By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent
OAKLAND, Md.—Deep Creek Lake Resort Ministries’ (DCLRM) website cites Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”
DCLRM minister Julie DuVall and volunteers are actually spreading the good news in and around the mountains of Western Maryland at resorts, sporting events, festivals and campgrounds.
“We’re seeing God open doors and answer prayers. It’s been exciting,” Duvall said.
She, her husband Bill, and their three children, Elijah, Aidan and Abigail, came to Garrett County four years ago to begin the ministry. Starting from ground level, the family, working with Deep Creek Church, began the basic task of praying, getting to know people, making connections and trusting God to move and He has. The first group of mission teams began arriving in this past winter and more are arriving this summer. Churches are rallying and folks are responding.
In the winter, Duvall and volunteers minister at ski resorts, talking to people as they ride the lifts or as they relax in the lodge and praying for the injured. They give seasonal employees care packages with granola bars, hand warmers, tissues, hot chocolate and tracts on Valentine’s Day and they provide donuts once a week.
Last year, Wisp Resort representatives asked Duvall if she could provide carolers for Christmas Eve. She was thrilled and quickly went to work recruiting volunteers. Several families from Western Association churches came to sing and give away Christmas hand warmers.
“As we sang, ‘Go Tell it On the Mountain,’ it actually took on a new meaning!” Duvall said.
DCLRM volunteers give away care packages and serve hot chocolate and cookies at the annual Winter Dunk at Deep Creek Lake in late January.
In the summer months, they minister at Deep Creek Lake State Park and Double GRV Park, providing chapel services. Either mission teams lead worship and devotionals or DuVall’s husband, Bill, does.
Volunteers from LaVale, South End and Deep Creek churches help, also.
Volunteers also work a baby care station and kid’s ministry area during Garrett County’s annual Autumn Glory Festival, a huge five-day event that draws thousands of people, some from hundreds of miles away.
Now DuVall is in the process of working out details to minister at the Savage Man Triathlon Festival, a half iron-man competition and at the Grand Fondo cycling event, a joint effort of Adventures Sports Center International and the Joanna Nicolay Melanoma Foundation. She envisions setting up to provide drinks and food and to eventually serve as chaplains to the athletes.
Adventure Sports Center in McHenry was recently chosen as the site for the 2014 Canoe Slalom World Championship. DuVall foresees having a baby comfort station during that event.
“It’s a good way to minister to people from all over the world. There will be a lot of athletes there who have been to the Olympics or are preparing for the Olympics,” she said.
With increased opportunities, DuVall said she needs volunteers including more mission teams, churches and small groups to come along side the DCLRM for support. They need immediate help with the upcoming Autumn Glory Festival. There is also a need for care packages, which open doors for talking to people and include information about the Gospel.
“I invite anyone that is interested to come and be a part of this,” she said. Volunteers can camp in the state park, rent a house on the lake or stay in a local inn nearby that offers discounts for groups helping the ministry.
“It’s been exciting. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the summer to see what God will do,” DuVall said.
AMPLIFY YOUR IMPACT
Julie DuVall asks for prayer that as she and other workers minister through the summer that they would continue to rely on God, that He would continue to show fruit from what they are doing and for the safety of the teams. Volunteers are greatly needed. DuVall especially needs college students to serve in the summer. To apply go to http://thebridge.namb.net.