GEORGETOWN, Ky. (BP) — For the past six years, White Sulphur Baptist Church has hosted a unique event that brings youth, police and military personnel together for a night of fun — and much more.
The Georgetown, Ky., church has dubbed the event “Mission Impossible.” On Oct. 12, the church presented a laser tag style game at night where youth competed against police and military personnel — who are known during the evening as “commandos.” It’s spread out across a brush filled, eight-acre field cut with paths that lead to a home base.
Watchtowers are scattered across the field so commandos can sweep spotlights looking for the youth and then pass information to the commandos on the ground. This year a helicopter circled the field with a spotlight assisting the commandos.
Troey Stout, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent in Lexington and White Sulphur Baptist Church member, is one of the organizers.
“We want kids to have a positive experience with police and people with a military background,” he said. “All of the folks working with us have a servant’s heart.”
Preparation for the event takes the better part of a year. Wanda Miller, a leadership team member and church member, said it is a learning experience for the youth. “They have to learn about finishing the course and how challenging that can be,” she said.
The church also uses the event to raise funds for charity. This year it was Kentucky Wounded Heroes, an organization based in Louisville that helps current or former military personnel, police officers, firefighters or EMTs who were injured while in combat or carrying out their line of duty.
“This gives kids an opportunity to learn about self-sacrifice,” said Chuck Reed, the organization’s director. “They learn about serving the community and that honors the Lord.”
Event organizers were specifically trying to help Scott County Deputy Jaime Morales. He was shot while assisting federal authorities trying to apprehend a suspected bank robber in September. Morales suffered several complications that left him 90 percent paralyzed. He is currently receiving spinal rehabilitation.
At the end of day, the event organizers say their aim is evangelistic. “Our first priority is to spread the Gospel,” Stout said. “We wanted to create a safe place where the kids could have fun, but also hear about Jesus Christ.”
The evening concludes with one of the military or police personnel sharing about their relationship with Jesus Christ. “The kids get to play against the commandos, then one of them comes out of that group to share his faith and his personal story with the kids,” Miller said.
“We’re not here for the credit to go to our church, but to help the kids come to know Jesus,” Miller noted. “It’s going to be a help to the body of Christ in our area and that’s what it’s all about.”