Posted on : Wednesday April 1, 2009

By Julie DuVall, Deep Creek Lake Resort Minister and Sharon Mager

DEEP CREEK, Md.—Deep Creek Lake Resort minister, Julie DuVall, and ministry volunteers gave away 230 hand warmers, labeled with the resort website and the ABC’s of becoming a Christian, to folks who came to the “Winter Dunk” in February. The “Dunk” is similar to the Polar Bear Plunge. Brave souls take a dip in the cold waters of Deep Creek Lake to raise money for Special Olympics.

“People are always grateful to receive
 the hand warmers,” DuVall said. “What really warmed my heart this year was having my eight-year-old son, Elijah, 
help me pass them out. At first, he was not that interested in standing out
 in the cold. Then, I read to him the label on the hand warmer and he replied
 with, ‘You mean someone might come to know Jesus, because I gave them a
 hand warmer?’ I couldn’t get him to quit giving them out after that,” DuVall said.

Deep Creek Church, the Duvall’s home church, is located across the street from where the “Dunk” event happens each year. The church ministered by opening their parking lot to visitors. Members also gave out hot cocoa and other goodies.

The resort ministry is growing. Duvall and other volunteers regularly visit the Wisp Ski Resort and share Christ casually, talking with people as they ride the lifts or relax in the lodge. They give out care packages with granola bars, hand warmers, tissues, hot chocolate packets and evangelistic tracks. Julie and her husband, Bill, also pray for those who get injured and are transported by ski patrol.

This summer, several mission teams are scheduled to help minister on weekends at the lake helping with children’s ministries, campground services and other events.

In October, DuVall and helpers will man a tent at the Autumn Glory Festival in Oakland offering a baby comfort station and Kids Ministry site with free food, hand washing, face painting and clowning. DuVall said she is praying that several churches will come alongside her and help with this project.

“God has been so good to us in this past year.  Without His great work here
 and without the prayers of our churches we would not be able to do what we 
do. We are so grateful to be able to see the doors God is opening. We are
 also very grateful and appreciative of all of the churches and volunteers 
that have supported us financially or come out to help us this past year,” DuVall said.

Churches interested in helping with the resort ministry can contact Julie Duvall at (301) 501-6775 or e-mail her at