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Fathers

June 18, 2019

The protectors

In honor of Father’s Day being last Sunday I just want to talk about Dad’s. All dad’s, including future dads, spiritual dads, old dads, young dads, priests, all of them.

Looking into the book of Genesis we know men are called to protect. I’ll never know what it’s like to be a dad, but I can tell you what it’s like to know and be loved by amazing Dads, especially our Heavenly Father.

On Sunday Andrew, Anthony, and I sat around a table talking about our Dads and  how they have lived out their vocation of the Fatherhood. I talked about how my dad has always made his daughters feel protected and beautiful. He raised daughters that understood the dignity and respect they deserve, and through his little words has shown us the importance of protecting woman and the unborn.

Andrew talked about his Dad going to jail for operation rescue and how proud he was of his Dad and his efforts to protect the unborn. Anthony talked about how his dad was always willing to stand up for what was right and protect his family. All three of us talked about how hard our fathers worked and what a joy it was to see dad come home from work growing up. To all our Dads out there thank you for raising up a pro life generation.

Before I wrap this up I also want to thank all the men we’ve met along the way, especially Lawrence from the nurturing center, and Edward Garcia who run their own ministries and have saved lives.

I’m also grateful for every priest we’ve encountered along the way who has graced us with the sacraments, their blessings, and prayers.

Lastly, I pray that all you men protect the women in your lives and support them through difficult times, and help them to chose life.

-Mikayla Olson, Southern walk 2019

PS Dad if you’re reading this I love you!

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A mission of life

June 14, 2019

One of my favorite feelings is when I can grunt out of satisfaction and say “I’m living right now!” This past weekend I had one of these experiences when my team and I were praying outside of an abortion clinic. We were guided in prayer by one of our hosts for the weekend and prayer warrior, Edward. He assured us that less than half of abortions occur when people are praying outside of clinics because the sight of someone who is on their knees praying serves as a sign to those considering abortion. I could feel the power of prayer while we were outside, which reminds me of Christ’s words: “wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst.” As we finished our morning of prayer, Edward was visibly excited: “Way to go guys-when people yell at us, that is a sign of the devil’s anger and that you are powerfully manifesting God’s presence.” What a nugget of wisdom!

May God bless you and grant you the courage to do His will amidst opposition!

In Christ,

Jessica, Southern walk 2019

Week 4: Soldiers for Christ

June 12, 2019

Hello all,

It’s been another amazing week of crossroads and we have finished walking through Arizona, and are nearly through New Mexico. Huge shout out to our amazing host family for the weekend, the Gonzalez family. I was lucky enough to get to celebrate my birthday at their place. Mrs. Cammy Gonzalez even made an amazing cake, which Jason later smashed my face into. It would be great if I could tell you we had no more bad experiences with experiences with cacti, but Catherine and Anthony definitely rubbed their legs up against a cactus. It’s all apart of the sacrifice right?

This week I’ve noticed how often we are looked up to as heroes by the people we encounter. Most of the time I think we are just walking and praying, nothing an ordinary person couldn’t do. It’s an act of humility to accept such gratitude and appreciation. I find the more you do for the glory of God the more God showers you in return, we are forever in debt to Him. This journey is so much more than a walk for the sanctity and dignity of life. Within each of our souls as we walk, there’s a deep conversation with the Lord going on. All those things that we were unsure of during the hustle and bustle of everyday life back home has become clear. We see the Lord answering even our smallest prayers, and as we go we hear stories of hope, hearts being changed and bills being passed, as an answer to our biggest prayer. That prayer being that all life from conception to its natural death will be recognized and respected.

Oh what a joy it is to be on this journey knowing our Blessed Mother and Christ our savior walk before us.

Much love,

-Mikayla Olson, 2019 southern walk

Ride On

June 4, 2019

Walking into our third week of Crossroads and we’ve been having a BLAST! Last week was our directors birthday so we decided to all get gifts for her! But since it’s crossroads, we decided to only find gifts on the side of the road while walking to put a fun twist on it. The celebration was fun and she loved all of our odd gifts, mine being a toy motorcycle with the meaning of “ride on”, a way of life we should all embrace. I think our favorite part, other than Irene’s famous Spanish rice, was singing Feliz Navidad to her for no reason other than laughs.

Sadly, Irene is leaving after this week once training with the RV is done. Fun news though, we got the RV back! Two other walkers and I drove up to Flagstaff to pick up the fixed RV and we got to stay the night at my parents house in Phoenix. We had a fun RV road trip back where I got to learn about Opera singing from Mary, meet the veteran walker Carlos who’s been on numerous walks in the US and Spain, and got to learn to drive the RV with Martha. Ride on! Although I left my family, we stayed at my place for this past weekend which was awesome to get family time. My family was also super thankful because now when I tell stories of putting clown paintings in the RV, pool noodle attacks, catholic rapping, and all the adventures we go on, they can put names to people they’ve met. On another sad note, our favorite Julian, the JuJu train, our pride and joy, the real home slice, and our only veteran walker is leaving to head back to his family. But as God taketh away, he gives as well! As of Monday morning, Noah has joined us as a walker! Phoenix is looking hot temperature wise, but we’ll keep walking! See ya next week!
⁃Jason Stafford  Southern Walk 2019

The Desert

May 30, 2019

Crickey mates! It’s our second week of walking and we’ve officially reached the desert. Over the course of this week we’ve learned practical things like not to walk into poles while heroically saving a dog, or I personally learned not to touch a cactus even if it doesn’t look spiney. Haha yeah, we can laugh about it now. We’ve also encountered a countless number of amazing people. We’ve heard stories from mothers and grown children who were at risk of getting an abortion or being aborted, but by the grace of God and the pro-life mission they were spared. We’ve also heard stories of healing from those who have been involved in an abortion in the past.

These stories bring forth both Joy and sorrow, but like a priest said in his homily on Sunday, we are finally winning. This generation has grown up seeing ultrasound pictures, and they know that life inside the womb is fragile and precious. Even though we are ahead in this battle there are still hearts in need of conversion and souls that need saved. So with bloody blistered feet, rosaries in hand and smiles on our faces we keep on walking. Only 58 miles to Arizona.

Much love to all of our supporters!

-Mikayla Olson, southern walk 2019

Week One in the Books

May 24, 2019
Week one in the books. It’s crazy how fast 10 strangers can become great friends. Leading up to the start of the walk everyone was so excited to get out on the streets. I hope that excitement continues. Getting out there and actually walking has been amazing. At first it’s kind of scary because you feel like you’re wearing a big target on your shirt, but through prayer and the intercession of our blessed mother our fears fade away. Certainly, we do face a little opposition but the opposition is out numbered by our supporters. I love when we see people honking and cheering for us. My personal favorite was a mother driving by in an eight passenger van hanging half way out the window clapping and cheering. It’s people like this woman, along with all of the prayers of our countless supporters, that we have the courage and protection to keep going. We can not thank you enough for all your prayers.
This first week has also taught me how important the voice of the youth truly is. This pro life generation needs to break their silence. I love seeing the elderly light up when they see us walking. It gives them hope. I am beyond excited for the adventure ahead. You’ll be in our prayers!
-Mikayla O, Southern Walk 2019

Seven Life Lessons From Crossroads: Lesson Seven

July 14, 2018

The world is a much better place than you think it is.

 

If I were someone who just moved to the United States and could only judge it based upon what we see in the mainstream media, I would assume the United States is a dangerous, unfriendly, and godless place. How very wrong I would be.

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Thomas walked barefoot on a rainy Monday in Nebraska. Thank you everyone who stopped to check on us!

I have been completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support our walk has received across the country. In Colorado we met Luke, a man who stopped us on the side of the road to thank us for what we were doing and offer us a place to stay at his house for the night. In Utah, Helen and I met a couple who pulled up next to us on the roadside and gave us ice cold water bottles. Thomas and I had five different vehicles stop to check on us as we walked through a cool, drizzly rain in Nebraska. 

Each weekend all summer and on the occasional weeknights we have a host family, the families have been gracious, attentive, and kind. We have been well fed (and beveraged – is that a word?), well entertained, and well loved. As you read in one of Helen’s previous posts, with a host family we went horseback riding. Our host families have also helped us go kayaking up and down a river, brought us to a museum, invited us to a young adult game night, lit a campfire so we could make s’mores, played board games with us, and more. We’ve had amazing conversations and felt so loved. Every time we’ve stayed with a family, it has given us much needed taste of home. Thank you so much to everyone who has hosted us!

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Thank you to all the Catholic parishes, families, and individuals who have helped us this summer!

The Catholic community support has been strong across the country. My Mass partners and I were treated to breakfast at three straight parishes after giving parish talks on weekends. In Denver, a few walkers met a man named Alan at a church who invited the entire team to a lake for a grill out, swimming, kayaking, and volleyball. Thank you Alan and family for such a fun afternoon! Thank you Father Tai, a priest in Utah who heard about our mission and insisted we stay at the rectory with him. He made us authentic Vietnamese food and served those of age homemade wine. Thank you to the elderly Catholic woman we met outside a Walmart who was nearly moved to tears as she spoke with us and was moved by our mission. Thank you to Greg and Marian in Missouri who saw us at a daily Mass and opened their home to us after hearing about our mission.

This post sounds like a post of thankfulness to the people we’ve met along this journey. It is also a post of thankfulness to God. Without Him, meeting these fine people and being able to safely witness to the dignity of life this summer would not be possible. I believe it is so easy to look at the world and our corrupt society and become disheartened. Walking Crossroads truly restores your faith in humanity. There are still good people in the world. God is alive and well in the hearts and minds of people across the country. He works through others. He works through the kindness of our host families and parishioners at the parishes we meet, through the words God intended us to hear spoken by a teammate, through the priests who say a special Mass just for us, and through the smiles of the children we meet in governor’s mansions, gas stations, and grocery stores.

The response from those we encounter on highways has been overwhelmingly positive.  I can count the number of times I’ve gotten the finger this summer on my hands, but I have gotten a thumbs up or happy honk more times than I can count. People have only ever pulled over to interview us, check that we are okay, or to thank us for our witness. The back of our t-shirts say “America is pro-life,” and it is true. We as a nation recognize that life is sacred and should be treated as such. This walk has renewed my hope for America’s future. Perhaps someday, through the grace of God, our culture of death will be transformed into a culture of life. Until the day that happens, I will pray, pray, and pray some more.

Thank you all for your support along our journey, and thanks be to God for allowing me to undertake the craziness and joy that is Crossroads a second time.

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A very special thank you to my 2018 Crossroads family (one member not pictured). You have made the journey a memorable and joyful one.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

For the last time, God bless,

Sarah, Central Walk 2018