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As the Easter holiday has come and passed on the calendar, it’s been a joyous time to look back on the sights, smells, and smiles of our Journey Through Jerusalem event and remember that we can celebrate Easter every day because our Savior has risen indeed!

As we planned this event, we wanted it to be fun, interactive and a way to prepare hearts for Easter. What we often cannot see is how God is orchestrating everything (Romans 8:28) for His good to share His love and grace in ways we can’t even imagine.

Storybook Farm brought out lots of cuddly, calm farm animals to hold, pet and learn about. As the many hands carefully held the bunnies and baby chicks (to name a few animals present), the smiles and joy brightened the atmosphere. Many kids and adults alike described it as “therapeutic” and did not want the experience to end. While the animals brought excitement outdoors, down the stairs into the dining hall the generosity of our market vendors breaking bread, sharing their creations, games and art, welcomed guests into our Jerusalem Marketplace. The woodworking shop offered small, wooden crosses, reminding us that Jesus paid it all. This sentiment brought Amy* to tears as she prayed with our woodworkers, Nancy and Matt. Amy held her cross close and followed her Journey Guide upstairs to the prayer wall (a replica of the Prayer Wall in Jerusalem) where she had the opportunity to write her prayers and place it within the bricks.  Amy slowly walked through the sanctuary stopping at stations set up that offered opportunities to reflect on Jesus’ journey to the cross.  The theme of forgiveness echoed through each element- nailing the nails into the cross, tearing the linens, smelling the vinegar- all pointing them to the reason we celebrate Easter: Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again!

When Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem, through the marketplaces and amidst the people He came to save, many would venture to say that He was not the Savior they were looking for. Jesus did not fit into the expectations of a Savior and He wasn’t what they prepared for, but He is what the Lord knew they needed. Journey Through Jerusalem provided another opportunity see how the Lord works through everything, the things we planned and prepared for, and the things that we had no idea would impact someone so deeply (like holding bunnies and tasting a pomegranate for the first time).

A HUGE thank you to the wonderful volunteers who helped us put on this event, prayed with participants, and showed them the love of Christ this Easter season. Redeemer Church, the Westminster Presbyterian Church Ladybugs, Texas Tech BYX and Storybook Farm all played a vital role and we’re so thankful for them!


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