Pekin man tries to bring awareness to the meaning of Good Friday

By WEEK Producer

Pekin man tries to bring awareness to the meaning of Good Friday

April 6, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 3:59 AM CDT

PEKIN, Ill -- A Pekin man continues his decades-old mission today-- to spread the meaning of Good Friday.

For 21 years Paul Helmig has embodied the Christian faith, by dressing up as Jesus. The 59-year-old also carries a wooden cross through town.

This year he walked nearly four miles, ending up at the Illinois River, catching the attention of drivers and onlookers.

But sharing his good faith hasn't come easy.

" I've had everything from people driving by throwing beer bottles, to asking me what they need to do to get saved and that's what it's about," Helmig said.

One Pekin resident also took notice.

"He's representing a man who walked a lonely road and was treated the same way he's being treated today, but he is, the King is coming again," Carol Grogan said.

Helmig's tradition almost came to an end last year when he was scheduled to have surgery for kidney cancer. But he postponed it to carry the cross. Now his doctors say his cancer is in remission.

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