What my Emmaus Walk / Chrysalis Flight meant to me....
Recently we asked to board to write a response to the question of what did their walk or flight mean to them..Below are some responses from them about what their walk / flight meant to them..Please send me your response so that we can share them with the community...
Send your response to firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Frank Jankowski. I walked on Pamlico Emmaus #33, “Trust in the Lord,” and I sat at the table of www.trust.god. I attend and am the Worship Leader and Music Leader at Old Ford Church of Christ in Washington, NC.
The story I want to share is short, but it is one that defined for me the difference between seeking God’s will and being a servant on a walk/flight, an empty vessel, versus being a “man I can’t wait to team again, I had a great time, when’s the next walk” kinda guy.
There is such a thing in our society as the “American Dream.” Grow up in a good home, go to high school, college, maybe grad school, get a good job, get married, have kids, . . . you know the story I am talking about. After my walk in October of 2003, a 72 hour investment that changed my life and returned HUGE dividends, I was geared up to do the work of the Lord. I wanted to team, I wanted to be Community Music Director, I wanted to be on the Board - I wanted, I wanted, I wanted.
Fortunately we serve a God that can use broken or imperfect vessels, and I was (and will always be) imperfect. My goals were true, but I was focused on “WHAT I CAN DO,” and not “WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO – WHAT WILL GOD DO THROUGH ME.” This struggle inside my heart caused me to become somewhat bitter, because it was becoming all about me without me knowing it. God used my energy and commitment, that seemed apparent, but I needed to step back from the servant’s table and seek Him, seek His will for me, both in the PE/PC realm as well as in my personal life.
During that period of time, I lost some friends. I lost a music ministry that I loved dearly, and that was utterly devastating to me. I also lost my way spiritually. Through all of that, God did not leave me. He granted me another “reconciliation service” experience as I prayed and asked Him for guidance. I nailed my barriers to that cross, got back on the path that my Walk to Emmaus weekend started, and again became an empty vessel, waiting to be filled with the water of His will for me. Praise God!
In the last year or two, I have been a servant on two flights, sharing my joy and the musical gifts He has blessed me with. I have also become part of a body of believers where I can be a vessel for God’s Holy Spirit. I now have a much clearer understanding of what it means to be a servant. I also now know how not to be a seeker of that emotional rollercoaster that participating in a flight or walk can be. I now await God’s leading rather than counting the days until the next teaming experience.
God’s leading may be another flight or walk where I can work behind the scenes or be in the conference room. His leading may also be to focus on my congregation, or to work at the local shelter, or to do a street ministry, or to simply stop, be quiet, and listen to Him. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength – I am waiting, praying, seeking, and daily going to my secret, quiet place, waiting for Him.
De Colores . . .
MY WALK TO EMMAUS: What it meant to me.
It was one of the best experiences of my entire life. The words Awesome, Love. God and Jesus Christ have new meaning to me than they did before my walk.
There have been many good surprises and happy occasions in my life, but none have surpassed The Walk to Emmaus.
I have been active in church most of my life in some form or another and knew about Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit, but never quite understanding the depth of any of the three.
The Emmaus Walk can be a different experience for each individual who attends.
I experienced first hand the depth of Gods love for me.
I discovered I had known of God, but didnt know God and knowing God is having a deep and strong relationship with Him that is built on daily fellowship and study.
You know of me, but to really know me you must spend some time, hours, days talking to me and listening to me. Knowing of my pain, hurts, joys, love and my goals in life. So it is with God.
I found, I need to be working daily on my relationship with the Lord.
I know, Christ died on the cross for our sins, we have been taught that from our early years, but to experience that walk with him and to help him carry the cross and feel the pain He felt, and to know the joy in which He died on that cross for our sins was a new experience for me.
To be reminded that God loves us unconditionally to the depths of our soul and forgiven time and time again for any and all sins, no record once we ask for forgiveness.
Not like humans who forgive me but keep reminding me of my sins and faults and stop loving me because Im different.
I caught a real glimpse of what heaven must be like with angels singing and love overflowing. The walk to Emmaus was a great learning experience.
God bless you
Ann Roach PE 19
I had been approached for almost 2 years by a friend of mine about walking on the Emmaus program around 2001 but had absolutely no interest in anything of this nature. I was in church several times a week and felt as if that was enough. This friend kept telling me in a very loving way that it was something he felt I would enjoy, knowing my love for the Lord. Finally I decided to seek counsel from the highest level, the Lord, as if this was something I should do. You know, when we turn our lives over the Him, He will direct our paths in the ways He wants us to go. Both my wife Louise and I knew that He was calling me to step out in faith and see what He had planned for me.
I made a point to go by my friends office 1 day right after lunch, knowing that he would probably be in and that he would be reading his Bible. I told the Lord that if this were the case then I would take it as a sign that I was supposed to go on the Walk to Emmaus. Well, he was not only in his office but also reading his Bible, doing his daily devotions. OK God, I get the point. With tears in my eyes I asked him when the next walk was scheduled.
PE 33, Trust in the Lord, was in October, 2003, and it truly changed my life. I have made so many friends that truly love the Lord and enjoy being with them as much as possible. I truly see that God wants to reach out and touch each and every one, not only in our own churches, but in other programs as well. Sometimes we can be in places and churches that we might feel as if we are not really free to worship as we would like to with the freedom we desire. I truly love the worship during the mens walks because we are free to worship freely and let it all hang out. Sometimes, it is very hard to find a dry eye there. The Lord always shows up for us as we worship him.
When my wife and I think back regarding the past 6 years in the Pamlico Emmaus program we realize what a true blessing it has been, and is continuing to be. Yes, I was disappointed when we had to get away from our program and go the the Model program, but after just 1 Friday night teaming meeting, I realized that God was, and is, still in control. THANK GOODNESS.
Louise and I have always believed in timing as the most important part of our Christian walk. Was the timing right for me on this? The Walk number was PE 33, the name of the walk was Trust in the Lord, and I sat at the table of Faithful Seekers. I would say that Gods timing for me was pretty Awesome.
I would like to just say a big Thanks to Mike Moore of Washington, NC for lovingly keeping me in his thoughts and prayers about me attending the Walk to Emmaus. Thanks also to Mike and Tish Moore and Joe and Judy Tunstall for sponsoring me to attend the walk. Thanks very much guys, Gods love for me was truly shown thru your actions. You will never know how much Pamlico Emmaus means to me. God bless you richly.
Does God have someone in mind for you to invite to attend the Walk to Emmaus? Why not ask Him to show you if there is.
PE 33 Trust In the Lord
Rocky Mount, NC
What My Walk Meant to Me - a 4th Day talk by Bruce Boggs
4th Day Talk Dec 6th 2008
Hello My Name is Bruce Boggs
Woodbine Baptist Church
Pamlico Emmaus walk #38, table of the spirit catchers
I want to start by saying that this will not be a normal 4th day talk.
You see a 4th day talk is not supposed to be about your walk. Instead it is a detailed answer to one of the questions that you were asked to respond to at the closing of your walk. What are you going to do about it? But even at closing we first answer the question What has this walk meant to me? It was the answer to this question that came to me one day during vacation bible school through a last minute craft project substitution.
The lady in charge of crafts had planned to use photo reactive paper to make picture frames for the kids to take home. In order for the paper to react you have to expose it to sunlight. Her problemIt was raining.
So she took out some crosses made of black construction paper and handed one to me with a stick and said Here do one of these as an example for the kids.
I was a little confused. Do What? She said use the stick to scratch a design on the cross. I began scratching
I stopped scratching and just stared at the cross. Apparently it was for a noticeable amount of time, because I heard her ask me if I was ok. I was thinking about how this is what happened to me on my walk. The black came off and revealed a rainbow of colors.
For me black was a way of keeping a distance between myself and others. It allowed me to be involved without really getting involved. Its sort of like the difference between a contribution and a commitment. You all know that story rightIf not, just remember that when you have bacon and eggs for breakfast, the chicken made a contribution, and the pig made a commitment.
As we all know the walk to Emmaus is about building up laity in the church to return to their church to join with the clergy to fulfill the mission of the church. Before my walk I ran the soundboard and projector at church, but I was not really involved in the church. Since my walk I have become very involved in my church. I joined a Sunday school class, and have since been asked to share teaching duties with another member. I joined the choir and have also been known to sing a solo or two every now and then. I have gone on outreach in the community and surrounding areas. I joined the social committee which is the kitchen crew at church. I have been on a mission trip to Engelhard NC where we helped a small church have Vacation bible school, outreach to the community, revival, build a storage building and do some painting. Not to mention the 12 meals that we prepared for 50 people. And yes I still help run the soundboard and projector.
I have also become heavily involved with the Chrysalis program trying to get it started in the Pamlico community. When I returned to the area where I work, after I walked, I found out that the piedmont community held their chrysalis flights about 10 miles from my office. I volunteered to work in the kitchen at the camp one flight, and realized the wonderful opportunity that chrysalis holds for young people. It was just a couple of months ago that I was working in the kitchen at a piedmont chrysalis flight. While sitting at the grill cooking some chicken, I had a conversation with one of their Emmaus board members about issues that we were having in switching to the model and low community involvement. He went back inside to the kitchen and I sat there looking across the parking lot at a wooded hillside. The sun was behind the trees, and the leaves were a beautiful rainbow of fall colors. But there was this one dead tree. I thought to myself as I stared at this tree that this would be the perfect picture if that one tree wasnt there. A breeze stirred, the trees separated and I was blinded by the sun. After a couple of seconds the wind died down and again I focused on that dead tree. Once again the wind stirred, and I was blinded by the sunlight. After this happened a third time, I got the message. It was if God was saying to me, Dont focus on that dead tree. Focus on the big picture. You see when we look at the beauty that is the big picture; we dont get distracted by the details that we dont like.
At one of the gatherings, someone made a comment about going to the model and how we had left the walks that we loved. That thought came back to me again one day when I was reading a devotional. The scripture that it referenced was from Revelation. In chapter 2, John records the letters to the churches. In verse 4, Jesus says to the church at Ephesus, but this I have against you, you have left your first love. That seems to be what has happened with our Emmaus community. Now there are those who would say that We havent left our first love, it was taken from us. It was replaced with this model. The walk that we loved was so much better. It was alive with the Spirit. But I believe that those who would say this have not really experienced a walk according to the model. Sure some may have sponsored a pilgrim or served on a walk that was done according to the model, but they probably did not do so in an attitude of complete surrender.
I must confess that before PE50, the first model walk that we conducted, I wasnt 100percent sure that we were going to provide the same experience for the pilgrims. And we didnt! But God did. As we started the teaming sessions, it became clear that that god was letting us know that it was about HIM and not about our way or the model way. This was evident again on PE53, our most recent walk, and the best walk that I have had the privilege of serving on. A piece of agape that I received on my original walk sums it all up.Let go and Let God! You see our first love is not the walk itself; it is presence of the power of the Holy Spirit that always shows up when Gods people are serving and worshipping him. That is what we were doing on our walks and what we can still do with the model walks.
Recently as I was preparing my lesson for Sunday School, I came across a statement in one of the commentaries, that said..Your beliefs and attitude will affect you actions and behaviorsWhile this thought is nothing new; it does apply to Emmaus as well. I urge every one of you to think back to what your walk really meant to you and share your story with the community. I think in doing this, you will again find that first love you had for serving god and the Emmaus community.
Both my Emmaus walk and my subsequent teaming experiences as well as my Chrysalis teaming experiences
have all been very obviously to me, in God's perfect time. I first walked when I was a new Christian and just
beginning to thirst for the word. Having little real understanding yet my mind and heart were open to the possibilities.
I truly left there knowing I had spent time with Jesus, face to face. My entire world between 40 days of purpose,
Emmaus walk, and the open and excepting youth group at Antioch Baptist church, my whole world was turned
right side up... Those who knew me then , and there are so few, vs those who know me Now can attest, that
I am a new creation. I am not fixed, or repaired, I am not better, or even spirit filled. I am a new creation.
Then I thought that was it all was made right, and I teamed and discovered that all was not made right,
now I am a work in progress. If that wasn't enough, God called me to Chrysalis and wow again he turned
me inside out. Each time he does a work in me I can feel it from the tips of my toes to the top of my head.
Today I am so glad to realize that God is not in my presence, But that I am in His, and I know that is where
I am suppose to be. In His perfect time. God bless. Hallelujah your love makes me sing.
Antioch Baptist Church
My walk to Emmaus PE 11 was a life changing experience. I walked into it as blind as one could and when I left on that Sunday I was blind no more. My eyes were opened to a New and colorful world that God had created for me and I had taken for granted. It was time I went to work spreading the news about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This walk had prepared me for the many challenges I would be faced with in the upcoming years I knew I was not alone in these trials and not only did I have the lord on my side but I also had this community of faith to fall upon in times of need. God is Good all the time and so are you my PE community. William Gountikas
I can truely say that the Walk to Emmaus changed my life!! I was sponsored very well, as I was desiring to be more active in my church! I have found that I needed to be doing so much more than I had been in the past. I needed to take an active roll in being a disciple for Christ.
I pray that I am fulfilling my calling. My husband (do in a large part to Emmaus) has become a Methodist Local Pastor. We serve the Vanceboro Circuit, in Vanceboro, NC and have found our true home! We love the people (many have walked) and we are growing in our youth as well as our young families. I feel that Emmaus has given me the tools and even some wisdom and insight to be a better Christian and even a preacher's wife!!! I love Emmaus and I pray that we continue to grow, no it's not an easy path but the rewards are great!!
I strongly encourage everyone to seek the right people to sponsor on our upcoming Spring Walks, remember it is to build up our churches-not just to have a great weekend away from the world. Seek those who are leaders and who God has laid it upon our hearts to become the leaders that our churches so desperately need!! Jean Price