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.

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

Looking Ahead

carly

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.

 

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.

sowetoteam

The Soweto team with missionaries Allen and Beth Locke

joburgteam

The inner city Johannesburg team with missionary Kurt Holiday and family

soweto2

Games at Bible school in Soweto, South Africa.

 

 

 

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.