An Updating Montage…. With Pictures!
Ok, this blog post is going to look really long… and maybe it is. But hopefully the pictures included will make it seem less lengthy.
I guess I’ll start back in South Dakota… our team took a break one Friday to go visit Mt. Rushmore. Most of us had never been there, and were completely in awe of how amazing the entire view was. Once we found out a bit more of what it was like to actually put the project under construction (find out about it here!), we were all blown away. Here are some pictures to chronicle the experience!
As you can see, Mt. Rushmore was incredible. We all felt so blessed to be able to go see such a great national monument! Later on in our trip, we had another great opportunity for landmark-hopping. We saw a great Crossroads Northern Walk icon- the legendary Faith sign!
I’m about to backtrack for a second- sorry. Back in Billings, Montana, we were blessed to have the Hendershots host us over a weekend. Rather un-coincidentally, the Hendershots’ daughter, Nicole, is actually a Northern Walk veteran! She ended up walking with us while we were passing through Billings.
Nicole isn’t the only former walker we’ve come across. Recently, we were invited to a pot-luck dinner by the ever amazing Right to Life group out of Dubuque, Iowa. While there, we met some pretty incredible people- one of them being Leah, a walker from last year’s Southern Walk.
Also at the Right to Life dinner, we met 2012 Presidential Candidate Tim Pawlenty (see his website!).
Ok, now that I have the pictures in, it’s story time. The Right to Life dinner we attended was absolutely incredible. Everyone that we met there was just so visibly on fire for the Pro Life movement, so willing to talk about the issues, and also so friendly. We were able to talk about the Holy Spirit moving in and using each of us for this cause, and able to relax and tell fun stories. Governor Pawlenty spoke about his political campaign, and was really open to talking to everyone and answering questions. The question of whether abortion is acceptable in the cases of rape and incest was brought about. Governor Pawlenty explained that his position, though he is very Pro Life, is that he can find exceptions and excuse abortion every so often in cases of rape or incest. A woman then raised her hand to speak. Her words nearly moved me to tears.
“I’m actually the victim of rape and incest,” she said, “and I’ve learned that if you’re not going to play God, you’re not going to play God ever, no matter the situation. I wish that women everywhere knew that, and I hope that my story makes you think about the way you [Pawlenty] responded to that question.” She sat down, and she and her husband held hands for the rest of the talk.
All I could do was wait for the rest of the Q&A session to end so I could go and hug this woman. The strength and courage it took for her to tell a room full of people about her terrible experience just so that, maybe, one heart would be changed was awe-inspiring. I talked to her for a few minutes after that, and found out that she and her husband now have seven beautiful children, and somehow always manage to see life’s beauty. As we were preparing to part ways, she turned to me and said “You know what, I want to give you something.” She pulled from her bag a big, poster-sized piece of colorful paper with what looked like a poem typed onto it. I couldn’t believe she just wanted to give me this poem, especially since she mentioned that she was going to give it to someone else. But she completely blew me away when she told me that she had actually painted the many colors on the page herself, as well as the face that appeared at the top of the page. She’d also written the poem, but more than that, she was actually a calligrapher. What I thought were words typed on a page were actually perfectly scribed letters formed by her own hands.
I formed a very quick, yet very deep, bond with Susan Doyle and her husband John. But I knew that I would never get to see either of them again, and the thought of having to leave them in Dubuque made me really sad. (I may or may not have cried about it that night.) But God works wonders in so many ways! He worked it out so that Susan and John actually joined us for a day of walking and then dinner and evening prayer!! They made the trek all the way up to Wisconsin just to spend a day with us and support the Pro Life cause. (I wish I had pictures of this!!!!!) It warmed my heart (and everyone else’s) to see two people so in love with God and willing to follow Him wherever He would lead them.
Sorry if this post was longer than you were looking for….. but praise God for another great week of walking, and the blessing of such amazing people! Blessed JPII, pray for us!
PS- we’ve crossed over into Indiana!