Photo by Derek Clinton
JOHANNESBURG (BP)--A group of 26 young people spent their spring break in South Africa to catch a vision for using Fuge camps to touch Sub-Saharan Africa with God's love.
Organizers aimed to raise awareness in this summer's camps about physical and spiritual needs from a global perspective, said Joe Hicks, LifeWay Christian Resources team leader for student events.
"We want to challenge students [at Fuge camps] to listen to God and then to pray for missions, give to missions and possibly even go on an international mission trip," Hicks said.
Since its first Fuge camp in 1979, LifeWay Christian Resources has developed six different Fuge summer camps to engage young people from the third grade through college in God's Word and His global vision. Over the past 27 years Fuge campers have donated nearly $10 million toward world missions. Each summer's gifts support the work of the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board.
For the past five years Fuge camps have directed their international missions focus toward the Roma people of Central and Eastern Europe. Now Fuge is kicking off a five-year partnership with the peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa.
College and seminary students who serve as Fuge camp directors visited South Africa in March to build relationships and assess specific needs that the Fuge missions offering could meet. The leaders were dispersed between Cape Town, Johannesburg and Soweto (the nation's largest township) to discover ways to spark a fire in the hearts of the next generation of campers.
"Our goal is to ignite these youth to have a passion for the Gospel, and to be a Christ-follower, whether it's in Africa, Germany or in their hometown," said Audra Long, director of Fuge Combo Camp at Mississippi College this summer.
Fuge camps partnered with the International Mission Board's International World Changers to send students on mission trips to minister to the Roma people during the now-concluded five-year initiative. Now, once Fuge campers hear about Africa this summer, leaders will identify future IWC opportunities for campers to go on mission in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"We feel that over the course of five summers, students will have a better understanding of the needs in Africa, and their heart will have a special place for the ministry needs in that part of the world," Hicks said.