As I walked towards Cline’s Corner, NM, the wind blew colder and harder with each step. I was near the top of a long hill, and I looked forward to reaching the top and starting down the other side. The weather forecast that morning indicated that I had one more day left of moderate weather before really cold weather set in, and I was in a hurry to walk as far as I could that day. The night before had been really cold, and I didn’t look forward to what was coming.
Earlier that morning as I had devotions before breaking camp I had asked God specifically for several things. I asked him for a safe walk that day, I asked him for a ride south so I could get to warmer weather, I asked him to provide me with a safe place to camp for the night, I asked him to provide me with a good meal, and because I had not had a shower in about five days I asked him for a shower and a place to wash my clothes. I know I was asking for a lot that particular day, but the truth is I was feeling a little desperate after walking alone for almost a week with almost no one to talk to.
As I continued walking up the hill I realized a large pickup truck was backing up towards me on the interstate. As it came to a stop a gentleman stepped out of the truck and asked me if I could use a ride to the closest town. Thanking him I accepted his offer, and he helped me in loading my cart into the back of his truck. He asked me where I was going, and what I was doing. After telling him a little about my walk, I told him I would appreciate a ride that went anywhere south of where I was now. Little did I realize that God was leading me to exactly where he wanted me to be.
Benny Maestas knew what it was like to travel coast to coast with only a few clothes and a sleeping bag. As a young man he had hitch hiked across our great country, and he remembered what it was like to need help. That afternoon when he saw me walking the highway he simply wanted to offer a helping hand. Our paths crossed because he had missed the exit he had planned to take after visiting Albuquerque the day before. He lived in Roswell, NM, and was returning home after picking up a tile sample for his floors. His missed exit was about to become the answer to my prayers.
After a brief discussion, and upon learning of my desire to get south as quickly as possible, he turned the truck towards Roswell and we were on our way. I was able to tell him a little more about my trip, and of my faith in Jesus Christ. About halfway on our trip to Roswell this incredibly kind man bought me lunch and something to drink as well, and after a brief stop we continued on to Roswell.
Once there he took me by a store and waited while I purchased some much needed groceries. He then took me to the Wild West RV Park, where he asked William, the owner, if I could pitch my tent for the night and take a shower. William graciously said yes, and it turns out they even had a laundry facility on the premises. Do you remember what I had asked God for that morning? Everything I had asked God for had been given to me because of one missed exit. Folks, God answers prayers!
Benny, thank you so much for stopping and offering me a helping hand, and for getting me out of the cold weather that lay ahead. May God bless you for your kindness, and know that you have inspired me to play that kindness forward. Because of folks like you I can continue on my journey, and continue to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital as I walk.
I have one more mountain range to get over, and probably a few more very cold nights. That’s okay, because I know God is in control, and I know he will take care of me. In fact I look forward to seeing where and how God will lead me next. I am truly on a journey of a lifetime, and fully realize that none of this would be possible without my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who makes all things possible. Glory be to God from whom all blessings flow!
Until the next time…
Always Onward I Walk,