Four students from association raised up
to enter Spurgeon College’s Fusion program
MOBERLY – Mark Carter, the director of missions (DOM) for Crossroads Baptist Association says he wants to develop people who will “go share the gospel with those who haven’t heard.” They are trying to do that by preparing students to be missionaries from within their association at a very young age. Right now they have four young students from their association who have just entered into a rigorous missionary training program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Spurgeon College in Kansas City.
Carter is a former youth pastor who has served as DOM in the association for three and a half years. Before that he was at Carpenter St. Baptist, Moberly, and First Baptist, Paris, in youth ministry. He and his wife, Bonnie have been leading students to be involved in summer missions and mission trips for the past 13 years. Bonnie Carter serves the Missouri Baptist Convention as the WMU executive director.
Bonnie Carter has coordinated teams of college and high school aged students for 13 years to help churches with vacation Bible schools and camps in the association, and they usually have a mission trip mid-summer. They’ve taken students to Wyoming, Montana, Minnesota, Illinois and to two provinces of Canada.
This has been a growth experience for these young people. The Carters believe these students are strengthened in their discipleship, their heartbeat for evangelism and desire to be on mission.
A few years ago Mark Carter took several students to a preview weekend for the Fusion program of Spurgeon College. Spurgeon College is the undergraduate school of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Since that time seven of their young people from the association have enrolled in the Fusion program. Of the four Crossroads students currently there, all of them from among those who served as student summer missionaries.
The Fusion program is a three-step year of directed studies and practical missions work. The first nine months the students are placed in an intense training in discipleship and missions. Then the following summer they go on an international missions assignment with an International Mission Board missionary in a region of the world that is relatively closed to the gospel.
Fusion officials say the third phase “is that the Fusion graduates are committed disciple makers for the rest of their lives.”
Katie Lisle, Fusion mobilization coordinator said, “We are given several months to prepare these students to go overseas (as missionaries). We do ‘life-on-life’ discipleship with them. They are placed on a small team which is led by an upperclass student.”
She added, “They are partnered with a local K.C. area church. They spend two semesters studying the language of their intended country. They do cross cultural studies as well as investigating practical matters such as how bus systems work, survival training, world religions and personal evangelism.”
Bonnie and Mark Carter are pleased that their summer missionaries are getting a taste of missions during their summer internships and then some of them are going on to step into missions training and practice at Fusion.
Currently Jeromy C., Peyton K., Marissa C. and Matthew G. are in their fall semester of study in the Fusion cohorts. Their last names are being redacted for security reasons.
Peyton K., age 18, said he felt a “longing to reach the lost because I know how much Christ changed me.” He agreed the Fusion program is rigorous and it was very eye opening for him. He grew up in a Christian home and his father is a youth pastor in Moberly. “I have tended to lose a sense of entitlement for myself (at Fusion),” he said.
“I find myself caring for others more now,” he added. “We’ve been in some experiences (in the program) where we were not able to eat what we wanted – just rice and beans – and we had to dress a certain way, not always having the comforts of Western culture.” He said it has taught him a lot about serving others.
Peyton K. said, “Not everyone is called to be an international missionary, but we are all called to live out the Great Commission.”
He said he feels Fusion has built up in him a great desire to share the gospel with urgency.”
Moberly student Jeromy C., also age 18, said the Fusion program is very different from a traditional college course. “It is very focused on making sure we are ready to go overseas as far as security preparation and how we would handle things that might go wrong.”
He decided to go into this missions training and engagement process because “I always thought if I didn’t go on missions, someone else would go….but it is everyone’s responsibility to share the gospel.”