Young Christians march the "Via Dolorosa" on Good Friday

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It's a decade old tradition in Jackson County on Easter weekend. Young people from several churches, some carrying large, wooden crosses, are walking 35 miles, from Gautier to Escatawpa.

Their Good Friday message is about sacrifice and love.

"We hope that we can influence all the cars passing by and the people watching," said Justin Parker.

They marched down Highway 90, taking turns carrying heavy, wooden crosses. It's a journey of faith for these young Christians.

"We're walking for Jesus. Because He did it for us," said Mallory Jordan.

"When we carry the crosses, it's just amazing to think that my God went through this before for me," added Caleb Satcher.

It's called the "Via Dolorosa" which is Latin for "the way of suffering." They'll walk 35 miles over Good Friday and Saturday.

It is a small sacrifice they say, compared to the suffering and death of Jesus.

"We're out here walking for Jesus. Cause He done it for us," said Ben Haas.

"It's important, because God did it for us. Why not do it for Him? I haven't carried a cross yet, but look forward to it," says Krissy Page.

Kenny Veazey has made this journey the past several years.  He says the main intent is not showing off, but sharing love.

"It's a good way to be a witness to people who are passing by and show the love of Christ and what He did for us," said Veazey.

Many of the walkers have personal stories of faith to share with others.

"I just got my life straightened out with God. And I'm doing it because I feel that God led me to do this. He did this for us, so why not do it for Him?" said Amy Heathcoe.

Along with conveying a message about sacrificial love, the event also raises money for missions.  Many participants will collect pledges for each of the 35 mile journey they're willing to walk.

"Jesus did this for us.  And He's willing to save you and love you. Have a good Easter!" said Veazey.

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