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Douma Prayer Letter (September 2020)
Posted on Sep 24, 2020
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
We’ve been greatly blessed with many hiker guests this summer here at Sola. They’ve come from near and far, both domestic and foreign—from places including Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. As we’ve welcomed these guests, we’ve had many good times of conversation, prayer, and even hymn-singing after meals. Some have been Christians of diverse denominations who we have encouraged to take Bibles from us to read on their hikes. Others have not been followers of the Lord, and we pray that the seeds planted at Sola may blossom one day into saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Some hikers from last year have also kept in touch. One man messaged me saying he had recently been baptized at his home church. From another we received a published account of her journey, including her stop at Sola. “One Speed,” or Esther, from England had great things to say about our mission and God’s providence that we were there for her at her point of greatest need. Check out her book Walking with Rocks, An English Woman Loose in the Woods on Amazon.
As I write this letter, we have a bit of a lull in between the busy northbound thru-hiker season and the coming south-bounder season. We expect those hikers who started in Maine in July to reach us in New York sometime this month. In the meanwhile, we have had Danielle Blizzard volunteering here from Grace BPC in Cape Canaveral FL. Her visit has been a great blessing to us, and we enjoyed a visit from PMU Field Director, Casey Southerland this month as well.
While we’re glad now to have a shower and laundry for the hikers, it has at times caused us to be doing multiple loads of laundry per day. Consequently, there has also been a lot of clothesline hanging in the back yard. I (Doug) never thought in my younger years that laundry would be part of my vocation! We’ve learned to watch the fickle weather carefully or risk discovering a soggy string of towels and sheets.
At the church—Unionville BPC—we’ve struggled a bit to have our attendance return to normal following all of the coronavirus restrictions. But last Sunday we had an encouraging number in attendance. We also have a couple going through new members class and then to premarital counseling as well. There are a few others that we’ve been connecting with, hoping that they will come to the church. However, with all of the cancelled activities around here it has been hard to do the same kind of outreach as before. We pray that the Lord will provide more opportunities for us to meet new people in the area and invite them to our church.
Our Sunday School has been going well as we’ve started studying the Psalms with Godfrey’s book Learning to Love the Psalms. Our Wednesday prayer meeting, initially moved outside for more “social distancing,” has remained outside drawing more people and giving us better visibility in the village.
We are thankful that we were able to go on a real vacation for the first time in 3 years! Pray that we continue to improve our operations and how we interact with hikers. And pray for us as we seek to balance all of life’s duties that come our way.
Banzai, Hot Drinks, and Maple Cakes
(Doug, Priscilla, and Maple)