APRIL 15, 2014 – LAWTON, OKLAHOMA (photos by Kahealani Dingle)
Deep in the heart of a wildlife refuge lies a replica of Israel, designed to look as it did in Biblical times, called The Holy City of the Wichitas. Its façade is made of worn bricks. The backdrop is the Wichita Mountains. Though it is isolated off of the edge of town, tens of thousands of visitors travel to sit on the side of the mountain to witness an annual Easter Pageant that takes place within the Holy City’s stage. The Pageant tells the story of Jesus, and has been a popular attraction since 1939.
Patrons who attend the play have the option to eat at food vendor trucks that set up on the side of the viewing area, but the cast and crew of the pageant are often left to find food of their own before or after show time. To solve this, the Holy City’s Producers reached out to The Salvation Army of Lawton to see if they would be willing to bring a canteen out to the site, exclusively for the actors and crew members participating in the event.
Lt. Israel Roseno, Corps Officer in Lawton, gladly accepted the request.
Loaded with hot dogs and beverages, Lt. Roseno drove The Salvation Army Canteen into the Wichita Mountains and arrived to a hungry cast of over 200 people. Alongside him, volunteers from the corps quickly prepped the meals to begin the four hour dinner service, where over 300 hot dogs and 230 drinks were served to the Pageant’s actors and staff free of charge.
In the Bible, Jesus said that ‘the last shall be first, and the first shall be last’, and the actor who portrayed Jesus in the Pageant made sure that the entire cast was served their meals before stepping into the final place in line.
The Salvation Army of Lawton will also be serving the Holy City of the Wichitas Easter Pageant at its final performance on April 19th.
For more information on The Salvation Army of Lawton, visit http://www.salvationarmylawton.org