From October 13, 2020

Part 2 about my trip to Maine is finally here!

Attending an Amish church service was very different. I had a similar experience when I went to Dave and Martha’s wedding last fall so I knew a little of what to expect. There were many things that were different from the typical Amish church service. A couple major differences were one, they held their services in what they call the “Meeting house” instead of meeting in homes. Two, their services were in English instead of Pennsylvania Dutch and German.

Because the service was in English, I was glad to be able to understand what was being said. I was quite pleased to hear the emphasis on being born again rather than hoping to get to Heaven through their works. As I listened to the messages and to the different ones from the church talk, I knew that they were different from most Amish. It seemed like they had a genuine relationship with Jesus.

I learned pretty quick that Sunday was going to be slightly different from their usual Sunday service. It was a baptismal service! Instead of finishing the service as usual they had the baptismal candidates kneel before them and take their vows to the church. It was very interesting, and I was thankful that I got to witness the event and to understand what was being said. I found out later that the young man that got baptized, Atlee, was one that Dave and several of the other young men that traveled with us had known a few years ago. His baptism was the reason for the trip in the first place.

Lunch was a pitch in meal, and we all had a wonderful time mingling and visiting with the people. We learned more about the people and community and how they work compared to most Amish communities.

As people began to take their leave and go their separate ways Dave, Martha, and I decided to find where the young people were having their hymn sing. We had been invited and were glad to go. However, because we were by ourselves and didn’t understand the directions that we had been given we spent a lot more time walking than we anticipated! We ended up getting there about the time they were finished. The songs that we did get to participate in were wonderful. While in church the songs are sung in unison, the hymn sings are sing in harmony. The singing was beautiful! I was quite disappointed that it was over. I could have enjoyed the singing for a while longer.

That evening we enjoyed supper and fellowship with the bishop and his family as well as Atlee and his family. I enjoyed watching and listening as well as talking with some of the ladies. As we were talking, I found out that a couple of Atlee’s sisters live in the Pearisburg, VA Amish community. I had lived just a few miles from there while my dad pastored in Bland, VA. I was shocked! They, however, were not living there at the time that I lived in that area. It was so neat that we were able to make that connection. It’s crazy though that we had to go to Maine, of all places, to meet!

The next morning, we began the trek home around 7AM. Glen began driving and it was nice to be able to relax and enjoy the scenery or take a nap, whatever struck my fancy. We wanted to do some sightseeing along the coast, so we went to Acadia National Park and go to see some beautiful sights.

The first place that we stopped at was a rock-climbing trail. Everyone else wanted to hike on the trail so instead of being left behind I decided to try it even though I wasn’t interested. The first section wasn’t all that bad. Just climbing over large rocks. The trouble came when it was time to climb the cliff. I got to the first rung and realized I wasn’t going to make it. It would have been one thing if we would have had safety gear, but we didn’t. I knew I would never make it, so I turned right around and headed back down the way I came up. I wasn’t going to risk getting partway up and not being able to go anywhere. I was happy to just stay where I knew I would be safe!

Once everyone made it back a couple of hours later we went to see the beach. It was smaller than I thought, but it was beautiful. On 2 sides there were rock walls that added to the beauty. I don’t remember seeing a place quite like it. There were rocks there that we decided to climb over to get to the water. The only problem was that they were covered in seaweed and barnacles! Not a good combination! When I finally reached the water, it was a bit chilly, but it was worth it.

Our third and last stop at the national park was what they call the Thunder Hole. It was a hole in the rocks that when the water rushed in it sounded like thunder. It was amazing to see and was probably my favorite stop of the day. I couldn’t help being in awe of God’s creation.

From there we finally began the second leg of the trip. Around 4:30PM we stopped for gas. We were still in Maine and I was not looking forward to the long drive still ahead. I took over the driving from there and it actually went a lot better than I expected. God really helped me. For a while I was able to visit with a couple of the others in the van and when they all fell asleep I was able to listen to music and sing softly to keep myself awake.

We arrived at Dave and Martha’s home at 2:35AM. By 3 the crew that I had to drop off on my way home were ready to leave. When I finally got to bed around 4, I was feeling tired, but great. I had so much fun I was missing the trip already!

Not only was the trip to Maine an enjoyable trip, it was also educational. When it was over, I was realizing why God wanted me to go along. I was able to learn more about the Amish and why God has called me to these dear people. God wants to do amazing things in their hearts if they will only let Him.

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