One van. Two years. Every uni location in the UK.

By Alexandra Khan | 26 October 2013

Fusion Road Trip

Over the next two years, Fusion are hoping to visit every university location in the UK to help equip the local churches to be spectacular with students. And they’re doing it in an iconic VW camper van.

Miriam Swaffield (Student Mission Developer for Fusion) will be road-tripping around the land in the bright orange VW, seeking to raise the profile and participation of the student mission movement. “I’m passionate about seeing students grow as vital parts of the church body,” she says, “I want to see them looking outwards and loving their universities and friends in all the creative and everyday ways God calls us to.” 

The VW camper van creates a tangible symbol for the student mission movement, and it’s also a brilliant mission tool itself.

“It gathers a crowd as soon as it’s parked, there’s space inside to have meetings, chill out with a cup of tea that can be made on the camper’s cooking facilities, and there are enough seat belts for a bunch of students to join me on the road from city to city.”

The plan is that any local church can use the VW to serve and fuel their local church student mission and any student can go on the road too. It’s all one beautiful gift.

Miriam believes students matter, and that connecting them with local churches can mean the difference between finding and keeping or losing their faith while at university.

“If students matter so much, if we believe that our university days are hugely important to God and a massive opportunity for people to meet Jesus, are we willing to put our money where our mouth is?”

For Miriam, who is herself an early twenty-something, it’s not enough to ask for money from her parent’s generation to help keep the student mission movement running: “If this generation is serious about reaching our mates and loving the local church, we need to commit to fuelling this movement ourselves.”

Through Fusion’s partnership with Stewardship, students have the chance to pay for the petrol money for the thousands of miles the Loveyouruni VW has to travel.

“It’s not cheap on fuel but this gives us the perfect opportunity to take responsibility for making the movement happen.” Miriam says.  “And amazingly, Stewardship adds a tenner a month when you give a tenner or over to fuel the movement for the first year...we’re essentially getting double petrol money!”

The 18-25 giving account from Stewardship was set up with students in mind, to encourage a foundation of generosity long before the full-time pay checks start rolling in. It’s fee-free for two years, so the full amount given goes to support causes, and it also potentially has the benefit of an extra 25% Gift Aid on top. So ten pounds per month potentially becomes £270 to give away per year. Which, for Miriam, is a big help on the mission field…and the motorway…and the campus…

Her call to the students who read this is simple:  “Let’s own student mission for ourselves,” says Miriam. “Let’s be generous with our money (isn’t all money kind of like a student loan from God anyway?). Let’s love our unis.”

Find out more about the road trip here, open a 18-25 giving account here, or follow Miriam on Twitter and use the official #fusionroadtrip hashtag.

 

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Posted by Alexandra Khan

Alexandra is a digital marketing executive for Stewardship. Originally trained in music, she went on to spend a few years in the videogames industry before making the leap to the NFP sector. Follow her on Twitter: @alxkhn

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