RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- More than $11 million. That's the amount of money given to missions at LifeWay camps since 1984.
"It's incredible," said Mark Robbins, FUGE camps coordinator for LifeWay Christian Resources. "Just incredible."
The collection is, indeed, incredible especially considering the offerings come from students ranging from third grade through high school.
Summer 2014 will mark the 35th anniversary of the FUGE mission offering. Centrifuge, now called FUGE, is a summer camp for seventh- to 12th-grade students which began in 1979. Campers gave their first offering for missions in 1980. Since then, LifeWay has divided the offerings between the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board.
LifeWay campers -- 100,000 this summer -- donated more than $600,000 to missions. For the North American Mission Board, the offerings will fund missions efforts in the Bronx and in Canada.
For the IMB, 2013 donations will help meet needs of orphans in East Asia through a project called One Child, in a new focus on age-appropriate projects, said Jeremy Echols, who leads LifeWay's CentriKid team.
Meanwhile, the 2013 CentriKid partnership (grades three through six) provided $65,009 to orphans in East Asia living in isolated and difficult conditions, reported Tobias Jones*, an IMB student strategist in the region. In an environment where $10 will feed a child for a month, and $30 will provide clothing and thermal underwear to keep kids warm throughout the long winters, the offering literally changes lives.
"Many of these kids were orphaned because their mothers died during labor or their parents died because they didn't have basic medical care," Jones said. "Spiritually, these kids have almost zero opportunity to hear about Jesus. They need to see His love and hear His love."
Christian workers among the orphans are praying for more opportunities to show God's love, such as meeting their most basic needs, Jones said.
"FUGE has partnered with IMB for years and years," Echols said. "Sometimes the projects like True Love Waits and HIV awareness were a better fit for teens than for kids. It's been great this year for CentriKid to focus on meeting the physical needs of kids in an orphanage in East Asia."
When CentriKid began in 2001, LifeWay combined the FUGE and CentriKid offerings and gave them to support student projects through IMB's International World Changers (IWC). In 2006, LifeWay and IMB also began identifying specific projects that allowed students to "pray, give and go" to a specific people group.
"The 'pray, give, go' tag keeps kids from getting confused with the details," Echols said. "Praying is something they can all do. Giving is something they can all do, and they can go now or go later." Read More