Friday, October 27, 2006

Mudbowl Outreach to Freshmen

This fall, Student Venture West Plains (MO) put on an event for incoming freshmen called the “Mudbowl”. This was designed to be fun, high energy, and a little over the top. We got permission to use a 60’ x 100’ section of land owned by a local soccer club. We plowed up the land and had the local fire department pour several thousand gallons of water on it to make it good and muddy. To make sure it was muddy enough, we had several trucks drive (and spin!) around on it until the mud was about a foot deep throughout the entire 6000 square foot area.

We hid 8 balls in the mud, ranging from a tennis ball to a beach ball, and had 150 freshmen crawling through the mud looking for them for prizes. We had a 60 foot race on hands and knees through the mud, complete with a tape at the finish line. We had a tug of war between 30 overconfident freshman guys and 60 freshman girls. Of course, the girls won! And the highlight was the football game played with 4 footballs at once. (We actually used oversized watermelons as footballs, just to make it more challenging.)

In the course of the event, two upperclassmen shared about their relationship with Christ and challenged the freshmen to start their high school experience with God. One of the students, Amanda, shared about how her sophomore brother died in a car accident 6 months earlier giving her perspective that life is short and uncertain. She went on to share the Gospel and encouraged the students to place their faith in Christ. Twenty-seven students indicated that they did and 25 others requested more information about Student Venture.

By the end of the night, after the mud fights were over, and everyone was completely covered, the fire department hosed everyone down and many teenagers went home with a new sense of hope and purpose in their life.

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