Where is your mission field?

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Carly Miller recently graduated George Mason University with a Masters of Social Work. This will be her 4th summer serving with FUGE, where she will be Directing at Louisville! Her idea of a perfect day is hammocking in the sunshine with a cup of crushed ice in her hand.



I had the incredible opportunity to visit South Africa and do ministry with a Fuge team for Spring Break. One day my team went to downtown Johannesburg in a part of the city called Braamfontein. We met up with two members of a local church, Masimba and Cece. We walked around downtown, looking for religious places and people, trying to learn the heartbeat of the city. We prayer walked, prayed with and met members of the community and just tried to learn what the name of Jesus Christ meant to this part of the city. We also would just share the love of Jesus and what He has done in our lives with the people that we met in the community.

We took a break from our time walking around to sit down for lunch and I was able to talk with one of the church members, Cece. She asked me if I do this where I live. I asked, “Do I do what?”. She said “You know, do you walk around, evangelize and tell people about Jesus in your city?” Conviction and guilt set in. I honestly had to think about it for some time. Well, I live life in my city. I go to work. I go to school. I go to church. I try to live my life for Christ and tell friends about him. I try to encourage others in their walks with the Lord. But do I walk around my city purposely looking to meet new people, develop those relationships, and share the gospel with them? I’m going to be real honest and say that that is not normally the primary goal that I have for my everyday life. And why is it not? Cece is here in her city, walking around praying specifically for her city, and telling others about Jesus and what He has done in her life. However my sinful, selfish nature gets in the way and wants to stay comfortable. Throughout my time in Joburg, I definitely learned that I need to break out of my comfort zone and that we as Christians are called to share this GREAT news that we know about Jesus Christ with everyone around us. I also learned that as Christ’s followers, we all have a mission field and are called to it.

Yes, I loved serving the Lord in South Africa and I definitely left a piece of my heart there. And yes, I am already yearning to return there and travel to other parts of the world. But as for now, the Lord has brought me back to the States. Wherever we all are, He has us here for a reason. We are to follow His will and His plan and be “missionaries” wherever we are in life. We are called to give God glory in everything that we do, wherever we are. I encourage you to view where you are at as your mission field. Talk to your neighbors, classmates, coworkers, friends, and strangers. Develop relationships with them, find out where they are in life, and ask what they know about Jesus. Share your heart with them and what the Lord has done in your life. This is not just supposed to happen at camp or on a mission trip, but in our real imperfect lives. And the best part is that the Lord is going to walk right alongside us in this mission!

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” – Deuteronomy 31:6

But actually go ahead and just read all of Deuteronomy 31 because it just continues to tell of the Lord’s faithfulness. He is going to be faithful to us in this mission! The Lord is not asking us to do this by our own doing, but saying that He will be there with us as we share with others about His goodness. So be strong and have courage! Go out to your mission field (your city, your school, your sports team, your club, your neighborhood), learn how to love and care for those people and share Jesus with them. The Lord will be walking right alongside you.

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libby2Libby Shwartz is a senior at NC State University studying Interpersonal Communication. She finds joy in early morning cups of coffee, acrylic paints, and Ben Rector music. This upcoming summer will be her second summer as a Centrifuge Bible Study Leader. She worked Ridgecrest last year and is very excited to serve at Union University this upcoming summer!  She recently had the opportunity to go to Johannesburg, South Africa with some fellow FUGE staffers and loved every second of it.


The ground there is nothing but dirt, sand and rocks. The sun shines bright and beams rays of heat that leaves white skin burnt and crisp. The homes stand just short of seven feet tall, made of plastic, metal and cardboard. And the clothes are freshly washed and hanging on a line to dry.

I left my heart in this place. In Soweto, a township of Gauteng, South Africa, that is.

It was left in six year old Offensa’s little shack where Offensa, my teammate and I had an impromptu funny face competition which was quickly followed by sounds of giggles filling the small room. It was left with Offensa’s mother, who was single, unemployed and dedicated to raising a twelve month old baby girl and six year old Offensa with cerebral palsy. It was left when Offensa ran up and gave me an endearing hug goodbye and the sweet memory of walking away, turning around moments later and seeing him still watching us in the street.

It was left in the welcoming greetings and the quick connections where strangers instantly became friends. It was left with the beautiful moments where difference in language did not halt communication, but enhanced it. It was left in the moments of roaring laughter and ear to ear smiles on the faces of seven South African children who wanted nothing more than to be held, chased and loved. It was left in the memory of three of them piling onto my lap and taking turns popping my air filled checks with their tiny hands.

Lastly, and most importantly, it was left with the unfamiliar, but powerful sounds of the Gospel being spoken in Zulu and the reminder that the God we serve embraces culture and His power far surpasses any language or cultural barrier.

My heart is still there. Can’t you tell?

To be completely honest, walking to class this morning was a big challenge. It was hard for me to realize and accept that when I got off that seventeen hour flight yesterday, I said goodbye to South Africa and unwillingly welcomed America back into my life.

As small as this is, it really bothers me that I can’t greet people as I go to class in the mornings without getting a death glare and a snicker here and there from the people surrounding me.

It really bothers me that I feel the pressure to look presentable and nice everywhere I go because of a deep fear of man’s rejection.

It really bothers me that everyday I am subjected to the demands of American culture and its teachings that preach pride and discontentment.

So, you ask, what did I learn in my short time in South Africa? I learned just this. With humility and service, comes contentment. When we are focused less on ourselves and more on the Lord and His work, we begin to deeply appreciate the Gospel in a way that transforms first, our hearts and second, our words and deeds. We lose sight of our own self and become transformed by Jesus, who simply desires our humble submission to His call.

We are called to be laborers. Laborers who attack with intentionality, pursue with truth, and love with grace. So see to it, friends. Because, there is so much work to be done.

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” -Matthew 9:37-38


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Enough is enough.

Twenty months ago, I was on the other side of the world kneeling on a scorching metal roof, hammer in hand, overcome with emotion and asking God lots of questions. I was in Sanyati, Zimbabwe, leading a team that was helping to install a new roof on the HIV/AIDS wing of  Sanyati Baptist Hospital. It was late in the week, and the roof was nearing completion. We’d spent that morning inside the hospital, looking into the eyes of those who we’d spent all week laboring on behalf of. We knelt next to rickety hospital beds and prayed with the HIV positive, most of whom had no idea if they’d live to walk out of their hospital rooms. We begged God for healing:  both for restoration of bodies, and for a revival in  souls. “Jesus, come,” was the cry of our hearts.

But, after a weighty several days, I felt defeated. There was too much to do,  too many dying, not enough doctors,  too few resources. In a few days, I was going to return to my embarrassingly comfortable life in the US. The difference I was making seemed minuscule compared to the reality of the issues I was facing. “It’s not enough” played over and over in my mind. Then came the reassurance of the Gospel itself: it is not up to me. There is something that is relentlessly true both in the poverty of Africa and in the poverty of my own sinful heart: the grace of Christ has nothing to do with me, yet it is mine to enjoy.

So, in spite of my limited resources, my finite knowledge, my self-seeking tendencies, and all my other excuses … God is working.  He is working in Africa, and He is working around the globe. He is restoring communities, healing the sick, growing churches,  mending families, bringing hope.

Yes, there is much to be done. He has called the Church to step forward in the name of the broken, sick, and hurting. So, yes, serve your neighbor. Go to the nations. Support missionaries. Speak out for the oppressed. Pray for revival. Marvel at Jesus’ sacrifice.  Make redemption the theme of your days and the Gospel message the absolute focus of your life. It is the most important thing you could ever do.

But let us not become overwhelmed  by what’s before us. The task is great, but our Savior is greater. Let’s not forget what was already finished on the Cross. Let’s rest in the all-sufficient work of Christ. 

sanyatiroof  sanyatiteam

Listen Closely


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

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.

Diagnosed For A Purpose


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Rachel Patton served as a FUGE Bible study leader for two years: 2010 at Carson-Newman and 2013 at North Greenville. She is currently working on master’s degree in Christian Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rachel loves the Phoenix desert, Sonic diet coke w/vanilla, and being spontaneous.


Watching God work through my life is by far my favorite part of working camp. As a Bible study leader for two summers, I saw God use my story and my past experiences to impact the lives of students, relate to students, and open doors for great conversation. When I was ten years old, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It has been a struggle over the last 15 years but has taught me so much about relying on God and his provision. I always knew that I had been diagnosed for a purpose. God has a bigger plan than my own and it has been so cool to see that unfold.

While working FUGE in 2010, we had a diabetic student one week and I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with her. Throughout the lunch, it became apparent that she had blamed God for her diagnosis and was angry with Him. I was humbled by the opportunity to talk with her about God’s plan and purpose for her life, the truth that He knows what is best and that trusting Him will far exceed our expectations. I got to listen to her, share life with her, and pray with her. Later that week, her youth pastor approached me and said that she opened up and shared her struggles with her youth group that night.

I was able to have similar experiences my second summer working FUGE in 2013. Students with diabetes in my Bible study, having one on one conversations, speaking with adults and parents of kids with diabetes, and simply sitting down to check my blood sugar with a student so they wouldn’t feel so alone. God had a plan when I was diagnosed with diabetes all those years ago, and it has far exceeded my expectations. I am so grateful for the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of these other diabetics and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Isn’t it good to serve a God who knows what He’s doing?!