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Crosses Stand as a Witness in Iowa

Cadets Andrew, Alex, and Jonathan from Ocheyedan (Iowa) CRC helped to erect the crosses.
Cadets Andrew, Alex, and Jonathan from Ocheyedan (Iowa) CRC helped to erect the crosses.
Chris Slagter

A vision of hope is needed at this moment, and there is a picture of that in Ocheyedan, Iowa, where three crosses are set up on the Ocheyedan Mound.

The practice of putting up the crosses sometime before the celebration of Easter each year was started by the now-closed Lighthouse Alliance Church and was passed on to members of Ocheyedan Christian Reformed Church.

Ocheyedan CRC’s Cadet group, a club for young boys, helps to assemble the crosses. This year they completed this task Monday, March 30.

One of the Cadet members to participate was eighth-grader Jonathan Hout. Reflecting on the task, he said, “When we carry the crosses up the mound it helps us connect on a deeper level. We get a better understanding of what Jesus went through some 2000 years ago.” Ocheyedan CRC’s Pastor Tom De Doe said the church has been looking forward to the commemoration through the season of Lent. While usual plans of hosting an outdoor Easter sunrise service and breakfast have changed to worship online in 2020, De Doe said the crosses serve as a reminder of what happened before Easter. (Orders against any large gatherings are in place across North America to prevent the spread of COVID-19.)

 “We cannot forget what happened on the mound called Golgotha. That was the darkest of days and times. The congregation here wants our community to see and hear that witness. The crosses bring a silent testimony to all of us of the deep need but also the gracious gift of our God to grant us life and to cleanse us from our sin and need,” De Doe said. 

Another Cadet member also responded to putting up the crosses. Eighth-grader Andrew Mulder said, “It is important because it is the first thing people see when they come into town. It helps us make an impact in our community and show how important our Christian faith is.”

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