The Grace Gift

The Grace Gift

AnneBrunner1

Annie Bruner is today’s guest blogger. Annie served this past summer as a MFuge track leader at Belmont University. Annie is currently studying Psychology at Kennesaw State University, with only five classes left to complete. You are likely to find her drinking vanilla milkshakes, watching Duck Dynasty, or daydreaming about the day she can finally meet one of her favorite people, Julie Andrews.  

 
Before working M-Fuge, I had never had an encounter with a homeless person.  I live in Atlanta, so I was aware that homelessness was an issue, but I usually ignored it.  If they were homeless or addicted to drugs or alcohol, they were someone else’s problem.  Certainly not mine.

This summer, I served at the Nashville Rescue Mission with my students.  At first, I was nervous.

Surely God doesn’t want me to tell these people the gospel

It turns out, I ended up having the gospel preached to ME this summer.  Most men that I encountered were a part of the Mission’s Life Recovery Program for addictions.  The Program aims to help men get their lives back on track, but also presents them with the life-altering beautiful truth of Jesus’ grace.

The first person in the Program that I met was not much older than me.  He had struggled with drug addiction for several years until he ended up at the Nashville Rescue Mission.  It was there that the Lord rescued him not only from his addictions, but also his brokenness. This man, who was once identified by his struggles, now finds his identity in Christ ALONE!

The more time I spent at the Nashville Rescue Mission, the more the Lord began to transform my heart.  I met countless people who had surrendered their brokenness to the Lord and were living fully in the grace that Jesus has to offer.  I began to think about the implications of grace in my own life.

The Lord showed me that there is nothing I can do to earn his grace.

Ephesians 2 says that we have been saved by grace through faith, and that grace is a gift from God.  I realized how often I tried to work my way into grace—I thought that if I did more good works, God would love me more.  However, the men of the Nashville Rescue Mission were a beautiful picture of God’s gift to us.  They had literally nothing to offer God, but He rescued them and made them into His masterpieces anyway.

A Life-Altering Experience

A Life-Altering Experience

madison bio

Today’s Guest post is from Madison Newberry, who served this past summer as a Student Leader Apprentice at MFuge Nashville.  Madison is originally from Prattville, AL and is currently a freshman studying at Mississippi College in Clinton, MS.

 

By God’s abounding grace and blessings, I was given the opportunity to attend FUGE Camps’ Student Leadership Apprentice (SLA) program during the summer of 2013 in Nashville, TN at Belmont University. As time approached to go to camp, I became more and more anxious about the whole idea of going to a foreign place where I knew absolutely no one. But, I am so glad I did!

The first week of SLA was life changing. The Lord put me in a place of complete uncertainty, and for the first time in my life, I was at total peace with that. Through various leadership activities, the Lord taught me how to be intentional, how to see everyone through the eyes of Jesus, and how to put my full trust in Him. Having the chance to witness the amazing wonders of God through such unforeseen activities and to be able to share these life-altering experiences with my SLA group and the Nashville community was awesome.

The second week of SLA was all about serving others for the glory of God. After I was assigned a staffer to shadow for the week, I began to understand how to implement what God had revealed to me during the first week into my everyday life.  God allowed for me to be intentional with many different people in the Nashville community and to see those people through the eyes of Christ. The staffer I was assigned to was such an example of what it truly means to live for the Lord, and I cannot thank God enough for allowing our paths to cross.

SLA was easily the best experience I have ever had. Not only was it fun and adventurous, but the Lord also enabled me to serve others for His glory during my two weeks at camp. I was able to be His hands and feet serving the city of Nashville. I cannot thank Him enough for giving me such an incredible experience and blessing me with the most amazing group of girls who are now my best friends. My life will be forever changed because of my experiences with SLA.

For more information about SLA, click here: http://lfwy.co/14s6dpQ

FUGE Night Life

 

 

SLA group MN

 

The Derby, baseball bats, and FUGE.

The Derby, baseball bats, and FUGE.

Louisville, Kentucky is a city with a lot to offer. There are several reasons you may have taken a trip to Kentucky’s largest city. Maybe you’ve attended The  Kentucky Derby, known to many as “the most exciting 2 minutes in sports.” The Derby is one of the most famous horse races is the world, and is hosted annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Perhaps you’ve taken a visit to The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, corporate headquarters and production facility for the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bats. The museum is also home to the World’s Largest Bat, which stands six stories tall.

You may not realize, however, that starting in summer 2013, Louisville became a host city for MFuge. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is home to FUGE in the Lou, and 2013 showed us what a great partnership FUGE, the Seminary, and the City of Louisville really make.  Great opportunities exist for ministry in downtown Louisville. For example, Louisville offers a Girls Only Track and International Ministry Track.

Southern Seminary has a beautiful campus that includes  a game room, indoor pool and indoor gym. Additionally, there is Founders Cafe (coffee shop), Fifth and Broadway (campus store) and a LifeWay bookstore.We hope you’ll join us in 2014 at Southern Seminary in Louisville! For registration information, click here: http://lfwy.co/ZLh2jO

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary campus

Southern Seminary campus

An MFuge ministry site

An MFuge ministry site

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.