The Great Damascus Dryer Fire


As Dryer Firesome of you may know Bronwyn and I hiked the Appalachian Trail a 2,173 1/2 mile journey from Georgia to Maine that took us six months to complete. So on May 18, 2006 about  month and half into our hike we were in Damascus, Virginia celebrating the annual event known as Trail Days. While we were there we helped out with some very cool ministries and enjoyed being in a town instead of hiking. We also decided to take advantage of the Damascus Laundromat. I’ll let 2006 me tell you the next part of the story.

 “I went to Damascus Baptist Church to help set up for an eating contest and Bronwyn went to get the clothes. After setting up I got worried about Bronwyn taking so long and started walking over toward the Laundromat. Then I saw her walking up the street toward me looking frazzled. When I got to her she told me that when she got back to the dryer where our clothes were, it was still running, and it had been running for a while. Our clothes were pretty much melted or burned to a crisp. Her pillow was more of a bag of golf balls, and my pants had become one with my shirt”

So literally everything but the clothes on our back were ruined. However, God had not brought us to Southern Virginia to leave us half naked and in financial peril. I know that He wanted to show us that He was our provider, that He was going to always take care of us. When Baltimore Jack, a pretty well known hiker due to his many many hikes on the AT, heard about what happened he got the laundromat owners home phone number and they compensated us some, an outfitter in town sold us replacement gear at cost and random people who heard about it literally gave us cash. By the end of the day, a day that actually ended with us sleeping in a van but that’s another story, everything was replaced. I believe it happened so I could look back and be reminded that God is our provider. We are reading Exodus together at Fellowship Memphis and it’s hard not to be reminded of chapter 16 when God supernaturally rained down bread from heaven. Hiking clothes may not have fallen from the sky but God took care of our needs. When Paul was under house arrest he wrote, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)

So here we are all these years later preparing for an even greater adventure in trusting Him and resting in the knowledge that He will provide all our needs. When we started praying fervently together we asked that God would do a work that could only come from Him. That clearly was above our ability to show that He would provide and be a testimony to shape not only our faith but the faith of those who heard and saw. After all are we not worth more than many sparrows?

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