On March 28th GAP held its annual Community Easter Egg Hunt. It was an extremely cold Saturday. The temperature did not rise above 38 degrees the entire day. Volunteers showed up at 8:00 am ready to set up the ministry event. In previous years, it usually took about two hours to set up the carnival games, sound system, food, etc. However this year we broke the record. After only 30 minutes I looked around and the volunteers had disappeared. The cold temperatures had inspired everyone to be quick so that they could get back into their vehicles to turn their heaters on.
I wondered to myself just how many people would actually come out in this weather. At the end of the day 411 people had registered. We hid 6,200 filled plastic eggs and children of all ages had a great time hunting them. Their excitement was contagious. There were several carnival style games set up for families to play, face painting, clowns, an inflatable slide, food, puppets, live music including a local Christian rapper, but above all, at the center of this event was the sharing of the Easter story.
This year we tried something different in the way we presented the Gospel. Instead of trying to focus the crowd’s attention toward the stage for a presentation of the Gospel, we had 20 volunteers go out to engage adults one on one in conversation and share the resurrection story. God gave these volunteers some amazing opportunities to listen and to share with our clients and community. Throughout the day, as I looked around the crowd, I not only saw these volunteers talking and sharing but also praying with our clients, hugging them, and just being the hands and feet of Jesus to everyone around them.
Our clients have told us how grateful they are for the Community Easter Egg Event. Here is what just a few of them had to say:
“This has been the best day ever! Thank you for having this for me and my boys. We just love it!”– Macy B.
“Thank you for having this egg hunt. There is nothing around here for families to do together except this one time a year event. Thank you. We look forward to it every year!” – Laci T.
“I thank God for GAP. I don’t know where I would be if it was not for GAP. My kids are still talking about the Easter Egg Hunt and all the fun we had. My youngest said, ‘Mommy why don’t they have that every week?’” – Sandra W.
It is evident that God has used this one day ministry event. We are grateful for partners like you who made it possible! This year teams from Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church, Parksville Baptist Church, McDowell First Baptist Church, and Heartland Worship Center traveled to work at this ministry event. But there were many more that prayed and supported this event financially. Praise God for His provision for His ministry!
Here is what a couple of our volunteers had to say:
“This was my second time to work the GAP Easter Egg Hunt. Even though it was very cold it was still a blessing as usually. It is a great blessing to be able to serve the people there in this way. I don’t know who is blessed the most, those who attend or the ones who serve. What a great way to share Jesus!” – Karen Perkins, Parksville Baptist Church
“The Heartland Worship Center Missionaries had a wonderful experience helping this year at the Community Easter Egg Hunt hosted by GAP. We met knew friends, fellowshipped with kids and families all day and most especially were blessed and privileged to show the love of Christ! This was our teams first year to help and we hope to have the privilege for many more years. This is an event that brings friends and family together for a time of fun, food and fellowship, and gives us the opportunity to minister to those who sometimes just need a listening ear and to see the love of Christ through our mission team members.” – Alicia Turner, Heartland Worship Center (Click on the photo to view more pictures.)