Listen Closely

Listen Closely

haleybiopic

Haley Lavergne participated in the Student Leader Apprentice (SLA) program for two years: 2012 in Nashville, TN and 2013 in Glorieta, NM. She is currently studying at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In her spare time, you will find her outside in a hammock immersed in a good book or creating art with various mediums.

 

“Welcome to SLA, where questions about the future aren’t allowed and getting thrown outside of your comfort zone is guaranteed.”

Although I wasn’t greeted with these exact words when arriving at Glorieta, they certainly sum up my experience. I arrived asking the Lord to move in mighty ways and left in awe of how He exceeded my expectations. Being quiet and being a friend to listen and encourage was the trend for the entire two weeks. It sounds small because I am a small part of what God did. He doesn’t need me but He chooses to use me. What a beautiful God we serve.  I was given the opportunity to watch God use something as simple as truly listening, in such a huge way as He began to heal hurting people. All the while, I had a front row seat listening to fellow SLAers, staffers, campers, site friends, and most importantly: the Lord. I was continually taken back by our innate desire to be heard and known. It was simultaneously: overwhelming, wonderful, powerful and humbling. SLA’s focus on service leadership taught me how truly listening and serving the people in front of me are crucial.

James 5:16a says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” I think much of the healing James talks about also comes from listening. I learned that that’s where ministry happens: in intentional moments packed with sincere love and genuine care for God’s people. Jesus took the time to not only heal people’s physical needs, but He took care of them as human beings with the desire to be loved. He saw desires to be seen, accepted, and deeply known. It went beyond physical healing. He went deeper to care for emotions. He loved past the surface. He loves deep and He loves well. I learned about that at SLA and it is something I am grateful to say I’m still learning.

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.

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