The youth were joined by family members and adults from the church as they made the walk of remembrance. During the walk participants took turns carrying three crosses, representing the three crosses when Jesus died, and a lighter fourth cross.
Youth co-leader Michelle Motas said the walk serves as a way to remind the community what Easter is all about. She said there is nothing wrong with other activities and gifts, but the group wants people to remember what Jesus did for them.
Participant DJ Grady said he wanted to walk because since “Jesus died for us, we can walk for Him.”
DJ also said he hoped the community would look beyond what they were doing to the message of Jesus’ love.
Makayla Grady, who participated last year, said she wanted to do it again to “experience what Jesus felt when He walked” the road to Golgotha.
The night before the walk Makayla watched “The Passion of the Christ,” which depicts Jesus Christ’s death in a realistically graphic way, to reflect on what He did. She said the walk is a humbling experience.
Makayla said despite it being a long walk she did not do anything to prepare physically.
However, preparation was made in other ways, through prayer and planning of the route.
The team established three stops to rest and get a drink along the route.
Many parents of the walkers participated in these stops and came out to show their support. As the walkers began their trek, supports honked as they drove by.
For security, a Cleveland police officer rode in front or alongside the group and a member of Tri-State Security followed at the end.
This is the second year for the event. Co-leader Michelle Blackwell said approximately 40 people participated last year. This year more than 70 participated.
Last year the youth presented the event idea to the leaders after attending a Christian youth conference where a cross was passed among the students, according to Motas.
The activity gave them the idea to carry a cross a longer distance to remind people of Jesus’ death on the cross for them.