Children and adults who attended this year’s Community Easter Egg Hunt discovered that the truth of Easter has nothing to do with eggs, bunnies, or baskets. As each family arrived on April 8th in the midst of egg hunts, games, music, and food, they each embarked on a “hunt” to discover the truth of Easter.
Children 12 and younger played games, won candy, and collected specially coded cards. After collecting all 10 cards, the children took them to the Truth Pavilion where they received a pair of special decoding glasses and a volunteer helped them decode the truth of Easter – Jesus is Alive! We were then able to share with them how this truth could transform their life just as it has ours. Many children told us that they didn’t know that this was the truth of Easter. It humbled many of our volunteers when they realized that several 10-12 year olds had never even read the name of Jesus before.
At the same time, there were five posters hidden throughout the park with decoding glasses attached. Teens and adults had to find all five posters, use the attached glasses, and write down the special symbol on the paper provided. When they completed that task, they brought it to the Truth Pavilion were someone used those symbols to share the truth of Easter with them and gave them a bracelet with those symbols on it as a reminder. Also, for completing the tasks, their names were put into a drawing for the adult prizes.
This year, Union Baptist Church in northern Kentucky had collected and brought to us beautiful dolls and stuffed bears. The dolls were of all different sizes, colors, and shapes. The women at the church had carefully placed each one in its own box and handled them with such love and care. These dolls gave us the opportunity to share with the children that they too are all different with different color hair and eyes, some short, and some tall and that God loves each of them because He created them in His image. The children loved these dolls and bears. It was so precious to see their faces light up and to see the care and love they handled them with. My heart was overwhelmed as I watched one little boy, who couldn’t have been more than 3-4 years of age, pull back the doll he had been cradling and tenderly look at it and told it “I love you.” God always does amazing things with the resources He provides.
About 600 attended this year’s event and it was one of the best! It is always great spending time with our families in our community but it was such a blessing to see our community come together for an event like this. At one moment during the afternoon, I stood in the middle of the basketball court and just turned around slowly praising God for what He was doing that day and every day through GAP and in this community. I saw families laughing, playing, and so many smiles. I could see young and old looking for posters, finding them, and then putting on some funning looking glasses. I saw a pavilion full of children and adults sitting one on one with a volunteer hearing about the truth of Easter, some for the first time. Two adults accepted Jesus Christ that day and four others made other decisions! Praise the Lord! What a joy it was to see so many of all ages HUNTING for the Truth! I am reminded of Jesus’ words, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37b-38).
This ministry event is a great example of how God works through many different people as they all partner together in ministry with a common goal of sharing the Gospel with those here in eastern Kentucky. There were several financial donors scattered in several different states that partnered together. WMU groups from several different churches in the Three Forks Association purchased and filled about 5,000 plastic eggs. The Kentucky Baptist WMU at their annual meeting filled over 2,000 plastic eggs and made the cutest bunnies out of socks. Several volunteers from churches came to minister on the day of the event and countless individuals and groups, more than I even know, across many states, prayed in the weeks before and during the event that God would work mightily and that His Truth would be made known to all. This is the true picture of partnership! The decisions that we witnessed that day were a direct result of God working as His children partnered together to accomplish His task of spreading the Gospel. Thank each of you for the part you played in this ministry event but more importantly for your role in the lives that were forever changed because of the Truth! (Click on the photo below to view more pictures of this ministry event.)