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!