My Fourth Day Story

June 15, 2023 by Kathy Toms

I attended The Walk to Emmaus with the Heart of Ohio Emmaus Ministries community in April 2008. I can say without the shadow of a doubt that this retreat helped strengthen my walk with God. It made me realize the hole in my life caused by a lack of Christian surroundings. I can still remember answering the two questions at Closing. When asked, “What are you going to do about it?” my response was, “I realize that I have a strong need for Christian friends in my life.” I needed a Reunion Group and was determined to form one if I couldn't find one. The first group started with two, sometimes three persons. We met in the park and followed the agenda on the Reunion Group card. This was a start, but it was still not what I needed. I had a friend at church who had been on an Emmaus Walk, but she was only in town on weekends. We tried answering the Reunion Group card questions via email, but that really didn’t work well. Eventually, a couple of other women from church attended an Emmaus Walk. Between them and a couple of other women from church, I had another Reunion Group. We met on Wednesday afternoons, and my coworkers at school knew that, because of my commitment to that group, I wouldn’t be committing to any after-school activities on this day of the week. This Reunion Group has been going strong for almost 10 years now. We have had each other’s backs on a multitude of occasions. One member dealt with breast cancer, but she knew we had her surrounded in prayer. It is such a joy to know that I can send a group text to these women for prayers anytime, and they will pray for me.

Besides attending church, Sunday school, and Emmaus Gatherings regularly, I remain open to God’s invitations to help build God’s kingdom through service to God’s people.

The last two pastors at my church have challenged us to read through the Bible in a year. Both times I have accepted and completed that challenge. The second time I read through the Bible in the order the books were written. Both experiences impacted me in significant ways.

I am involved in two quilting ministries. The first one, Prayers and Squares through my church, makes small quilts for those who are seriously ill. Each knot in the quilt represents a prayer for the person receiving the quilt. I also make quilts for children in foster care and for those attending a “Hole in the Wall” camp, a camp for kids with serious illnesses. As I work at a local food bank and thrift store, I also find many opportunities to pray with customers and clients. Going forward, my greatest hope is to continue to use my gift of quilting to share God’s love with others.

Kathy Toms attended The Walk to Emmaus with the Heart of Ohio Emmaus Ministries community in April 2008.

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