be able to see team members from time to time.
Have you visited any ministry partners?
Not yet! 2020 was the year when I had hoped to do so (and we all know what happened to last year!). However, I have met several partners when they have visited the UK and, latterly, on-screen. Have you ever thought of joining one of Worldshare’s Ministry Meet-up Live events where ministry partners share live updates over Zoom webinar? I can thoroughly recommend them. Watch out for the dates and prepare to be humbled by the love and commitment of these Christians, and to be amazed by what God is doing through them and their teams!
What aspect of being involved with WorldShare do you enjoy the most?
No, it’s not the Christmas lunch with the staff and trustees – lovely though that is . . . I think it is being part of an organisation which seeks to serve God in practical and gospel ways, having an impact on people with significant needs, with the love of Christ clearly being shown in word and action. Our board meetings are sometimes serious, considering what is the best course of action to take on an issue, but they are also times of good fellowship and humour, and of rejoicing and thanksgiving when we see God working to grow his kingdom.
I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these . . . you did for me. (Matthew 25:40)
What’s been your biggest highlight of being a WorldShare trustee?
The trustees recently had a ‘day of prayer’ for its work. I used some of this time to read more about the ministry partners we support and to pray for them as I did so. This brought home to me the significance of each of these ministries and how many lives are being touched through them. They are not high profile organisations, but faithful servants of Christ sacrificially labouring to bless their communities with the love of Jesus.