As I close out my walk through Missouri, I’m once again reminded of the power of prayer, and of the amazing and timely way in which God continues to supply my needs. Each morning as I begin my walk I ask God to provide me with safety as I travel, and to lead me to the those who can not only aid me along the way, but also those with whom I can share my faith with and be an encouragement to. And day after day he has been faithful to do exactly that.
As I began my walk down Route 66 after leaving the Springfield area I was somewhat surprised at how little remains of what made Route 66 so famous. In fact, after walking a lot of miles and seeing almost nothing at all, I began to consider changing my route once again. Then, out of nowhere, at a place call Halltown, I walked right up to what I had been looking for. Sitting to the right of the road was a gas station that made me feel like I had just been transported to another era.
Gary’s Gay Parita Gas Station (Facebook@Turner Barnes Barbara) is situated on old Route 66 just a little ways past Halltown, MO. and if you would enjoy stepping back in time to another era it is definitely worth the trip. Barbara has taken over where her dad left off, and her and George have done a fantastic job of keeping the station a must see destination on old Route 66. Vintage cars and trucks adorn the property along with stone buildings and of course the gas station itself.
After touring the facility with George he invited me to pitch my tent in their backyard, and we later enjoyed a good meal and talked until late into the evening. It was a wonderful visit and George went out of his way to make me feel right at home. I left the next morning feeling fully refreshed, and continued my journey down Route 66. George had suggested I visit Ghost Town once leaving his place, so I began the day walking down a winding road in that direction. After walking for about a mile I noticed a dark crack in the road right in front of me had began to move, and I just froze. Sure enough it was a snake about five foot long, and it reared up as though getting ready to strike. I didn’t move, and after a few seconds it slowly lowered its head and slithered off the side of the road into the grass. Needless to say I pay a little more attention now to the cracks in the road!
After visiting Ghost Town I commenced to walk down the highway leading to Carthage MO, and after walking about two more miles I was really hot and had began to get hungry. Just about that time a young man came running out of his house, and offered me several bottles of cold water. I greatfully accepted them, and then continued my walk. Just a few minutes later he drove up behind me and asked If I would like to come to his mom’s place to relax in the air conditioning and get something to eat. I spent the next hour relaxing with them and enjoying a good sandwich and potato chips. What a really kind and thoughtful family!
Ten miles later I stopped at a convenience store located in Miller, MO. and upon arriving a young lady came over to me carrying a bag of cold drinks and food and offered them to me, saying she had passed me earlier in the day and wanted to help if she could. I had just thanked her and sat down on a wall outside of the store to eat when a gentleman approached me and began to witness to me about Jesus. Needless to say we had a great conversation, and he offered to let me camp at his place for the night. To make a long story short he came back and gave me directions to his place after a meeting he had to attend, and I ended up spending a wonderful evening with Scott, Kristain and Katie Lung as well as with Emily Pearce. They not only grilled hamburgers for me, they also were so kind in allowing me to take a shower and for doing my laundry for me. Katie was also so nice in giving up her bedroom for the night so I could sleep in a soft, comfortable bed for a change. That and the great time of fellowship we had together talking about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ made that evening without a doubt one of the best I have experienced since I began my trip. Thanks so much to the Lung family for an evening I will not soon forget. And thank you for your continued prayers as I continue my journey!
The following morning I began a fourteen mile trek to the town of Avila, where an incredibly kind gentleman by the name of Rees Phipps not only provided me with enough Gatorade for the journey into town, but he also invited me in to meet his family once I arrived and provided dinner for me as well. He then drove me the last few miles to Carthage, found me a good hotel to stay at, and the following day drove me down the route I would be taking into Kansas so I would be prepared for what lay ahead. His offer to drive me the rest of the way to Carthage came at the perfect time, because I had been walking on newly laid black asphalt, and I literally felt like I was cooking from the inside out. At any rate I was able to spend a restful day visiting the different sites in Carthage and just relaxing in an air conditioned room. Rees, thanks again so much for all that you did in helping me along my journey!
I am now very close to the Kansas line, and my next update will probably come from there. Please continue to pray for me as I continue my journey west, that God will continue to protect me and meet my needs as I travel, and that he will lead me to those I can be a blessing to as well. Until then…
Always Onward I Walk,