Sunflowers..

Been a busy week at work and trying to sort logistics for the walk so apologies for the lack of posts.

About 6 weeks ago this sunflower broke in the middle so I pruned the top off. But it has regrown and was close to flowering when some wind early in the weekend broke the stem again. I was sad but left them. Interestingly the flower heads kept turning towards the sun and today one flowered.

In the Bible Paul talks about being beaten, bruised and broken but not defeated. And that’s true of many persecuted Christians around the world today. We all have places of challenge and brokenness in our own lives but as we look to the son we can flower despite the circumstances.

Keeping going..

I have been very tired after all the exercise (nearly 25k steps again yesterday including just short of a half marathon training run). Battered on Southend Pier by the wind though it didn’t rain. And got a blister under my big toe (thank goodness for compeed plasters!) Then there is normal life to cope with!

Biblelens put the verse from James onto a smiling face. But sadly many people end their lives at this beautiful spot. It all gets too much and ending it all seems like the best answer…

Continuing walking and running, including in the race of life, when you want to give up, is hard. Many times it’s a case of just keeping putting one foot in front of each other. But to get there you need to. Sometimes it’s right to rest or let someone come alongside.

Again I am reminded of my persecuted family where trials and challenges are a daily occurrence. They have it so much worse-for examples, see http://www.opendoorsuk.org They keep on walking through trials but us coming alongside makes a huge difference.

Thanks for your support and interest.

More preparations

Today was more boot wearing in, today with a backpack; around 8+ miles or 15k steps. A little sore around bottom of my legs where boots grip but otherwise just pretty tired. But good training for the rigours of the upcoming walk.

2 new places to add to my list of visited places. Interesting to find a 60 at Manningtree on the Stour estuary; at Frinton on Sea it was really wild initially but calmed down.

More Heroes..

Yesterday I went to Beachy Head and the Seven sisters near Eastbourne, iconic locations in the Battle of Britain. It was a thrill to see a Spitfire fly overhead too. A reminder of the few who gave their lives for the many.

As well as being one of my 60 activities for the year and a stunning location it was a reminder that freedom, from tyranny but also freedom to worship in many countries, comes at great cost.

I did over 20 000 steps (around 13 mostly hilly miles) so good practice for walking the Pilgrims Way too.

Heroes..

Looks pretty unremarkable, doesn’t it. A small, well thumbed devotional with Psalm 23 (The Lord’s my shepherd) in Korean and a signature. But it’s one of my prized possessions…

Hea Woo is one of the most remarkable ladies I have met. Now in her early 70’s she is a pocket dynamo of passion for Jesus and people. Hea Woo lost her husband and child and spent a number of years in a North Korean prison camp in appalling conditions with death, disease and desperation all around. Yet she shared what little rice she had, helped the sick and established a very small church which if discovered would have been a death sentence. The only safe place to meet was in the putrid toilet where guards wouldn’t go.

I will keep posting about my activities but it is for extraordinary people like Hea Woo that I do it.

Preparations….

First post in a few days but a lot has been happening behind the scenes!

My new boots have arrived and been tried out, together with a old rucksack. Just a bit more wearing in to do. Ordered a Cape (vermilion in colour!) that covers the rucksack and to make me feel really old I’m waiting the arrival of my seniors railcard! Happy days though-a bit like being a student I can now get 30% off train fares 🥳 And all the accommodation is booked 😊 In a fortnight I will be walking.

The virtual Great North Run is now only 4 weeks away. Did a 14 mile training run yesterday so I know I can do the distance. Got totally soaked but nice it was cooler 🏃‍♂️ Tried my new Garmin watch too.

Thanks for your interest and support. There are many around the world-in concentration camps in North Korea; shipping containers in Eritrea and prisons in Iran who would love my freedom to walk, run and worship. It is a privilege to support and stand alongside them. When everything seems a bit daunting, which it does at times, it’s good to think of this bigger picture..

Accommodation update

Yesterday I visited my brother in Suffolk and did around 6 miles walking; the previous day I ran nearly 9 and walked about 5. Sat at the desk today though.

About £260 raised so far which is a good start.

Was really fed up and frustrated about lack of progress on accommodation for the Pilgrims Way walk on Friday night. Was getting nowhere. Then I believe God prompted me on Saturday to investigate travelodge’s and Premier Inn’s and remarkably there are a number close to the route. So 7 out of 8 nights now sorted 😁 Just need the new boots to arrive early though I do have good shoes.

Do feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts or questions or to pass this blog on.

UCB Radio

I had the privilege of speaking about 60@60 on “This is my story” on UCB2 radio today. Thanks Ruth O’Reilly Smith!

Getting accommodation for the Pilgrims way walk is challenging at the moment.

The picture below reminds us of the need to stand up for the many who have lost their jobs and are being denied food because of their faith @opendoorsuk.org