Day 48, May 21, 2012

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       48 days ago I woke up on Jacksonville beach in Florida. I slept on the beach on my tarp with my sleeping bag on top. When I woke up all I had was a backpack, tarp, sleeping bag, extra pair of clothes, and a few other little toiletries ect. I had no money, no access to money, no food, or acess to getting food. I had what I was wearing with my bedding in my backpack. And that was it. I decided from that day on, I would not accept any help from anyone I knew. I wanted to try and walk, and only walk, across the entire country. As I walked away from the water, it was a scary thing. I was committed in my mind to make it all the way under that condition. And I didn't want to ask people for help at all or beg or pan handle. I prayed to God and told Him this, I let Him know I was in His hands all the way. When I walked away that day I wasn't prepared at all for where to go or how to make this trek possible. I started with close to no thought on preparing for making this possible. I also did not exercise or train for the walking for even a day. I just thought about doing this one day and went.
        So the first few days were tough. I was out of shape, starving, and unprepared. I told God I wouldn't quit and would rot away slowly as a homeless poor man out here for as long as it took me to walk to the California coast. I called Him out, and then He answered me in an overwhelming way. I suddenly had support coming from people approaching me along my walks and in the areas I was around.
      Since then it has gotten stronger and stronger. I have not had help in any other form except for complete strangers who have come into my path. Only people who have approached me during my walk to help me. It was like God was on my shoulders at all times. I'm not a religious man, but when I was getting this support in a survival situation, I felt God protecting me. I lose faith at times but during this trek He has reminded me daily He is there.
      So now it is day 48 and I have all that I need and am moving right along. As a matter of fact I have more than I need and have been overwhelmed. So on this day I decided it was my turn to give back to the communites I am walking through.....
      I woke up behind a Lowes out in the trees. I woke up as I felt the rain hitting my face. I sat up and the rain quickly became heavier. So I quickly packed up and hurried to the back of the Lowes where there was a big rig trailer parked in a receiving ramp. It was tall enough for my cart and was the only place in sight to stay dry. So I sat underneath it to wait until the rain stopped. I ended up sitting there for about 20 minutes and brushed my teeth. I was very tired and didn't sleep well.
       After the rain slowed down I walked around to the front of Lowes and headed down the 25 towards Jackson MS. I walked about 5 miles to a McDonald's. When I got there I plugged my electronics in to charge and ordered two chicken sandwiches to eat. After I ate I took $90 out of the amount of money given to me along my way so far by complete strangers. I used that money and bought 18 $5 gift cards at McDonald's.
     I left there and walked into Jackson. When I got there I stopped at a hardware store and bought a package of rubber bands. I sat in front on the curb outside and pulled out about 15 granola bars that I had stocked up in my cart, all food I had been given from unknown people as well. Then I pulled out my money and sorted some dollar bills out. I made up a bunch of bars with a $5 gift card and $3 cash, wrapped in a rubber band. I threw them in a bag and headed to the ghetto of Jackson.
       I took me about an hour to get there. When I got down there it was a pretty rough area. I spotted the first homeless man sitting outside of an abandoned building. I yelled to him that I had something for him. He got up and walked to me. I handed him a bar with the money and card. He was so happy, he gave me a huge hug! It was a pretty cool moment and the first I have given back on this journey was an awesome moment!
       I walked down further and passed a man and lady walking. I handed them each a pack and they looked shocked. They said thanks and were very confused that I was homeless and helping them. That was a look and reaction that I loved!
      Another lady walked by. I gave her a pack, and she was very happy. I kept walking and when I stopped to look at my gps, she walked back up crying and gave me a hug and said thanks for sharing.
      I passed a bunch of homeless people through my day and it was an awesome day of giving back! I have never done anything like this. I've never even volunteered for anything. Ive just never been someone who truly wants to give back. This is the first time I could be appreciative and thankful enough to want to. And it felt really good! It was a special day and my heart was blessed in sharing what I have received.
        After a while it started raining. I got under an over hang to stay dry and was still in a rough area. I was hoping it would stop soon as I had a ways to go to get out of the ghetto to find a place to sleep.
      When the rain stopped I walked about 7 more miles to get to a nicer suburb of Jackson. I passed a few more homeless people and helped them also. I passed the freeway and it was instantly a nicer area. I came to a McDonald's where I stopped for a break. I sat there and just thought about the day. I couldn't stop smiling thinking of some of the reactions, and knowing those people could eat a good meal that night because I payed forward what God and his people have shared with me. That gave me piece of mind.
       I left there and walked down another mile or so and came to a big church. It was still in the city but I was tired and decided to make my spot to sleep there somewhere. I walked to the front and there were bushes between the front door and the parking lot. They were high enough to hide me so that was where I made my bed. It was on asphalt with a finish of small rocks on top. It was a hard surface and not comfortable at all, but I laid down and fell asleep.

1 comment:

Andi said...

This is probably my favorite day yet. It would have been easy to keep the excess for a rainy days. Instead, all His favor reenforced your faith and you knew that He would continue protecting you and providing for you on your journey. I love it Nick.