Saturday, February 24, 2007

Shadow of the Valley of Death

I've had an intense week on the road. It began well with two English speaking towns settled by refugee West Indians (beautiful people) and I was excited to hear a Jaguar roaring from deep in the jungle as I walked. From there though I encountered racism on an intense level. Verbal abuse and even objects thrown from passing cars (I have the bruises to prove it). Two days ago though I truely walked through the Valley of Death. Out of the blue I felt God ask me if I wanted the stigmata (wounds of Christ). Not really sure what I was getting myself into I said yes. I had a 40km walk but I arrived at a town that didn't exist! So I pushed on to the next town 15km away and ran out of water and food on the way. When i arrived the same thing - the town had folded and no longer existed. It was now night. I could see the lights of what I thought was a town some 8km away so, tired, hungry and thirsty I pushed on into the darkness. When I arrived I found it was nothing more than a road works facility that was secured and teaming with guard dogs. I was so weak and exhausted but spent three hours trying to wave a car down but no one would stop. At 11pm I decided to continue walking. At midnight, on a secluded country road with 1m high dry grass along the side I suddenly realised I had a Puma stalking me in the grass. I flashed my light onto him and blew my high-pitch whistle as loud as I could but he kept creeping closer. I was more scared than can be described. I had my walking poles ready to fight and every hair on my body was on end. He kept creeping closer thorugh the gass. Very slowly I started backing away, still blowing the whistle as loudly as I could (almost deafend myself). Eventually he stopped and layed low in the grass giving me the oppurtunity to painfully walk the few kilometres back to the road works facility. I tried to get a lift until 3am but no one would help. After 66km, exhausted, dehydrated, starving and scared out of my wits I fell asleep on the side of the road next to the guard dogs. Welcome to the wounds of Christ - Complete physical pain, complete mental anguish and complete abandonment. How was your Ash Wednesday? There has never been a sweeter sunrise to wake up to. God bless and please pray hard!


Martin, Lisa, Olivia, Emily & Julian Pannell said...

Hi Sam, We're with you mate! We're praying for you. Love Pannell family fan club & prayer support.

Martin, Lisa, Olivia, Emily & Julian Pannell said...

afterthought... you referred to the puma as 'he' are you sure about this? I heard the female pumas get just as hungry! (bad joke??) all seriousness mate - it's good to have you alive & offering up suffering for the kingdom. Can I suggest you carry a decent knife for protection? MP

Kristen Toohey said...

Oh my goodness Sam, Martin just told me about your latest blog, which I’ve just read, but obviously hadn’t read when I wrote you the other email earlier today! I had no idea of what you could be facing – make that 10 armies of angels to protect you and I don’t think MP’s idea of a knife is such a bad idea. Christ be with you Sam, we’re all just taking a break in the national office for an impromptu prayer session for you and Unity.
Praying now!
Kristen and everyone @ the YMT National Office

Jane & Tim said...

Hi Sam, mate that sounds like a really full on week, with the puma and the racism. Know that you are in our prayers, Jane and I and the boys pray for you daily. You are an inspiration to us all, and I know you know the Lord is especially with you in your suffering. Sometimes it can be hard when you are in the midst of it. Gb Tim

Mark Pickham said...

Hi Sam

I have just watched yout video - amazing. I picked up your wlak on the Cathnews newsletter.

Just keep walking