Death arrives unexpectedly, and there are choices required that are important and determine our eternal outcome. This, in brief, is the message delivered in a unique way each year through the Judgement House production at the Great Bend Church of the Nazarene. Members Dale Pruter and wife Sherry, have been instrumental in bringing the annual live walk-through drama to Great Bend for the past 10 years. Wednesday night, they were busy with actors and actresses, recruited from several area churches, running through lines during dress rehearsal leading up to the opening Friday night, Oct. 16.
This year’s story, “The Silent Killer,” focuses on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. From the Judgement House website, here is a synopsis:
On average, 1,000 people in the United States die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. It binds to blood with 250 times more affinity than Oxygen and therefore, replaces oxygen in the blood resulting in eventual suffocation. it is silent but lethal, and it has just taken the lives of four members in the Wood family. The story, like all Judgement House productions, isn’t recommended for children under the age of 10 because the themes can be scary for youngsters, Pruter warns. Counselors will be standing by and can help anyone who needs to exit the show.
Performances will run from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16; 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the church, located at 4811 Broadway Ave. A $3 donation is recommended. Reservations are being taken at the church during the day. The telephone number is 620-793-6139. Reservations are not necessary, however, Pruter said.
Each year, the committee in charge of choosing the next script from Judgement House, meets, prays and considers the possibilities. Each year, their choice has been uncannily timely, Sherry Pruter said. Recently several incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning have been reported in the media, she said. And while the story is different every year, the question delivered in the message is always this -- do we wrestle with sin on our own, or do we choose to accept God?
As many as 16 area churches and at least 100 volunteers get involved in this non-denominational production, which draws youth groups from as far as Goodland, Pruter said. Last year over 300,000 people all over the United States reportedly saw Judgement House and lives were changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pruter said approximately 1,000 people walk through Great Bend’s Judgement House every year.
One purpose of Judgement House is to remind participants that hell doesn’t have to be their final destination. After the final scene, guests are invited to accept Jesus as their savior or to rededicate their lives if they are already Christians. Online studies for “After Judgement House” can be found at www.afterjh.org.