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Centrifuge campers give more than $513,000 to international missions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Nearly 54,000 teens attending Centrifuge and Ministry-Fuge camps this summer pitched in $513,169.63 for international missions projects being conducted by the Southern Baptist International Mission Board.

“That’s almost $112,000 more than they gave last year,” said Joe Palmer, director of the Centrifuge department at LifeWay Christian Resources.

Palmer said the money will go to four specific IMB projects:

— Street ministry for children in Brazil, which includes providing food, clothing and shelter.

— Sports evangelism in India and China, including clinics that consist of skill training and games coupled with literature distribution and personal evangelism.

— Bible ministry for people groups who do not have the Bible in their own language, including Turks in Germany, North Caucasus nationals and Chinese.

— Worldwide international youth missions, including World Changers and International M-Fuge projects.

Palmer said more than $3.2 million has been collected since Centrifuge campers first began giving to missions.

“We started this back in 1984 when there was a famine in Africa, and we wanted to do something to help,” he said. “Missions giving has continued to grow and be an integral part of what we do at Centrifuge and M-Fuge camps.”

The campers give their gifts alternately each year to projects sponsored by the IMB or the North American Mission Board, he said. Last year, more than $400,000 was collected for projects in the United States.

“The world will be different, not only because of the many changes in the lives of youth and counselors that attended Centrifuge, but because of the ministries that this offering will make possible.”

Palmer said of the 53,944 teens who attended camps this year, 7,894 decisions for Christ were made. Those included: 1,023 accepting Jesus as their personal Savior; 4,607 rededications; 555 vocational decisions to go into some type of ministry; and 1,709 who made other types of decisions.

Centrifuge camps are for teens in grades seven through 12. Youth groups of all sizes from all parts of the country are mixed together for a fast-paced week of Bible study, recreation and inspiration.

At M-Fuge, teens and their leaders join in a large group for worship and fellowship, then go out into small teams for Bible study and for service projects to the community. M-Fuge follows the basic plan of a Centrifuge camp, but gives campers an opportunity to go into the community for missions. Projects may include construction work, backyard Bible clubs, puppet teams, work with the homeless, the hungry, the sick, and the aged.

Started in 1999, M-Fuge International combines elements of Centrifuge with opportunities for personal ministry in other countries. LifeWay partners with the IMB for these projects. This summer, teens traveled to Valencia, Venezuela, and London, England. Plans are to add Wales and Mexico to the 2001 schedule.

For more information on the teen camps or to register, call toll-free 1-877-CAMP123 or check the Internet at www.lifeway.com/fuge.

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  • Terri Lackey