Muscatine’s Mulford Evangelical Free Church’s youth traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, for a conference called Challenge. Challenge is a conference held every two years at a different location. Challenge has been held in Salt Lake City, Columbus, New Orleans, Kansas City, and more. It is five days of Biblical teaching that challenges youth to live each day on point for Christ and the Gospel.
The conference holds around 5,000 students and attracts groups from all over the country. Challenge sponsors a group from a different country, too. This year they sponsored Brazil, giving students a chance to learn about Brazilian culture and the churches of Brazil. The students are also given the option of afternoon activities such as gaga ball, knockerball, volleyball, and basketball.Challenge provides speakers for every gathering and a live band for the week.
“I really liked the setup of how they had a theme every night and at the end of the week everything tied together,” says senior Bryce Timmons.
Mulford took 11 middle school and high school students and four adult leaders to Louisville this year. This trip gave the students an opportunity to take part in outreach projects such as prayer walks, painting, and cleaning up garbage in neighborhoods in Kentucky. This also gave the students a chance to connect with some of the people of Louisville and introduce non-believers to Christ.
Mulford’s youth pastor Nic Hendricks went to this conference as a high schooler and has been a youth pastor at Mulford since 2007. He has taken his youth groups to five Challenges.
“I continue to take them because not only do they get to have a fun, memory-making trip, they are immersed in God’s word and come away focused on living out what they have learned,” says Hendricks.
He hopes that this trip can continue to teach students valuable lessons and bring more students to Christ.