'The Journey' Comes to Spokane Valley
For seven years, I’ve shared with my chiropractor the big event our church does, Journey to the Cross (J2C). He was always interested, but this year he came. As a cast member in the first scene, I spotted him in the crowd while dancing with the bride at the wedding. Following the dance and after the servants poured water into the big jugs and the water turned to wine, the crowd began to leave. I was able to thank my chiropractor for coming. His daughter loved the grapes and almonds offered by the servants at the house. He said, “She like watching the story.”
With its seventh year just completed, J2C is becoming a dynamic outreach to the Spokane community. Last year for the first time a local Mormon bishop offered to help recruit cast members from his church. This year many of his members again participated. The cast of more than 250 includes Adventists from many local churches as well as five other Christian churches in the area.
In seven years J2C has grown from about 1,600 guests to 5,000. In terms of lives touched, that's more than 20,000 people, not to mention the lives of the cast and crew. We started out with about 75 cast and crew, and the recent event had more than 250. This does not include the musicians and the greeters at the church providing entertainment and order while the guests wait to go through Cana and Jerusalem to watch many stories unfold from the life of Jesus.
The cast and crew met one week later to tell stories about the weekend. One theme of the stories was children. One girl chose J2C for her birthday party. A young actress in J2C went through, and she was struck by how Jesus forgave Peter when he had denied Him. During the triumphal entry in Jerusalem, the children do such a good job; they get into their parts, truly being children. At one point three little children who were guests rushed forward to be touched by Jesus. In the Garde of Gethsemene two young guests toddled to the rock and peeked over it to watch Jesus pray.
At Golgotha, two little boys watch Jesus on the cross and then asked their tour guide if the nails really went through the hands and feet of Jesus. At the end of the Journey, a little girl asked her mom if she could talk to Jesus. Larry McCauley, one of the actors portraying Jesus, walked by and stopped. The girl told "Jesus" she had hurt her head, so McCauley asked if he could pray for her.
Another theme was about life changes and miracles. One actor brings honeycomb for the actors in the Great Commission. This year he had to bring last year's honeycomb and expected it to be old and sugary. But when he opened the package it was like fresh honey. One actress had a son going through renal failure, and after the event he told his mom he was cleared of his disease.
One lady brought five guests who were not Christians. Another guest said the event touched her deeply. Another said she had been questioning her standing with Jesus, and this has made a difference.
This is why Spokane Valley Adventist Church produces J2C. It is exciting to see people attend who've been invited. It's a way to share the love and life of Jesus in a whole new way so people will see Him in a whole new light. The Journey at Spokane Valley is one that makes a difference.