Sunday, April 15, 2007

Goodbye South America

As I wait for my aircraft at Barranquilla Airport it is time to say goodbye to Colombia & South America, home for the past 5months! I was on target to walk the entire 370km journey across Colombia but fell short by a painful 30km! I ran out of food and water on the final day in the middle of a 65km stretch of wilderness. Oh well, 340km straight isn't too bad :-) Colombia is beautiful and suprisingly very peaceful & dare I say, safe. Due to a 5007m high mountain, Christobal Peak, the environment & climate changed dramatically from the arid cactus & thorn bush dominated Rioacha area to lush rainforest & fast flowing rivers. It was stunning. I finished one days walk after sunset & was joined for the final 5km by a 70yr old farmer. He chatted the whole way. To himself. I was concerned at first but then decided a 70yr old farmer in gumboots wasn't really a high risk factor. I simply walked on & took in the night rainforest, lite up by a million fire flys & the sound of hundreds of frogs in chorus. Upon arriving at our destination he kindly gave me 40cents to buy some dinner and disappeared into the night. As I walked around Christobal Peak over 5 days I saw many mountains that surrounded its base & often wondered, upon seeing a high peak, whether it was Christobal Peak itself. Each time though I was unsure and concluded that if it was, it didn't look 5007m high! Just before sunrise on the 5th day as I walked away from the mountain range I turned around and there, silouhetted against the dawn sky was the most enormous mountain I've ever seen. It was more than double the height of the other mountains I'd been walking around & literally took my breathe away. Wow. It reminded me of the 1st time I ever saw an eagle - I saw a large bird one day and asked dad if it was an eagle. Dad replied, "No, it isn't big enough. That's a hawk." A few weeks later I saw a bigger bird and asked dad again if that was an eagle. Dad laughed & said, "No, it's just a big hawk." I was a little frustrated and asked how exactly he could tell the difference. Dad quite simply said, "Believe me, when you see an eagle, you'll know." Such a dad answer, but a month or two later I was watching another 'hawk' some 50m away and as it came into land it touched down over 200m away, not 50m! It was enormous & to be honest scared me a little due to its size! It was unmistakeably an eagle - I 'knew'. As to was that mountain unmistakeably Christobal Peak. So what does true unity look like? Perhaps we could let our imaginations run a little & think what true unity looks like, or perhaps we have even seen glimpses of it, but most things we see at the moment are 'hawks' or 'foothills'. Regardless of what it may look like, for now, the invitation is to pray for it and, be assured, that if we are blessed to catch a glimpse of it before our time is up, we'll know. And it will undoubtedly induce a wow factor of 10. See you in Panama! Sam.

11 comments:

Liz said...

Hey Hey Sam,
Wow... what a journey you're having. It's absolutely amazing reading about your pilgrimage around the world. I'm sure you're having an amazing effect on every person that you come in contact with, and even more so, in praying for Unity!! You're an inspiration to us all.
I'll be keeping you in my prayers.
Liz

Derek said...

Thank you Sam for taking not only the journey for Christian faiths but also for the excellent web updates. I look forward to praying every day at 4.01pm.
Derek

Young Adult Catholic Club said...

Samuel Clear you are an absolute champion, count me in your prayer for unity. Praise God for what you are doing, what an inspiration. You have inspired me to say yes to whatever God asks of me.
Although I wouldn't want to smell your socks at the end of your walk!
God bless
John Smyth

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

Hi Sam, It was good to hear about the 70 year old farmer proving you with company & dinner - we have been praying that God will provide all your needs! I just asked Julian what he would like to say to you today & he said "to dell dam dat I am daying dankyou dor my dosary (rosary) bracelet" as we've been using it when praying for you! Cheers, Martin & Fam (Fan Club presidents)

Anne-Marie said...

Hi Sam,
Martin's sister Anne-Marie here!
My family-consisting of my husband Patrick, and children-Gerard 12, Jacinta 10 and Joseph 8, and I have just spent the past 4 days in wonderful Wollongong with Martin and Lisa and their three beautiful cherubs. There has been quality cousin time in the tent in the backyard, as well as some serious jamming in the lounge room with Martin and Patrick on their guitars.
However, nothing is so awesome as what YOU are doing for us all-for Christians the world over. You truly are inspiring - my alarm is set for 4.01pm, and my prayers are with you..
And as soon as I'm back at school next week, I'll be telling our school community about you..

Enjoy the journey, God bless
Anne-Marie

Mick Kelly said...

Hi Sam,

Hope the journey is as nourishing as it is amazing. With you in prayer and spirit.

Mick

Fricky said...

Sammy Clear, loved the video of Episode 1 of your epic journey, and really enjoy reading your blogs.
Quick question though, what do i need to pack to join you on your trip? That blasted God of ours has been making feel guilty about not joining you from the start when you asked me, and ever since Light to the Nations (an easter festival held every two years at Galong NSW, go if you've mever been readers)i have had this unnerving sense that i need to join you on your walk. not sure which part, but some part none the less.
So against my mum's wishes (she wants me to buy a house and get financially set) what do i need to bring along to join you on your journey, and when do you want me there? But dont say right away, i need time to get ready.

Robyne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robyne said...

Hi Sam,

You are a daily inspiration I set my mobile calender to give me a reminder each day at 4.01pm to pray for unity and for your protection. Thank you for sharing with us your journey via the blog and the great photos.

In my prayers
Robyne

P.s If the blog by "Fricky" is actually Joe.....This is Robyne from ymt 2000, good on you Joe! I'm sure Sam will be so grateful to have a friend with him on his journey, not to mention how its going to draw you closer to the Lord too. Hope you are doing really well! You can always buy a house later......

Mark P said...

Hi Sam

I have just picked up your Blog off Monday's the Cathnews newsletter. A great story, one which I will now follow. Keep safe and God bless.

Mark

nyes said...

HI Sam,

Glad to hear you are safe and well, truly inprising stuff. Hope you arent living on vegemite - its wicked stuff remember. You are in our hearts and thoughts often. I am sure JF will be a good walker and talker. I will do my best to prepare him (NO SWEARING).
Love to you, NYES