Monday, April 30, 2012

2 days...

Well it's finally time to double check all my gear and make sure I got all I need. I have never done anything close to this so I really don't know what to expect! My goat pack finally came in on Friday of last week. I've been so busy with last minute things that I wasn't able to make it out to the barn and make sure the pack fit LeeRoy till Sunday. I picked up LeeRoy in the car early Sunday morning and headed south to Olympia where I met a real "goat guru"  named Dawn.. Turns out the goat pack I ordered is way too big and I have to send it back. That was not the only thing I learned on my trip down to Olympia. She taught me all about goat first aid which could come in handy on the trail.

It's Monday today and I leave on Wednesday. That wont be enough time to get the new pack I need delivered. It's OK though... the goat guru let me barrow a pack system till I get mine figured out.

As for me.  I don't really feel nervous or scared. It really just feels like its gong to be another day... I'm sure I wont feel that way by the end of the first day. I'm sure I'll be asking myself a lot of questions as I lay in my tent under some bridge underpass.. Questions like how did I think this would be a good idea? Or did I bring everything I need?

I have had a lot of people asking me why I chose to leave May 2nd. The date is very important to me and I will share about it in my next blog post...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The vehicle I travel in...

7 days left... or 6. It all depends on how you count it (do I count the day I leave or not?) Either way, it's getting really close...

I took some time this week  to drive the path I'm going to take... at least the first few days of the walk.  I keep wrestling with the thought, where is the safest place to sleep? In the city or in the woods? Not sure yet but I see it this way ... Let's say someone  messes with me and I get jumped or something... at least in the city I'm some what close enough to get help or get to a hospital...but out in the woods if some kind of wild beast rolls up on me in my sleep and attacks me I have no way of getting help. In all seriousness, I'm not all that concerned about it... what happens to me happens to me.

I was thinking through 2 Corinthians this week where it say, "So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him."
(2 Corinthians 5:6-9 ESV).

A couple of thoughts have come to mind from these verses...the idea that my body is not eternal but my soul is. Where my soul stands with the Lord is what lasts forever. Now I know that sounds very "christain talk-ish" however look at it like this...the car I drive is just a tool/a vehicle I use to get me where I need to go. It doesn't last forever, it will eventually break down. I think this is the same relation between the soul and the body. The body is just the vehicle I travel in, its temporary.

Now why is that even important? Who care about that? Well earlier in the chapter it says,
"For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling" (2 Corinthians 5:1, 2 ESV).

The word tent here is talking about the body. With that established, I love how it says "if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed" ... If? This is a possibility for all of us. We can die in some kind of tragic accident, car wreck, fall down the stairs, get hit by a bus, or even eaten by a wild beast..BUT that's not the end. It goes on to say, "put on our heavenly dwelling" which mean our new bodies (tent) will be from God, eternal and in heaven. What more can you even add to that? Your in heaven! Safe and sound... that's what gets me so  jazzed...

No matter what happens to me on this trip (hit by a car or get my arm chewed off by a bear) its all good... This body is just the vehicle I travel around in... I love how the Amplified version puts it in verse 6, "So then, we are always full of good and hopeful and confident courage; we know that while we are at home in the body, we are abroad from the home with the Lord [that is promised us]."

 How comforting is that? Home with the Lord.... choosing to be homeless for the next 8 months (or however long it will take me) its a harsh reality. But what a great reminder of where my home truly is.

With that in mind, I can walk with confidence and courage...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

All that's left to do is PRAY...

I really can't prepare myself more then I already have... I may not be physically prepared but I definitely feel like I am mentally and emotionally ready. Today is Wednesday April 18th which marks exactly 2 weeks before I leave. As I've been praying more and more for this trip, I find my focus shifting from the walk to the needs of Uzima. Here's their last update and prayer requests:

·      Join with us in thanksgiving for all the Lord is doing here!
·      Pray God continues to open up doors in other parts of Kenya for further trainings in this ministry. Even now, we have been contacted from churches in Busia and Kisii that which to join with us!
·      Pray that God provides the support we need to continue on. We are currently in desperate need for more beds for the children.
·      Lastly, we are so excited to share are new rehab facility will open up in the next two weeks, and we have 12 young men to be admitted! Join with us in prayer that God would bless this new ministry for His Kingdom.

To be honest sometimes I feel like doing this walk isn't enough... I want to be in the field/ I want to be there. However as I pray I know that this is where the Lord wants me, the walk is what I'm suppose to be doing. Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful for this opportunity to raise funds and share their story but I look at the next year and I feel like my whole world is put on pause. I'm not an outdoors-men, I'm not a hiker, I enjoy the city life! Not mountains and rivers but skyscrapers and concrete. So here I am, I put my life in storage and leaving my friends to be alone in the woods, trusting that the Lord is going to use what looks foolish (walking across America with a goat) for His Will and His Glory.

Join me in prayer for Uzima and Needle2Square! Thanks again to all who are supporting me; everyone who is sharing about Needle2Square and Uzima! I am blown away by everyone's constant encouragement and support. I may be the one doing the walking but we're getting the story out together!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What I'm walking for...

From the beginning, my desire was to walk across America and raise money to build an orphanage. I feel like that almost sounds cliche... like it just doesn't do enough justice to the cause of Uzima and the work they are doing in Nairobi, Kenya. This walk is less about me and more about what God is doing there.

Earlier on this year, I had the privilege of working with my best friend, Steve Turner, on creating this video and sharing his story. Check out the website at Help spread the word by sharing this video with your family/ friends on Facebook.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just head East...

I've got 20days left till I leave for my trip and I have just now finalized a route. I found a trail called the American Discovery Trail (ADT) that starts in California and ends in Washington D.C. Now that I have a goat coming with me, its not as safe to walk on main roads especially once you get out of city limits where there's no shoulder to the roads. My fear is that semis and other vehicles will spook the goat and he'll run out into traffic so my best bet is to find as many hiking trails and service roads as possible. Since the ADT trail starts in California, I'm going to head south east through Portland to Boise, down through Utah and meet the trail south of Salt Lake City. There are two routes on the trail to Washington D.C. a north and a south route. I plan on taking the south route hiking through Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio,  and Pennsylvania to New York. That's about 3,588 miles (give or take). My goal is to do at least 16miles a day with a few rest days in between. If all goes according to plan, it will take me about 8-9months.

The problem I'm facing right now is that LeeRoy is only able to walk 5-10miles a day which in the long run will extend the length of the trip. Hopefully once we're on the road, he will get into the groove and walk further... I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Its true what they say, goats are A LOT like dogs. You can teach them all kinds of tricks like to come when you call and to sit or lay down. I'm going to teach mine to shake. I don't know how I got blessed with an amazing dog and now an amazing goat... THIS GOAT IS INCREDIBLE!!! An absolute show stopper! I took him for a 7 mile walk in a neighborhood up in North Seattle this week. Every single car stopped, people came out of their homes, it was crazy. It took me a long time cause I was stopping every few minutes talking to the curious neighbors... " why do you have a goat?" "why are you walking across America?".  Its a great way to share with them the story of Uzima. I didn't expect this but often times people right then and there will reach into their pockets and give me money in support of Needle2square. Totally unexpected,what a blessing! This is the goat of destiny...

Naming a goat is no easy task... I mean when you choose a name you really want it reflect the personality/ character of the animal and this goat is no Popsicle! So I came up with a name.... " Lee Roy.... Lee Roy Brown, coolest goat in the whole dang town!" Dogs beware! You mess with the goat, you get the horns!

* UPDATE* Louie is doing so much better! He's not fully ready to go on the walk but he's looking a lot healthier and his legs are getting stronger. The plan still stands... he's going to meet me hopefully in Spokane a month or so into the walk. Before he  comes out I will make sure he gets checked out by the vet. If all goes according to plan, there will be 3 of us walking across America.