FRAMINGHAM, MA - Over a dozen men at Oasis Church enthusiastically signed up for the acclaimed Wild At Heart book study earlier this year - but they may have gotten more than they bargained for. Early Wednesday morning the penultimate session was scheduled to take place in the lightly wooded field behind the church, and that's where things seem to have gone wrong.
The open field, which is framed by the interstate on the south and the church parking lot on the north, soon became the backdrop for a desperate attempt to survive as the group was reportedly unable to retrace their path down a trail dotted with trees back to the church - and civilization - at the conclusion of their study.
"We were really fearing for our lives out there. It was frigidly cold," group leader Rudy Carson told reporters of the 58-degree spring morning. "We tried waving down passing semi trucks and joggers but no one heard our cries for help. Hank ran across the street to the 7-11, but they didn't have a public bathroom or a phone we could use, so we were back to square one."
A group vote decided their next course of action: to head back toward the church rather than risk the elements. They loaded their gear back into their two trucks and attempted to navigate the small patch of land by heading toward the church's steeple on the horizon approximately 75 yards in the distance.
After the group aimlessly drove around the thicket for more than an hour, a passing group of youths on BMX bikes reportedly found the survivors and led them the remaining 50 feet to the church parking lot.
Medics were immediately called to the scene to treat the brave, but traumatized, group of men.
After all this, Carson says he's not giving up on the Wild At Heart study. "There's something primal, risky, and wild in God's heart. While we may have come uncomfortably close to death in this harrowing experience, we're that much closer to finding out what it means to be a real man of God."