“There’s dirt on my shirt
And leaves in my hair
There’s mud on my boots
But I don’t really care… “
— Jeff Foxworthy, Dirt on My Shirt
You may not be aware of this, but recently our SunRidge campus was the site of a large and messy youth event involving water and dirt. Low in cost, but requiring a large sacrifice of time and energy and soap, this was the first, and most likely annual, mud fight.
A week out, leaders spent the day picking up a truckload of dirt (thanks to Cole’s dad for providing high quality dirt) and shovelling it out at SunRidge. There were hours needed for set-up to have different mud-fight challenges (including a duel-pool, an army crawl and slip-n-slide), lots of energy was required for the event itself and even more energy and a pressure washer to clean up.
This is what our Student Ministry Team is willing to do for the students they care for week to week. No one is telling them to do this. On no job description will you find “Mud Fight.” This amazing team is making this up as they go out of a great love for Jesus that spills over onto these young lives.
When you love people you look out at them and ask, “What do they need?” We should all be asking this because it is what Jesus did. At a wedding once, people needed wine so the party wouldn’t stop so Jesus stepped up and provided. Another time, out in the middle of nowhere the crowd needed loaves and fish so that hunger wouldn’t take away from their experience with Jesus — He made dinner for everyone. Sometimes He saw people needed defending sometimes He saw they needed a story. Sometimes He thought the time was right and they needed to get out of a boat, on other occasions He saw they needed to go fishing.
What do our students need? In this time of life where there is so much angst, with this generation where there is so much social disconnection — the team looked at those they love, like Jesus would, and said: mud fight (and couldn’t we make a Biblical connection to Jesus also using mud to show love to people along the way? See John 9)
So all this investment of energy, all this time, all this clean-up, all for the memories, all for the joy, all to build a community who can laugh together and the next week talk about the most serious of things. That is in fact what happened because this week they tackled a big heavy topic: how to deal with the problem of pornography.
SunRidge, please express thankfulness to GOD for those who BLESS our students. Pray for them. Say nice things to them! Pray for the future too, that our Student Team will always be well led, well staffed, well loved. We so value the blessing, the discipling…and the mud-fighting.
PS. I should mention, there were fish involved. Each team was given a large fish they had to carry with them through every event and the fish “most intact” at the end, won. Also, during different mud challenges the students were rewarded with sardines.