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.

 

 

 

A Giveaway!

A Giveaway!

 

To celebrate the upcoming launch of Bible Studies for Life , we’re giving away an iPad mini plus an entire year of Bible Studies for Life for your whole church!

Do you want in on that giveaway? Click here to learn more. Hurry! The giveaway ends this Thursday night!

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.

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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