After the difficult times of caring for and then losing her spouse one Pauls Valley woman started a regular routine of taking morning walks and using that time to get comfort from above.
Mildred Freeman’s walks and prayers have blossomed into so much more as several members of her church have now jumped on board for what they call prayer walks.
For those members of Trinity Baptist Church in Pauls Valley those weekly walks in Wacker Park is a time that helps bring them closer together with each other and with God.
“We walk and we pray,” Mildred said. “We use that time for prayer and fellowship.
“It’s healthy physically and spiritually,” she said.
“The only rule is we don’t visit with each other until we finish with our prayer time.”
Recently times were much more difficult for Freeman as for three years she cared for her ailing and homebound husband.
“It was so lonely after he passed. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my time,” she said.
Living only about a block away Mildred started using PV’s big local park to take walks each morning for some solemn time alone.
Then something happened in early March — she started to get a few friends from church join in the walks.
“All of this grew out of my morning walk. It was my alone time with God,” Mildred said.
“After a while the walks started to get lonely, so I thought I don’t have walk alone. So I opened it up to my church and some of them brought friends.”
It has grown to the point where anyone and everyone interested in some prayer and fellowship meet at 9 a.m. each Tuesday at the park’s rose garden if the weather cooperates.
It gets started with a few brief updates on what’s going on with some of the folks there. From there it’s walking time as participants choose the pace and distance as small groups literally stroll through the park while in their own silent prayers.
Freeman stresses there’s no group prayers, no preaching and no church doctrine. It’s really just combining individual prayer with the act of walking.
The hopes of Mildred and others now taking part in the prayer walks are the weekly activity will attract even more interest and participants as time goes on.
“There’s no expense and it’s open to anyone. All you need is walking shoes,” she said.
“Hopefully when school’s out we’ll start getting some younger folks joining in.”