Brad and Gina took a step from their car and wondered what life would be like at the end of this walk.
Gina took a deep breath as their daughters ventured west on the ribbon of concrete. Dozens of faces showed a variety of emotion as the couple made their way to the small group.
Mr. Brown had been the one to first realize the potential of helping Brad and Gina by agreeing to a walk that would effectively kick them out the United States for many years.
The local radio station had caught wind of the plans and insisted that the event be covered, so reports were aired as the group began their walk. One by one the men and women intent on the extradition of Brad and Gina encouraged the couple to move along. The sooner this was over the sooner they could leave the country.
The thirty men and women joked about what it would be like without Brad, Gina and their girls. Brad and Gina tried to be polite, but the whole thing seemed a bit disconcerting. Sure, they had agreed to go, but these people seemed intent on pushing them away from all that was familiar.
The radio station received calls from people willing to provide money if it meant that the family would leave sooner. A few lamented the effort because they had come to love Brad and Gina and didn’t want to see them leave.
Yet, even Brad and Gina had agreed that it was probably best if they left, but they had always thought they would have more time. It was clear their time was short.
What would they do without all the things they had come to love about America? What would they do without the friends and the convenience of shopping with friends in department stores?
The country of Peru had so little to offer, yet this was the place of their exile – at the end of the walk.
Eight miles passed and Mr. Brown stopped the group and said to Brad and Gina, “It looks like it’s time for you to leave.”
“Yes, I suppose it does,” Brad said as Gina shed some tears for the loss of what had been and the unknown path ahead.
“This moment has been a long time coming,” Mr. Brown said with a grin.
“So it’s official then?” Brad asked.
“Yes. We raised the last bit of funds needed to send you to Peru for your mission’s assignment,” Mr. Brown said as the others clapped and wept.
* * * * *
Brad and Gina Shaw have been medical missionaries in Peru for nearly 10 years. When they sought the last bit of support they needed to make the move it all came down to a Mission’s Walk developed by a former co-laborer of mine, Dale Brown.
He encouraged radio listeners to join him for a walk in support of the Shaw’s. If enough money was raised it would allow the family to move to Peru to begin their mission work.
What started ten years ago has resulted in an annual Mission’s Walk in Western Nebraska that has resulted in more than $80,000 being raised to provide funds to a variety of missionaries and mission projects.
Today Brad and Gina have garnered support to continue their work in Peru and they have worked with the radio station that helped send them to Peru to develop a network of low power Christian radio stations in the mountainous terrain of Peru.
Jesus gave us an example to follow. We should, 1) see people saved, 2) see saved people grow in their faith & 3) see the Gospel spread to the ends of the earth.
Sometimes it all begins with a walk. Great things can happen when someone takes that first step.
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