By CBF field personnel Carson Foushee
Carson Foushee has been serving with his wife Laura in partnership with the Japan Baptist Convention since 2013. Carson served the summer of 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. He served in China as a Mandarin language student and assisted with English classes led by CBF affiliate field personnel Don and Karen Barnes. He was a member of the Millennium Development Goals’ team in North America, Europe and Africa. He worked alongside CBF field personnel Jade and Shelah Acker in Uganda. Finally, in southeast Asia Carson worked under the direction of CBF field personnel Ron and Melin Green.
“I was discerning God’s guidance for my next steps after graduation from college when I attended my home church’s Christmas Eve worship service during winter break of my senior year. As I sat among family and friends who had encouraged me in my faith journey throughout my life, I felt God leading me to return to life-giving service opportunities I had experienced in the years that led up to that moment. Growing up in a CBF connected church, my mother suggested serving with CBF, and I found Student.Go online.
I applied for a position in China that drew my interest and was accepted, but still pursued jobs within my field of sport management. A few weeks later I got a call from a neighbor from my hometown who found about my interest in the position in China and shared that she had served in the same city of the internship that few outside of China know about. She prayed for clarity as I discerned my calling. The next morning clarity came when I received a call from a professional sports job. I had been a final candidate and I was not selected. It was then I knew China would be my next destination.
My favorite experiences were the ones that most wouldn’t view as all that special. It was the average and even mundane experiences and conversations that confirmed that I had been welcomed by the local partners with whom I served and that my contributions were valuable to the communities where I had been led. Experiences like sitting down for a lunch at a work site of beef rendang and rice packed inside a banana leaf along with the water filtration team from the ministry in Southeast Asia, gathering with friends in my dorm room in China with Chinese friends made on the basketball court, or singing each evening with the MDG team as part of our covenant with each other to sing together each day.
During the MDG team’s visit to Ethiopia to serve alongside Water is Life and former field personnel David Harding, I was introduced to Yared who led a team of water well drillers. He was an orphan who had been well cared for by the ministry and then was trained with skills that allowed for his success as a well driller and team leader. He was such a joyful person and it seemed like he was the town mayor everywhere we went. People of all ages excitedly came out to receive him as we traveled to hard-to-reach villages in the bush just to express their gratitude for Yared and his team’s work that changed the lives of those in this community.
In China, my call to professional ministry was confirmed as I realized what I knew and realized what I lacked that I could gain through seminary studies for long-term service. Before and during seminary I continued to return to serve with Student.Go for practical experience under the supervision of inspirational field personnel supervisors. Each experience equipped me with new skills that I still use today.
Recently in my role as field personnel, I was able to speak a little with a family in my city in a Southeast Asian language that I learned during an internship which helped develop a new relationship and chance to share the love of Christ. My internships opened my eyes to needs in society, spiritual and physical, that I still seek to address in my service as field personnel.”