Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bark and Berry, ATServants, Caratunk, and prayers

Bark and Berry, ATServants, Caratunk, and Prayer... these are a few of my favorite things!

If you follow along with my blogging, you might surmise that I love the little town of Caratunk, Maine, and go up that way on lumber deliveries whenever I can. It is a wonderful place on it's own accord, but additionally has gained points with myself and others for having the Appalachian Trail coursing through it. It is also the site for the Kennebec Ferry, which shuttles the hikers safely across the Kennebec River. (This is the only river crossing on the A.T. that utilizes a ferryman, and the ferry is the official means of crossing the Kennebec when hiking the A.T.!)

You've likely noticed also, I have a fondness for ATServants Ministry. (PLEASE check them out online to find out more about their ministry!) One of the activities of their ministry is to send forth missionarys to the Appalachian Trail to act as Trail Chaplains and SERVANTS... Love those folks!

Bark and Berry... well, they are this years' Trail Chaplains! They are a young married couple who are committed to hiking the Appalachian Trail and acting as witnesses for Jesus Christ. They do this by "walking the walk" alongside other hikers, letting them see Christ through them, and "talking the talk" when the opportunity presents itself. They keep a great online journal, through which I am able to share their journey. (You can also access the journal through the ATServants website). Great people, great read!

I am also an advocate of prayer! This is the most important thing we can do as Christians... we pray for all kinds of things, like safety, health, provision for our needs... we pray for others, also, for likewise things... we pray for our parents, our children, our friends. Most importantly, and many times overlooked, is that we need to pray that all we say and do would Glorify God! We really need to be careful in what we say, do, and pray for...

Now, I'll tie it all together... I've been following ATServants for a while now. I pray for an effective ministry, and that they are winning souls for Christ. Most recently, I have followed along (through their journal) with Bark and Berry, as they have moved steadily Northward, edging closer to Maine, and Mt Katahdin. I have prayed for their safety, for "easy" hiking, good weather, other hikers to witness to, and that I might possibly get to meet them somewhere in Maine... yeah, that last prayer was pretty much selfish... So... Ahem! Yes... They were doing quite well, and in my last blog I told how I was in Stratton, helping a few hikers and looking for Bark and Berry. They weren't going to make it to Stratton that day, but I managed to get their number from Duckman, and left a message with them. I was in hopes that they would call me when coming into Little Bigelow Lean-to, or perhaps Pleasant Pond Lean-to, where I might meet with them...

I guess I have to confess that I was more than a little excited at the possibility of meeting Bark and Berry! And, I guess that I have to admit that my prayers for them were overshadowed by my selfish prayer for me. Yes. I guess that in the next few days I didn't pray so much for their safety, their hiking, the weather, or their ministry. I did focus a lot more on praying that they would call me, that I would meet them, that I would have time and gas to get to wherever they called from. (actually, the time and gas prayer turned out to be pretty good!).

Some prayers got answered on Thursday! I got a call from Bark at 4:00PM. I asked where they were, and the answer was Caratunk! Great! I'd be able to meet up with them, probably at Pleasant Pond Lean-to!... No, said Bark... He needed to get to a hospital instead. I needed to refocus.

I was in Fairfield, a pretty good drive to Caratunk, but I promised to finish my business ASAP and pick them up at the Post Office. When I arrived their backpacks were at the entrance to the Post Office, but they were not. A nice lady, Marie Beane, walked toward me, from the house across the road. She asked if I was "Stickman", and I answered in the affirmative. She then asked if I had left a Scripturestick at her door two years ago. I turned, pointing at the door to the Post Office, and asked, "That door?". Yes! Cari had left it as a free gift to whoever retrieved it at the Post Office door. She thanked me for the stick, saying that she had been all this time wondering who to thank. Well, you're welcome Mrs. Beane, I am pleased you are in posession of it.

Marie asked me to come to the house with her, where she was taking good care of Bark and Berry, providing a wonderful meal, and offering up showers and laundry. What a wonderful lady! I believe it was all of God! After introductions all around, and a couple of pictures taken, we were ready to head for the Hospital, but invited to come back anytime. Thanks, Marie!

I'll wrap this up quickly... We got to the Hospital by 7:00PM, with Bark being seen by a Doctor in short order. It seems he has a pretty good infection in both legs, and was running a bit of a temp. My wife, Cari, was just getting off work, in admitting, and came down to meet the hikers. After Bark was finished, and with prescriptions in hand, we headed off to a motel to let them get settled in. I was still excited to meet them and was wanting to talk... my wife saved them from me, and they were able to shut the door... since then they have gone to a less expensive motel, and we were able to provide them with a computer and a guitar, and mostly let them rest. They are planning to attend services with me at Crossroads Bible Church (this morning), while Cari is at the New Portland Fair, with the ScriptureSticks.

I am no less happy to have been able to meet Bark and Berry, and am thankful to provide whatever assistance that Cari and I are able to... but I am sorry that it was under trying times for Bark and Berry. I will say, though, that Bark and Berry have shown much faith and grace under pressure, leaving their ultimate fate up to the Lord, and accepting that He is in control...

So, would you all join me in praying for Bark and Berry? Let's pray for Barks' quick and full healing, and that he and Berry will return to the trail refreshed. Let's pray for their safety, for "easy" hiking, good weather, and for other hikers to witness to... And let's pray that all we say and do would Glorify God!

God Bless you Bark. God Bless you Berry. God Bless you all!



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