For almost 20 years middle and high school students have gathered in Laramie for the annual FCA Game Day event. October 20, 2018 was a familiar scene: students arrived from around the state, driven by faithful volunteers, and checked into First Christian Church where they received a ticket to the Wyoming football game, this year against Utah State, and a Game Day T-shirt or hat. They then entered the church sanctuary where they signed up for a door prize drawing and played games until the program began. After a welcome by UW FCA director Aaron Frude, students enjoyed some music with Laramie Valley Chapel worship leader Steve German. Following the music, some trivia and door prize drawings, former New York State University at Buffalo wide receiver Fred Lee took the microphone to challenge his audience with the message, What is the gospel and why does it matter? Lee explained the basics of the gospel: that all people are sinners separated from God, reconciled to Him only through personally accepting the payment of Jesus' blood on the cross and believing in the confirmation of this payment by Jesus' resurrection from the dead. He then went on to describe various responses people might have to this "good news." While some people hear this message and never really respond, others hear and their lives are changed in a way that reflects the good news, or gospel, they have received. Still others may struggle with the implications this message has on their life and continue to live lives that are not honoring to God for a time. Lee challenged his listeners, wherever they are in their spiritual journey, to hear and respond to this message and let it affect the way they live. All else aside, Lee's message was a win, and several students indicated they prayed to receive Christ as their savior following his message.
After the message, students enjoyed pizza and pop before walking to War Memorial Stadium on this sunny late fall day to cheer on the cowboys. While the Cowboys did not come out on top, this time, they day ended up in a win as three UW football players, Cooper Roth, James Price and Nick Smith, all shared a word of spiritual encouragement with Game Day attendees following the game. These guys were excellent role models in demonstrating that their true worth does not come from football wins and losses, but from their position as followers of Christ.
Despite a Cowboy loss on the field, the day was a victory in light of eternity. 20 years from now, few will remember the score of this game, but the affect this event had on the souls who attended will be felt forever.