Created on Tuesday, 30 July 2013 Written by CARRIE ELLINGTON
Emmaus participants recall experience
Martha Jean Stults did not want to be at Emmaus. She had something negative hit her close to home, and wanted nothing more than to leave the gathering. But she toughed it out and stayed, having what she described as one of the most unbelievable experiences of her life.
From the left, Martha Jean Stults, Dianne Goslee, Karen Blackburn and Shirley Brewer participate in a Thursday morning Bible study at the Indian Lake Community Church. All four women have participated in Emmaus walks. (EXAMINER PHOTO/CARRIE ELLINGTON)
Mrs. Stults, of Lakeview, is just one of the thousands of people who have participated in the Emmaus walk.
“It’s such a roller coaster, and it’s life changing really,” said Mrs. Stults.
The Emmaus walk is a four-day experience for people of all walks of life and all Christian denominations to inspire and challenge them, and help strengthen the participants’ spiritual lives. They are held at various churches, retreats and buildings all across the country. The walk runs Thursday through Sunday with everything from meals, meetings and sleeping taking place with small groups. There is no technology or outside distractions, and it is not until the last day you learn the professions of the people around you. Every part of the day is planned with the hope of strengthening the participant’s spiritual life.
Karen Blackburn, associate pastor at the Indian Lake Community Church, said for her it was less life changing than life affirming.
“It was more affirmative for me, that this is where I’m supposed to be in life. You can feel the love expressed when you’re there. You know what heaven is like at one point,” said Mrs. Blackburn.
Shirley Brewer of Lakeview participated at a retreat in Florida, praising the Emmaus walk’s dedication to keeping the focus on spiritual renewal.
“They take care of everything for you. Cooking, cleaning, they have a team for everything, so you can focus on why you’re there,” said Mrs. Brewer.
Emmaus offers walks specially designed to fit the stages of life for the participants, with walks for youths, teens, men and women all designed to speak to the situations that often occur at that stage of life.
Read the full story in Tuesday's Bellefontaine Examiner.