MT. VERNON — —
During the performance, Bible verses were read over the sound system to provide context for the story.
At the end of the reenactment, Santa Claus entered the scene, riding on the back of a pickup truck. Gifts were then handed out to the children.
Before distributing the gifts, however, Santa reminded the kids that he is not the true meaning of Christmas. The birth of Jesus is the real focus of the holiday, he said.
“Our whole purpose of the ministry is we just want to share Jesus with whoever will listen to us,” Michelle Burwell said. “The kids that we work with, a lot of them don't even know Jesus. They don't know who Jesus is. They know Santa Claus and their presents. They're not really sure about the true Christmas story. So we're hoping with this imagery that they'll remember.”
Another volunteer at Saturday's event was Cyndee Gillmore of New Castle, Ind., who also brought her seven children to help out.
Gillmore, who has her own ministry in Indiana, said Way of the Cross does a great deal to help share the Gospel with Mt. Vernon area residents.
“There are so many wonderful people that are involved in this,” Gillmore said. “Their goal is to just show the love of Christ through everything that they do.”
Parent Tina Gass of Dix brought her 9-year-old daughter, Keelie, to the Cowboy Christmas Saturday. Keelie was able to ride on one of the horses.
“I think it's really nice,” Tina Gass said of the event. “I mean, anything to help kids is well worth it.”
The not-for-profit Way of the Cross Ranch Ministries was founded in 2008 by Jerry and Michelle Burwell. It offers monthly clinics and a Bible school.