Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

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Carly Miller is today’s guest blogger. Carly currently serves as the Assistant Director at FUGE Nashville. This is Carly’s second summer of camp; last summer she worked as a Centrifuge track leader at North Greenville University. Carly is a senior at Christopher Newport University where she is studying social work. Carly loves to root for the Dallas Cowboys.

 

After preparing for camp since January, it seems pretty unbelievable that we were all finally together.  As our team discussed what we are excited for and nervous for about the summer, they all seemed to have very similar answers.  Staffers are excited about the time with the students, but are also nervous about whether or not they would know enough information, or that discouragement would just weigh them down.  A lot of these answers went back to needing to trust the Lord wholeheartedly, which I know that many of us, especially myself, struggle with. It is so “natural” to try to rely on ourselves and trust our own strength, when in reality we are never going to give God the glory that He deserves if we try and do that.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

The Lord’s power is made perfect in our weakness. He will give us the strength and wisdom that we need to continue to go through our lives, we just need to trust Him. I pray that throughout this summer that my team and all of the FUGE teams really just focus on the mission that we are all called to: to glorify the Lord.  I pray that glorifying the Lord is what brings us together in creating unity within our teams, in learning and teaching the Bible study material, in going out to ministry sites to serve the cities that we are in, and in everything that we do.

 

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.

Love Your Neighbor

Love Your Neighbor

The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

When my grandparents were raising their family, almost every house had a front porch. The porch was a place of community. Families and neighbors would spend hours relaxing and sharing life. Today, there are few front porches. And, if a house has one, the residents very seldom sit out and visit with each other or their neighbors. In most neighborhoods today, people pull up to their house, open the garage door automatically and pull their vehicle inside, not to step foot outside the rest of the day. Do you know your neighbor’s names? Would you know if they are struggling? Jesus commands us to love our neighbors. So, is that limited to just the people who live near us? Absolutely not.

Jesus’ words were not a suggestion but a command. We are not just to love others. It would have been one thing for Jesus to stop there but He added “as yourself” which takes things to a new level. The Golden Rule says: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Everyone wants to be loved. So, in return, we must be willing to love.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: who has time to love and minister to people? We’re busy! How easy it is to fall back on this well-worn excuse of being busy to keep from loving others. But, we simply must fight to not allow our personal agendas to interfere with meeting the needs of others.

Does this verse mean I have to love difficult people? Jesus goes so far to say that we are to love our enemies. As believers, we do not have the option of holding onto bitter feelings, resentment, or even hatred toward anyone. To do so goes against everything Jesus taught.

We teach our children that name calling is not acceptable and to be kind to your friends. Maybe we need to take heed to some of own teaching and apply these to our grown-up life.

 

How can you show love to someone today? Make a point this week to get to know at least one of your neighbors.

Constant

Constant

 

The resurrection of Jesus is hard to believe. If I am really honest, it is difficult for me to wrap my mind around the idea that Jesus’ physical heart stopped, and three days later, it started again. How could one go from death to life? Nothing I learned in science class tells me that this is possible. I, like the apostle Thomas, want to see it for myself.  I want to understand the how. I am, by nature, a skeptic.

But this is the beauty and the mystery of the Gospel story: it doesn’t depend on me. Despite my unbelief at times, this story does not fade. Nothing I do or think makes the Great Narrative of God any less true.

In Mark 9, a father brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus. The father pleads with Jesus to heal his son, if He is able. Jesus responds by saying that anything is possible for the one who truly believes. To this the father cries out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” He recognizes the deceitfulness of his own heart. Though Jesus himself stands before him in the flesh, this man is still having doubts.

So often, I am just like this doubting father. God has shown me his power time and time again. I can testify to his faithfulness in my life. Scripture reminds me of His character. Creation itself is a daily reminder of the almighty Creator. Yet I still must cry out to my Savior: “I do believe! Help my unbelief!”

Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ is coming again; I know this to be true, even in the moments that I don’t feel it. Today, I rest in the fact that I can lean on the finished work of Christ and not the fickleness of my heart. I am thankful for a resurrection and a Gospel that can never be made untrue.

He is faithful

He is faithful

jaredcToday’s guest post comes to us from FUGE staffer Jared Cornutt. Jared will graduate this May from the University of Alabama with a degree in History and Political Science. This summer, he will serve as the Camp Director at FUGE in Charleston. Jared is arguably the biggest Bama football fan you will ever meet, so much so that he has appeared on TV and in magazines over 15 times due to his love for the Crimson Tide.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:13-15

Pray, Give, and Go is the mission emphasis at FUGE Camps. In late March, twenty FUGE staffers had the opportunity to “go” and be the Church in Johannesburg, South Africa, ministering to people in the inner city and in the township of Soweto proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. Christ commanded his disciples to go and make more disciples of all nations in the 28th chapter of Matthew , and we had the opportunity to be obedient to this command.

We formed two teams to serve the inner city of Johannesburg and Soweto. In a city full of millions, it could be frustrating to not see the fruit of our labor on this short trip. We live in a “we want it now” society, but we were reminded that our God is faithful. Hebrew 6:10 says  “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” We are incredibly blessed that God allowed us to be apart of his ministry to the people in South Africa, and we believe He is faithful to that ministry.

The Inner City team partnered up with missionary Kurt Holiday and Bellevue Baptist Church to serve an area needing the Gospel. In the same area as Bellevue Baptist were five to six other churches who claim Christ, but are not Bible teaching/believing Churches. Their signs point to Christ but unfortunately their message does not. As we spoke with people in the community, many would claim to be Christian, but when we asked them what it meant to be a Christian, they could not tell us. Many went to these false churches and our prayer is God lifts up Bellevue in that community as a light to the people, and is able to deliver to them sound doctrine rooted in Christ. We also praise God that we were able to speak with many about our faith, and introduce them to leaders at Bellevue who invited them to their Easter service. God displayed his power through our work as we did see one woman come to know Christ and we praise the Father for that.

Another thing the Inner City team had the opportunity to do was participate in sports camps in the afternoon, working with local students in basketball and a little league baseball team from Alexandra. We were able to teach them new drills, financially support the baseball team to travel to Cape Town, and teach daily devotionals with them. It was an incredible opportunity to love on children and show them Christ through athletics.

The Soweto team had the incredible opportunity to go into the Tshepisong community. There, they visited patients (some infected with HIV), homes of people, and played with children while holding a Bible School. They were able to share scripture and speak about the love God has for us with the people. They worshipped alongside them and served them faithfully all week. Led by IMB missionary Allen Locke, this team gladly went into areas that many back home would not deem as safe to proclaim the Gospel and obediently serve our God.

Though our trip is over and we are now home, this  does not mean our focus is away from our ministry in Johannesburg. Please join us in prayer for the people we ministered to and the churches/missionaries we served alongside with. One prayer is that the ministry we had there did not end when we came home and that the Great Commission never ends. Our God is faithful to those who serve Him. So please pray, and please continue to give, but also join us in going and serving others. Love God, love others – Serve God, serve others.

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The Soweto team with missionaries Allen and Beth Locke

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The inner city Johannesburg team with missionary Kurt Holiday and family

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Games at Bible school in Soweto, South Africa.