Enough is enough.

Enough is enough.

Twenty months ago, I was on the other side of the world kneeling on a scorching metal roof, hammer in hand, overcome with emotion and asking God lots of questions. I was in Sanyati, Zimbabwe, leading a team that was helping to install a new roof on the HIV/AIDS wing of  Sanyati Baptist Hospital. It was late in the week, and the roof was nearing completion. We’d spent that morning inside the hospital, looking into the eyes of those who we’d spent all week laboring on behalf of. We knelt next to rickety hospital beds and prayed with the HIV positive, most of whom had no idea if they’d live to walk out of their hospital rooms. We begged God for healing:  both for restoration of bodies, and for a revival in  souls. “Jesus, come,” was the cry of our hearts.

But, after a weighty several days, I felt defeated. There was too much to do,  too many dying, not enough doctors,  too few resources. In a few days, I was going to return to my embarrassingly comfortable life in the US. The difference I was making seemed minuscule compared to the reality of the issues I was facing. “It’s not enough” played over and over in my mind. Then came the reassurance of the Gospel itself: it is not up to me. There is something that is relentlessly true both in the poverty of Africa and in the poverty of my own sinful heart: the grace of Christ has nothing to do with me, yet it is mine to enjoy.

So, in spite of my limited resources, my finite knowledge, my self-seeking tendencies, and all my other excuses … God is working.  He is working in Africa, and He is working around the globe. He is restoring communities, healing the sick, growing churches,  mending families, bringing hope.

Yes, there is much to be done. He has called the Church to step forward in the name of the broken, sick, and hurting. So, yes, serve your neighbor. Go to the nations. Support missionaries. Speak out for the oppressed. Pray for revival. Marvel at Jesus’ sacrifice.  Make redemption the theme of your days and the Gospel message the absolute focus of your life. It is the most important thing you could ever do.

But let us not become overwhelmed  by what’s before us. The task is great, but our Savior is greater. Let’s not forget what was already finished on the Cross. Let’s rest in the all-sufficient work of Christ. 

sanyatiroof  sanyatiteam

A History of Giving

A History of Giving

At FUGE, we’re about the Kingdom. As followers of Jesus, God calls us to live generous and sacrificial lives. This means praying for, serving, and going to the nations. That is why we collect a missions offering at camp. We know we have been blessed with much, and that we must hold loosely to the things of this earth. Like the church in Acts 2, we want to be a people who distributes what we have to all who have need.  Ultimately, we hope through our giving, Jesus will be made much of and new believers will be brought into the Kingdom.

Between CentriKid and FUGE, over $11 million has been given since 1984 to support IMB missionaries.

Check out this brief video from Dr. Tom Eliff, President of the International Mission Board, thanking FUGE and CentriKid for coming alongside IMB missionaries to join them in reaching those who have never heard the Good News of Jesus.

New at M-Fuge

New at M-Fuge

If you’re attending M-Fuge this summer, you may notice a few pretty cool additions! At several of our locations, we will be offering location-specific ministry tracks based on the particular ministry opportunities in that community.
Here’s whats new for M-Fuge in ’13:

Special Needs Ministry (CHARLESTON, CUMBERLANDS, JACKSON, MOBILE & NASHVILLE): This ministry track is designed to meet the needs of children and adults with special needs. Ministry opportunities will include Bible teaching, crafts, music, sports and recreation, field trips and more. Ministry will take place at community centers, in children’s homes, at nursing homes, etc.

Beach Evangelism Ministry (CHARLESTON & WEST PALM BEACH): This track is designed to show students how to build relationships with people on the beach and will provide students the opportunity to share the love of Christ in a tangible way.  Specific ministry may include handing out refreshments, organizing beach activities or simply engaging people in meaningful conversation.

Evangelism Ministry (GREENVILLE, NEW ORLEANS & RIDGECREST) : This track is designed to give students an opportunity to share their faith with people in the community. The track will work in populated areas and will engage people in conversation through handing out refreshments, organizing activities, playing music, etc. Students may also partner with local churches to pass out flyers and prayer walk as part of church planting efforts.

International Ministry (NASHVILLE):This track is designed to minister to the large population of foreign born residents and refugees in the city of Nashville. Over 7% of Nashville’s population was born somewhere outside of the United States. Many immigrants have fled to America for safety and refuge from both political and religious persecution. Students will have an opportunity to minister to this population through home repairs, children’s ministry, etc.

Peer Ministry (GLORIETA, NASHVILLE & NEW ORLEANS): This ministry track is designed to train students to minister to their peers. This track will focus directly on students’ ministering to other students through opportunities of service and building relationships. Throughout the week students may work in a variety of ministry settings, such as foster homes, teen centers, community centers, etc. Students need to have completed 10th, 11th or 12th grade to participate.

And of course, we will still be offering the old favorites: Children’s, Games & Rec,  Painting/Construction/Yardwork, and Social Ministry.

Different.

Different.

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Today’s post comes to us from 4 year  FUGE staffer Paul Goble. Paul recently returned from South Africa, where he served with other staffers running a week-long student camp in Cape Town (pictured above). This summer, Paul will serve as the Camp Director at MFuge in Nashville.  Paul loves to play disc golf, bowl, and cheer on the Atlanta Braves.

 

“Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.” – John Keats

Back in March, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa, with ten of the most amazing people that I’ve ever had the opportunity to spend time with. While there, we led a Christian leadership camp for around 30 local teenagers and young adults who came from several of the local Xhosa churches. The Xhosa people are one of the largest people groups in South Africa, and the vast majority of them live in poverty, still suffering from the effects of apartheid policies that were not abolished until 1994. The camp that we ran was very similar to Centrifuge; with quiet times, a morning celebration, and Bible study in the morning, recreation time in the afternoon, and worship, community group time, and a nightlife event every evening. Our theme for the week was Oneness, and we were able to talk to the students all week about what it looks like to be united together as the body of Christ, even when we come from different communities, different schools, different churches, or even different continents.

Our time in country was short but phenomenal, and there are so many moments from it that I will never forget and have impacted me in a huge way. Perhaps my favorite experience, and one that occurred several times throughout the week, was the opportunity to see God worshipped through singing and prayer in a completely foreign language and culture. I’ve been out of the country one other time in my life, but this was the first time I was able to worship with international believers, and it affected me in an incredible way. I knew before travelling to South Africa that my God was the God of all nations and peoples, but it wasn’t until I sat face to face with Xhosa believers and heard their stories and worshipped alongside them that I really began to fully grasp what that looks like. Our God never changes, but our understanding of Him is constantly growing and being shaped by our experiences, and this is something that God made very clear to me from my time in Cape Town. We can “know” so many things about God’s character, but it is in those intimate moments in our relationship with Him when we are serving Him fully that He lifts the curtain and opens our eyes a little bit more to just how big He truly is.

During our week of camp, we talked about the ideas of one God, one body, and one goal. I understand those concepts so much more clearly now than I did before travelling to South Africa. If we are to be a people who are growing in our faith, then we must be a people who are serving, who are sharing the gospel, who are taking the story of Christ and his love for humanity to every corner of the earth. God is big, and He is moving in South Africa and in the lives of the Xhosa people there. And I am different because of it.

capetownteam

The FUGE Staff Cape Town team: Nathan Howard, Paul Goble, Kate Pedziwol, Bruce McKee, Frans Johnson, Mariana Sterne, Tyler Fulbright, John Garner, Kristy Cothran, Leah Colvin, Brittany Taylor, Chelsea Ferguson.

Simply Go.

Simply Go.

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Today’s post comes to us from former Camp Director Lindsay Evancho. Lindsay recently led a team of FUGE staffers to Dakar, Senegal in West Africa for a week long mission trip. She worked camp for 5 summers, and most recently served as the director at the University of the Cumberlands. Though this was her first time to Africa, Lindsay has previously done missions in Peru and Nicaragua, as well as around the US.  She hopes to serve internationally long-term. Lindsay loves the Louisville Cardinals and making fruit smoothies.

At Fuge, we are advocates for mission work around the world. We pray for missions, give to missions, and are challenged to serve. In March, a group of Fuge staffers were obedient to the call to serve in Dakar, Senegal.

If you are like us, you may be wondering where on earth is Dakar? It is the capital of Senegal, a country in West Africa. It sits as a costal mega city on the Western most tip of Africa. The country is predominately Muslim with an under layer of animism from tribal groups in Senegal. The people are extremely friendly, greet everyone they meet (even children), value family, and hold peace to the highest importance. Neighborhoods are safe due to the Muslim influence. Despite all this, the Senegalese’s need for a Savior is so great that even daily sounds remind you of how lost they are. Waking up to prayer calls from mosques, hearing drums and tribal chants, and being reminded that we all serve the same god are just the beginnings of a long road toward eternal life change.

Our small group worked alongside an urban team of missionaries who are striving to share the gospel and teach English in the poorest neighborhoods of Dakar. Our mornings were spent walking the sandy streets of Grand Yoff, greeting people and engaging in conversation with hopes of sharing truth and the gospel. Often labeled as “tubobs” (Wolof for white person), people constantly asked why we were in Senegal. Such a perfect way to share our faith even through a translator in another language or two (Senegalese speak multiple languages like Wolof and French)! One morning, we were sitting in a small shop talking with a tailor when the ground outside the shop caved in as a dump truck was trying to turn around in the street. Such a close call put everyone in direct communication with God not to mention huddled together! Another morning, we witnessed a bar owner accept Christ. He had heard the gospel before but wanted to know more so he sought out the tubobs. Praise God for what He allows us to witness by just being obedient!

In the afternoons, we brought camp to Dakar by hosting an English camp and kids club. Our English camp was filled with games, dramas about the life of Joseph, and movie time. Participants were university students and adults who were currently taking English classes at the Baptist Center (run by missionaries). We discussed forgiveness, mercy, love, and Jesus during these sweet times of fellowship and study. Our kids club was full of loud games, dramatic story telling, and a little craft action. Such a joyous time of seeing little faces simply be children without the hardships of a life full of poverty. Unable to share the gospel with children due to Senegalese law, we shared love and Bible stories that we are praying they remember.

Our week was short, but definitely impactful in our lives and hopefully the lives of others. We will not forget those who call Dakar home. The urban team of missionaries has a mountain to climb in reaching people through conversations. We pray that partnership churches will continue to see needs and respond to the call of sharing with these neighborhoods. May God do great things with the people of Senegal.

But wait . . . what about you? Continue to pray for the work in Senegal and sub-Saharan Africa. Continue to give to the cause. But, what about going? Let’s remember that God chose the church to share his gospel. Ephesians 3:10 states, “so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known. . .” Our Creator could have chosen any way to make Himself known, but He chose us! That’s a huge deal. It doesn’t even mean jumping on the next plane to Africa. It means looking at the person in the desk next to you, in line behind you, or at the end of your street and sharing. It means finally going to the people group that God has placed on your heart. It means not taking the task entrusted to us lightly. It means being a generation obedient to the call to action. It simply means go. For the glory of God alone.

 

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The Senegal team: Lindsey Evancho, Rachel Freeny, Kelsey Copeland, Whitney Durham