Hello everyone, this time from Monterrey in northern Mexico! If anyone out there still remembers the 'end of the school year' feeling, that's a little how I'm feeling right now. After nearly 10months on the road I'm now within 5 days of crossing out of Latin America into western culture! I'm looking forward to crossing into US soil but it's also a little daunting to think that for the first time in 10 months I'll be able to speak english, I'll be able to understand everything people are saying to me & I'll be able to read the road signs. I could possibly have 'culture shock' in heading back into my own culture! I'm speaking more & more Spanish as well so it's a little sad to leave before learning 'enough' of the language (however much that is). This week Nikki & I averaged well over 40km a day & we are feeling the pinch a little now. The scenery was breathe-taking though & we met some great characters along the way. The Lord provided for us with a roof a number of times when it looked doubtful that anything would become available. On Monday we stayed in an empty chapel, which wasn't overly comfortable (Nikki had my hammock & I had the concrete floor... owwww). Then on Tuesday we stopped under a tree for a bite to eat when all of a sudden the house behind us became frantic with people running everywhere as they tried to kill a rattle snake that had ended up in their living room! We watched in amazement as they swept the snake out with a broom & then... disposed of it. At that point, without warning, heavy rain started to fall & as we gathered our gear together the family, still standing over the 'disposed of snake', called us inside to shelter. The father was an American citizen & Pentecostal preacher & after a great chat, we stayed for dinner & were offered the spare beds! Then on Wednesday, after a huge 52km day, we finished in the dead of night at a town with no church & no hotel. Actually, I couldn't see many people either. Nikki had been praying for somewhere to stay & so I asked the Lord, "Ok, what's the deal? Where are we staying?" A building off to my right hand side caught my eye & I felt the Lord say, "You're here". So, Nikki & I wandered over to the darkened, lifeless, closed building & as we did, a man walked out from the back & through the side fence. He was a Police officer & had just knocked off work. We chatted for a moment & he happily invited us to travel the 40km back to his place for the night & then he would drop us back first thing in the morning. Great stuff! Thankyou Officer Hector! I've found this week a little 'heavy' as I've walked. Although there is predominantly a huge welcoming from people of all walks of faith to pray for each other that we'd be united completely in Christ, there has also been the odd rejection. I've found it difficult to swallow that praying for each other to be united in Christ is even an obstacle at all. The question of 'why?' has popped up a lot this week. In the end though, I can only keep walking & keep praying. Christ implored us to pray for our enemies, so praying for other Christians should surely be within our limits. My favourite moment from this week though had to be the communities of Gophers we passed along a 50km stretch of highland plains. They were very inquisitive & consistantly called out to one another as we approached. I'm not sure if the farmers appreciated all the holes though. There are also a lot more snakes in this area, one of which was slithering down along the edge of the road next to where I needed to walk. A few accurately looped stones to the left of its head & it kindly headed right & off the road into the grass, where 5ft black snakes belong. Walk on. I hope everyone back in Australia enjoys the last week of winter & I look forward to seeing everyone soon (11months actually). Oh, & to anyone who has sent me an email & is waiting for a reply - I currently have 128 unread emails, so please be patient! I'm plugging away slowly. God bless & please pray on! Sam.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching & to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread & to prayer." Acts 2:42