MILLEDGEVILLE — Part of being on missions is finding yourself in an unfamiliar location,taking a look at things from the ground level, almost certainly getting a little bit of dirt under your fingernails.
Participants in the Georgia College and State University BCM Muddin' for Missions Mud Run can count on all three April 16.
Four years ago, says campus minister David Kirkland, student leaders wanted a different way to raise funds for summer missions. "They wanted it to be unique," he remembers. Other ideas were to have an event late at night, maybe something glow-in-the-dark, but when a local plant nursery allowed the BCM access to property for the run, they had a home for the 4K obstacle race featuring mud pits, tunnels, and tarp slides.
This year the location changed due to a partnership with Georgia Military College, which is expected to bring more than the up-to-120 runners in years past. "The race is going to be right in Milledgeville as opposed to 12 miles outside of town like it was before," says Kirkland. "Students from GMC are going to be involved as well."
Georgia Military College – which will become home to Georgia Baptists' newest collegiate ministry on Feb. 22 – offered to host this year's run for cadets to be involved. "They already had some obstacles built for their Raiders program, and are helping build some additional obstacles," says Kirkland.
As throughout the state, funds raised at the Mud Run will go toward helping BCM students around Georgia take part in summer missions. This year ten of those missionaries will be from Georgia College's BCM. All ten will be participating in the Mud Run either as a participant or volunteer.
BCM president Austin Blanchard is going to do both. He'll be helping at the event, but the day before will join others in a "volunteer run" through the course.
For his first two years of college, Blanchard had served as a student ministry intern for his home church, Mountain Park First Baptist in Stone Mountain. Though he loved the work, he felt his spiritual walk had become stagnant, though, and another step was needed.
"I prayed about summer missions and felt a clarity about it," said Blanchard, a business management major. "I'm excited about serving."
Blanchard will be in Toronto this summer through the North American Mission Board's Generation Send program, which works to build inroads for future church plants in major cities.
Why missions? "Next year I'm going to be a senior, and want to be certain on what I want to do after college," he points out. "Do I want to open a business, be a preacher, start a church? I want to clarify where my passions are.
"Being a part of BCM has made me ask myself 'Why'. Going through this process has been very humbling and made me realize God wants to use me to glorify Himself, which is really cool."
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