Wellen Fu works in the Summit Team as an Outdoor Leader. He emits a laid-back vibe and laughs often. It would be easy to assume that Wellen’s childhood was like any other – a nice childhood, a nice family, a nice life. However, his memories of growing up were quite the opposite with his teen years filled with hurt and brokenness. Thankfully, it is the hope found in Jesus that helps free him from past hurts, brings healing to relationships, and gives him immense joy in sharing the gospel with kids on Summit Camps.
Wellen grew up in a non-believing home. His parents had separated when he was young and he experienced a number of difficult relationships within his family. With the absence of good role models and after falling in with the wrong crowd during high school, Wellen was struggling, “I didn’t really know what I was doing. I constantly felt awful and tried filling gaps with friendships and relationships and they just kept letting me down.”
“I realised what it meant to be loved … I realised that the gap in my heart could really only be filled with Jesus.
When Wellen was nearly 18 he was invited to go to church. “I think for the first time I realised what it meant to be loved, I understood the gospel for the first time. I realised that the gap in my heart could really only be filled with Jesus. Now, my relationship with my family is better. There is no doubt that becoming a Christian has influenced that. God forgave us through Christ, and in receiving that gift, I can let go of past hurt.”
Wellen was invited to his first Christian camp experience as a leader on CRU Hype in 2016. He fondly shares, “I loved it so much. I cried so much on that camp because it was my first opportunity to tell kids about Jesus.”
Wellen’s emotional experience on CRU Hype influenced his next steps.
He recalls, “A few months later, I dropped out of Uni because I realised that I wanted to tell kids about Jesus. I joined the Summit Fellowship Program and loved it.”
One of Wellen’s fondest Summit Camp experiences was at Lake Mac, “I was leading a Year 7 mixed discussion group and the campers were so thankful to be able to speak about God in an environment where they were able to experience His creation. I noticed Sam* because he started crying when I shared a little about my life and the hope that Jesus brings. Sam came up to me afterwards and said that the discussion really resonated with him. Sam was struggling with life and family, the need to do the right thing and please others, and was just so thankful to hear the message of hope. Sam wasn’t a Christian at the time of coming on camp, but I was able to give him a bible and a devotional resource.”
Wellen also describes how he is always encouraged by how God is at work through camps, especially at Lake Mac, “Sometimes we’re just a bit doubtful that kids will be interested in the message of Jesus. But somehow, the conversation is always brought up. During sailing is probably the best time to connect. Every time we sail we get an opportunity to get to know the kids. For some reason, sailing puts the campers at ease and their walls come down. There’s also the jetty – they love the jetty and just chatting about God there!”
He continues, "One of the most common things Summit Leaders hear from the campers is, 'Oh, I didn't realise Christians were normal. I thought Christianity was just for old people. You've actually assisted me in changing that view!'"
It’s evident that there is something special about the Christian camp context. Wellen enthusiastically explains, “It’s like a little community for a few days. We do activities together, eat together, share personal experiences, and that does something. Somehow, God uses that setting and the connections we make. He makes the Bible stories come alive so that the gospel becomes real for the campers.”
*Name changed for confidentiality reasons.