Sunday, November 6, 2011

Crosswalk

Well, third time is a charm. I finally had the chance to do a crosswalk on a weekend when I didn't have a scheduling conflict. It started at 4 am on Saturday, October 29. As 5:30 closed in we got into our cars and put our blindfolds on. After 2 hours of been driven out into the country we reached our destination, a grove of trees in the middle of a field. Our driver guided us to walk in one direction and while we walked he drove off.
Want to know what happened next? Click the link and you will find out.
So at roughly 7:30 am on Saturday I found myself in a field with three other people. All we had for the journey was two backpacks with a few items in them and a cross. We were able to see the direction that our driver went, so we decided to go that way.
We had no idea where the nearest town was or which direction to go except that home was north. So we head out to the road and started heading east. We walked along the road for about 4 miles before we got an idea of where we were. We came across an intersection with two town distance signs in view. One was for Sleepy Eye in 3 miles and the other was for Fairfax in 13 miles. Before we decided which direction to go we rested at the intersection. It was important because we all made it clear that none of us really wanted to be there but that we were so we should make the best of it. It was crazy that we ended up so close to Sleepy Eye because that's where mine and Andrews mentor from last year was from and where one of the girls had ended up at on one of her previous crosswalks.
Before we got to the intersection we had already had an opportunity to see God's provision. One of the farmers had seen us walking and had sent his wife to see what we were doing. We talked with her for a few minutes, got to pray for her and she gave us some money, $11 to be exact. I will talk about what happens with that money later on, but it was the first of many blessings.
So back to the present, we were sitting at the intersection. After a few minutes a state patrol came by and asked us what we were up to. The question that he had for us was whether we were doing a school project, well we didn't really know what to say so we said that it was. After talking to us for a few minutes he went on his way. Not long after that we decided to keep going onto Sleepy Eye. We covered the three miles in pretty good time and as we got to the outskirts of the town there was an SUV parked on the side of the road. I didn't know what to think of it but as we got close to it the driver rolled down his window. He told us that he was headed to Dairy Queen to get ice cream for his kids and wondered if we wanted to come. Well we weren't going to turn down the offer so we got into his vehicle and enjoyed the offer. While we were at DQ we saw more generosity, the guy offered to have us over to his house for dinner and to stay at his house that evening. It was about 11:30 AM at this point and we were all blown away.
Normally groups don't find a place to stay until into the evening so to have an offer so early was crazy. He said he needed to check with his wife to make sure it was okay for sure but that we should check in with him at around 2:30 if we decided to take him up on any of the offers. So after showing us a couple different spots around the town where we could spend some time. We were dropped off at one of the gas stations and took a peek at a map to get our state bearings. From there we started walking across town toward the high school.
After a block and a half of walking we got stopped by a couple guys who were watching their kids. They asked us what the deal was with the cross. Well we ended up talking to them for about 20 minutes. They turned out to be two of the leaders of the church where everyone we knew from Sleepy Eye went. It was an encouraging conversation and they invited us to come to the churches harvest festival at the Simon's farm the next day so yeah the blessings kept coming.
From there we got over to the high school to just sit for a while and know what God would have us do. So until around 2:30 we just chilled in a shack outside the high school. It was a relaxing time where we just tried to get clarity of the situation. Around 2:30 we came to an agreement to go through the doors that we had and stay in town.
I was very much in support of it, because during the last half mile of walking into Sleepy Eye I had tweeked my knee and the more I walked the more it hurt. If we had decided to leg it out, we would have tried to get to New Ulm which was about 15 miles away. Well we went to the man's house and met the rest of his family. He and his wife have four daughters and one son. Each of the children's name had a significance and it was really inspirational. In talking with them the thing that most stuck out to me was that during their studies, they home school, they do an unreached people group of the day. That wasn't the first thing that we heard related to missions from this family, but for me it was the most striking.
Well the rest of the day was restful but still eventful. They got us pizza for dinner and had a time of prayer with us before we went to bed, we also got to help them do yard work for themselves and for a neighbor lady who was just beginning the journey of faith.
Well , the next morning they prepared breakfast for us and took us over to the farm where the church service was being held. It was a good service and we got a real sight of what the church can be. It was a casual atmosphere but didn't lose the normal congregational feel. After the service there was a potluck and a number of activities for the children.
After a while the church members began to figure out who could help us on our walk. Well a few people stepped up and volunteered to take us a while. The first driver took us to New Ulm and the next driver took us to Le Seure. Before they left, our host family continued to show their generosity by giving us $100 dollars. Well as the team leader I consulted what to do with the money that we were given and we gave it away.
Well when we ended up in Le Seure we ate some of the food that they gave us before we left the farm and tried to find a ride. After not having any luck for a while we called in for a ride and after waiting for about 30 minutes we finally got picked up. There are more details that I could include in this post, but I made a video journal during the walk and will be posting those videos, so watch them if you want to hear more though a lot of the info will be the same.