“Wanna play Hillbilly-Horseshoes with us?” One of my favorite parts about campus ministry is how a silly question like that can change lives. As staff workers we hear many stories from our students about how a seemingly meaningless interaction with someone ended up leading to serious spiritual growth, but we don’t as often get to participate instories like that.
During the fall I (Eric) keep my Hillbilly Horseshoes set (popular yard-game also known as Ladderball) in my car in case I find the opportunity to play a few rounds with some students on campus. One Thursday night in September after InterVarsity I got into a game with a few of my students.
A couple hours later and it was just myself and Cooper. Being a four-person game, we had to find some folks to fill in. After being rejected a couple of times I decided to ask the two ladies passing by a seemingly silly and meaningless question, “Hey, yall wanna play Hillbilly-Horseshoes with us?”
Time goes on… A couple of weeks later at our annual cookout on the Great Lawn, two familiar faces appear. I tell Jenna that it’s good to see her again and ask if she would come the next two InterVarsity’s because I’ll be giving a couple of talks about the basic message of the Gospel. She says she’ll try to make it. She came to InterVarsity a few times and began to get to know some of the women in ourcommunity. Some folks tell her she just has to go to “222,” Eastern Virginia’s annual Fall Conference that is November 21-23.
giving their lives to Christ and making serious recommitments to Him. Working chronologically backwards (this weekend, past month, past semester, past year, etc…) we ask folks to come to the middle of the circle and grab a doughnut if they have given their lives to Christ or made a recommitment in that time frame so that the rest of us can clap and yell and celebrate with them.The goal is that by the end of the night, everyone gets a doughnut (even folks that haven’t committed themselves to Christ yet) so that we can celebrate the goodness of the Lord.I expect too little of God… I had been praying for Jenna since the day I met her that she would see that Jesus is Lord and put her faith in Him. I was praying that she would come to 222 with us and praying that she would give her life to him there. When the call was given for folks who had made a commitment to Christ that weekend to grab a doughnut, Jenna did not go. She did, however, go and get a doughnut with 3 other people when folks who had made a commitment to Christ in the past month were invited to get a doughnut.
God used that moment to teach me that he doesn’t need big multi-campus conferences, just a few people who are willing to invite folks to check Jesus out. Its amazing to us how God can use something as silly as hillbilly horseshoes to grow his Kingdom and glorify Himself at CNU!