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Hunting for meaning

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Veteran Easter egg hunter that he is, Zeke Haag had a game plan for Saturday morning's Easter egg hunt at CrossPoint Church.

The church, located at 1300 Harvest Road, not only had the hunt for the kids, but also a telling of the Easter story.

That's what Zeke's mom, Latisha, likes most about the church's annual Easter egg hunt.

"I think that's the most important thing, because Christ died for our sins, and for us to have eternal life," she said. "Without that, there's no reason for Easter."

Before the kids searched for approximately 1,200 eggs, children's pastor Doug Greer used a dozen different colored eggs to tell the Easter story to the assembled children.

"Today, I want to spend a few minutes about why we go to Easter," he told them.

For several years, Greer has used small items in the eggs to represent those used during Jesus' crucifixion, such as a crown of thorns.

Each egg had an item save for the last -- which was empty, signifying the empty tomb.

"I definitely believe wholeheartedly that it's never too young for them to begin to hear those things," campus pastor Micah Sanderson said.

The church started the Easter egg hunt more than 10 years ago, when it was still Agape Southern Baptist Church, Sanderson said. The church became part of CrossPoint approximately three years ago. CrossPoint is based in Hutchinson and has 10 locations in nine cities in Kansas.

Sanderson has been the campus pastor since the church became part of CrossPoint. Telling the Easter story and hunting for eggs go well together, he said.

"That's where you find that good balance of being able to talk about that with your children, but it's also good to have fun, hide eggs," Sanderson said.

Children who were babies through 1-year-olds hunted for eggs first. One child kept walking past eggs, with mom trailing behind, picking them up and putting them in the bucket. Another little boy just sat on the ground and emptied the bucket of eggs as fast as his mother put them in.

"Apparently, dropping them out is more fun than putting them in," said Shawna Noller, Hays, of her 13-month-old son, Blake.

Noller was appreciative of the Easter story being told.

"I think the kids need to hear that story before they come do the eggs, because that's the real reason that we're here," she said.

Noller's daughter, Kayla, was in the third grade and older division, the same one as savvy egg hunter Zeke Haag. As soon as the whistle blew for that group, Zeke bypassed the eggs right in front of him -- let the pack of rookies go after them -- and instead he raced to the far end of the marked-off grass for easy pickings, all by himself.

"We do lots of egg hunts in our family," Latisha Haag said. "Our hunting strategy is run to where no one is, and start there."

Soon enough, Zeke had a half-bucket full of brightly-colored eggs. Good day hunting, but there have been better.

"Sometimes, I get more," he said.

Latisha Haag brought her family over from Ellis for the second year in a row to participate in CrossPoint's Easter egg hunt.

"We really liked it," last year, she said. "We rated it as one of our top egg hunts because they do tell the Easter story before the egg hunt."