This crazy idea to walk from Canada to Mexico has actually been a lifetime in the making. When I was a little girl (pre-elementary school), my Mom thought it would be quite an adventure to ride bicycles from our home in Tampa, Florida to visit my Grandmother in Alton, Illinois. (Never mind that Mom was over 50 at the time – and as far as I remember, she didn’t own nor even know how to ride a bike.) She said, “Wouldn’t that be fun?” I said, “Yeah, Mommy, let’s do it!”
And then she found out about the Florida Trail Association. She subscribed to their newsletter and delighted in every new section of the Florida National Scenic Trail that was completed. “Wouldn’t that be fun!”, she said. I said, “Yeah, Mommy, let’s do it!”
I was enchanted with both ideas and waited anxiously for them to happen!
Mom died some years ago at the ripe old age of 91 – neither of us ever took that bike ride, nor did we ever hike any portion of that trail. What I didn’t know in those youthful days was that Mom and Dad worked so hard to make ends meet that we would never have had the time or money for such trips. But Mom left me with a dream that has taken many forms over the years, and may finally be coming true.
For years before our two sons were grown, I said I wanted my ’empty nest’ reward to be some kind of epic human-powered trip. I researched the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Pacific Coast Bike Trail, and various cross-country bike tours. I bought books, looked at maps, and told my own sons, “Wouldn’t that be fun!”
I kept dreaming, never doing…
Within the last few years I came back around to the idea – dragging out those old books again. This time, though, I thought it would be nice to make the trip a fundraiser for some of my favorite faith-based non-profits.
Recently we have had a series of sermons at our church (Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach) emphasizing missions – both supporting our church’s foreign missionaries AND encouraging us to become ‘missionaries’ in everything we do. At the exit door of the sanctuary are the words, “You are now entering the mission field”.
I’ve been feeling convicted to do something, but never more so than this morning. On the way to church, I said to my husband Larry, “What if I walked the Pacific Coast to raise money for our missions? It would be an expensive trip, but maybe we could save money if I meet with churches and get host families to take me in each night while I’m en route.”
Well, guess what? The sermon today was “The Apostles’ Mission”, and it was all about Matthew 10:5-15. One verse in particular almost took my breath away… Verse 11: “Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave.”
Larry and I continued to talk throughout the day, and we will both continue to pray on it – I’ll let you know what happens!