Sunday, December 23, 2007

Rest & the 12 days of Christmas

On the 370th day since beginning in Brazil & after 9444km on foot I finally arrived in Edmonton, Canada. This is the end of the road for the America's & an opputunity for me to take a short break before flying across the Bering Strait into Eastern Russia. The final day of walking began in Leduc after spending the night at the home of Shaun & Sandra Woodard. That final day was a 35km stroll down along the Queen Elizabeth II Highway in mild conditions to St Joseph's Basilica in downtown Edmonton. A few hours into the day I was met by a Global television newscrew who took an hour or so to take some footage & conduct an interview before I was ableto continue on. That was my only break for the day as I'd organised with some friends to meet them at Calgary Lutheran Church, 5km out from Edmonton central, in order to walk the final section with them and I was running short on time. I turned up at the church an hour late but we were ready to get underway again right on 4:01pm so we firstly went into the church & knelt at the communion rail before the sanctuary with the minister & his assistant joining us. We prayed for the unity of all Christians, in truth & in love, & then commenced the final 5km of this section of the walk. We entered the city as the sun set behind us. My friends, the Quist family, my brother Chris & I walked up onto the Basilica steps at right on 5pm & only a few seconds after the snow began to fall. Amidst the busy city centre it felt very peaceful & still as the snow fell & my walking finished (for now). We ventured inside & spent some time in prayer before filing into their van & scooting off through the evening traffic to their little country home. By 7pm we were back on the road though with a speaking engagement at the Holy Family Church in St Albert followed by a late night "sit up & talk" with Jon Quist & Chris. The next day the Global tv interview was on the news throughout the day but I suffered the rather funny humilation of having the midday news co-host comment after the story had aired, "What did he say? I couldn't understand a single word he said. Was he speaking english?" Thankfully the woman co-hosting with him understood "Australian" & interpretted for him. Many people have commented on the midday news segment since, feeling sorry for his comment but to be honest I think it's quite funny. I understood every word I said! Speaking of strange accents, I met a fellow from the Canadian island of New Foundland the other day & I couldn't understand a single word HE said. I asked a question to which he replied, "Aghda end u ul se," which means, "Yes, they're in aisle six." It took me three goes to figure it out. Anyway, I'm now enjoying a Christmas break & heading out for a quick ski at Jasper National Park on boxing day before flying out to Vladivostok on the 2nd of January. Januray 18th - 25th is the International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity so please start spreading the message & inviting people to pray, particularly during that week. 4:01 for a solid week! I hope everyone has a very merry & blessed Christmas & if you have the time there is a whole new set of Walk4one videos on youtube (Amazon to Venezuela) that will also be on the website soon (You'll get to see a lot of travelling on the back of semi-trailers, boats, motorbikes, etc in the Amazon jungle section). As I mentioned in the last blog entry it feels like I've been on the road for a lot longer than one year. From 47degC in Brazil to -33deC in Canada, from muggings to beautiful hospitality, it's been a big year. Thank you to everyone who has supported along the journey & may we all keep praying & moving forward towards complete unity. Now, because it's both Christmas & the end of a massive year on the road praying for unity I thought I'd finish off with a new rendition of a Christmas carol that summarises the past 370days! The 12 Days of Christmas as it will most likely never appear again... (to save time I think I'll only put up the final verse). Feel free to sing along!
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 12 different countries, 11hundred phtotos, 10 pairs of socks, 9000 kilometres, 80 degrees of temperature, 7 hissing snakes, 600 blisters, Salmonela & Typhoid Fever, 4 thugs with knives, 3 room invasions, 2 men with guns and a Puma in the long grass!
God bless & peace be with you, Sam.
"The virgin will be with child & will give birth to a son, & they will call him 'Immanuel' which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23


brendajb said...

Sam ... Greetings from Casper, Wyoming. I've been following your story since you walked through Casper in late October. My parents live in Edmonton, I've been sharing your blog postings with them, and they've been eagerly awaiting your arrival. They were very fortunate to meet you last Thursday evening in St. Albert. They are in your photo of "Holy Family Church Friends". We wish you a Merry Christmas, a wonderful day of skiing in Jasper, and a safe and prosperous journey. P.S. I'm singing your terrific version of "The 12 Days of Christmas".

Brenda (Casper, Wyoming)

Ernest W. Reimer said...

Sam! I feel so priviledged to meet you this week at St. Thomas More here in Edmonton, and again with friends today at the Gust's! What a tremendous testimony you have! In Revelation 12 it says "They overcame him" (the accuser, the devouring dragon) "by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death". This is you Sam, you are one of His chosen! May the Lord God continue to protect you and richly bless you as you follow Jesus on your journey! We will indeed be in touch, and praying for you, and with you, and with so many, and at 4:01 too!

A Simple Sinner said...

At the next Catholic Church you stop at light a candle for me, I will do the same for you.