Puzzle helps reveal true meaning of Easter
The event spoken of in this article has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. See the website at the end of the article for more information.
Spring is just around the corner which means it is almost time for God’s Appalachian Partnership’s “Hunting for the Truth” event at the ballpark in Minnie, Ky. Although this is an annual Easter egg hunt (with over 3500 plastic eggs, carnival-type games, inflatables, free food, music, etc.), everything about the event is targeted to sharing the true meaning of Easter. That it is not about eggs and the Easter bunny, but all about Christ and that He is alive today.
Depending on the weather, between 500-800 people will come. God’s Appalachian Partnership (GAP) is located in an area where there is not much to do, an area with drugs, families torn apart and grandparents raising grandchildren. GAP plans this event so the families can get together, have fun, play together and, most importantly, learn the true meaning of Easter. “Everything we do leads to the gospel,” said Shaughanessy Morris. “This is our largest evangelistic event of the year.”
From the first point of contact (registration), the children and adults are “hunting” for the truth of Easter. At each carnival game the participants receive a puzzle piece and the volunteers share with them that they are looking for something special. Once each game is completed and each puzzle piece collected, the participants proceed to the truth pavilion where they put their puzzle together. However, there will be one piece missing.
The Easter story is told as each piece of the puzzle is put together. The volunteers at the truth pavilion have the missing piece, which leads the children to the connection of the truth of Easter. They share that Jesus is alive, share the gospel message and share that everyone is missing something in their lives. That missing piece is Jesus Christ. For youth and adults, puzzle pieces are hidden throughout the park. As they find the hidden pieces, they too go to the truth pavilion and learn the truth of Easter. After the gospel is presented, all names go into a drawing for prizes.
An interesting story occurred a few years ago during the annual Easter Egg Hunt. That year GAP used decoder cards, in which the children needed red cellophane glasses to read. The decoded message was “Jesus Is Alive.” As one 11-year-old girl was writing her message, she didn’t know the word “Jesus.” She had heard the word Jesus, but had never seen the name of Jesus written.
GAP’s Director John Morris shares that many in their area are not churched. “There are so many that do not know Jesus, which makes us more motivated to share Him.” Many hear and respond to the gospel message through the ministry of GAP.
John Morris, along with his wife, Shaughanessy, and MSC missionaries Joyce Morris and Tanya Parker, strive to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people of Appalachia by:
• Meeting the people on the level of spiritual need so that they will grow into the people God created them to be and share that with others.
• Meeting the physical needs through food, clothing housing and other areas essential to wellness in an effort to promote personal responsibility.
• Meeting the personal development need through special training which enhances their economic potential of the individual and the community as a whole.
Learn more about the ministry of GAP and ways you can partner with them in reaching the people of eastern Kentucky with the gospel at www.gapky. org.
Teresa Parrett is missions mobilization coordinator of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.