Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We’ve been keeping as busy as bumblebees here at Sola – Appalachian Christian Retreat.
So far this season we’ve had approximately 50 Appalachian Trail hiker guests over to our place where they’ve found showers, laundry, a floor to sleep on out of the rain, small bibles to carry, and (we pray) many spiritual blessings from our ministry.
Two of our Christian hiker friends, Yard Dart (Glen) and Laser Beam (Bobbie), are volunteering for a long stretch this Summer to help with our ministry.
Banzai (Doug), in addition to weekly pastoral responsibilities, has been working on a number of renovation projects including this garage door project completed with Yard Dart’s assistance. See our before and after pictures on the side.
Hot Drinks (Priscilla) has been remodeling the kitchen with the help of her friend Cheyne and now with Laser Beam’s help. She’s also been keeping busy keeping up with baby Maple and doing household duties.
Maplecakes (Maple) has learned how to wave and how to crawl. We suspect she might be secretly planning a thru-crawl of the Appalachian Trail.
In each of our newsletters we hope to include this “Hiker Profile” section. This first time around we’ve chosen to note our first ever guest to Sola, One Speed (Esther) from England. We were thrilled to be there for her in a difficult time. She writes:
I was having a really bad day. I’d been on the trail for over 300 miles, my knees and ankle were sore, I was feeling mentally and emotionally fragile, and I was really missing the fellowship of my church and Christian friends back home in England. I was asking God to help me keep going when coming towards me was a young family. Turns out it was Banzai, Hot Drinks and their daughter. They were quite literally a Godsend! They invited me back to their home, explaining how they were setting up a ministry for hikers and had very recently moved to Unionville for that purpose. I got my laundry done, had a shower and slept on a comfy air bed. The next day I had a proper zero. Church in the morning followed by a ‘pot luck’ lunch with members of the congregation bringing some amazing food which was truly awesome—especially after all those packets of oatmeal and mashed potatoes I had been living on! A wonderful relaxing afternoon and evening with lots of conversation. The following day I set out on the trail again feeling SO much better—refreshed not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually too. Just what I needed, just when I needed it. Thank you for making me feel so welcome!
God bless, Esther
We are also praying for more churches and individuals to become regular supporters of our mission work. If you are interested in making a donation, please visit the PMU website: https://presbyterianmissions.org. Click on the orange donate button at the top right of the screen and choose USA/Home Missions/ Douma. Even small or one-time donations will be a great help in working towards ministry needs.
Finally, please pray for us in this difficult endeavor. Our missionary work combined with moving, church work, house work, and raising a baby have increased our stress levels considerably! Pray that the Lord sees us through challenging times.
– Banzai, Hot Drinks, and Maplecakes
(Doug, Priscilla, and Maple)