Monday, August 25, 2008

Dedicating the Blue Ridge Parkway Thru Hike To a "Higher Cause"

Ever since I decided to Backpack the Blue Ridge Parkway from end to end and include with it Section 1A that is now a part of Shenandoah National Park, I have tried to decide how to dedicate this undertaking to a “Greater Cause”. I have prayed long and hard about it and I had not received and answer – that is until last Friday.

I received an Email from my Mother on Friday night and she mentioned that she had recently learned about a runner that was running across the state of Minnesota?? to raise awareness about Samaritan’s Purse - Operation Christmas Child. My Mother is very involved with this wonderful ministry through her Church - Master Builder Ministries and beyond by doing awareness sessions for other churches. Her idea was for me to put an Operation Christmas Child Bumper Sticker on the back of my pack for the Parkway Hike. I could speak to people along the way about the program to raise awareness. I also took a cue from the way Mom and Dad dedicate the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes. The boxes are pulled in to the church sanctuary by children in wagons.

That was it! I plan to carry on my Pack the Operation Christmas Child Bumper Sticker and during one of my resupply stops near Boone, NC. I plan to have some friends bring me a little red wagon and some of the OCC Shoe Boxes and we will do a Photo Shoot on the Parkway of the Thru Hiker (Me) wearing my Pack and Bumper Sticker, pulling a Little Red Wagon carrying Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes, wearing an OCC T-Shirt.

In the Church that I attend, First United Methodist of Landis, NC this last Sunday we had the Dedication of the Book bags for all of the students returning to school this week. Since I spent 33 years in the classroom and I will not be returning to the classroom this year, but will be living out of my pack for about six weeks – I was asked to bring mine for the dedication as well.

Our Minister, Rev. Bev Coppley was a student in my Homeroom class when she was in the 7th Grade. On Sunday her message was all about “Journeys” and "Kingom, Power, and Glory”, and the Scripture was Psalm 121. Our Pastor also gave me a copy printed out of this verse for me to take with me from the Church Family. During the sermon the word "Sojourn" came up and I think I will adopt it for now as my "Trail Name" - Sojourner.


Samaritan’s Purse
Operation Christmas Child
Master Builder Ministries

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