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Birmingham to London 2014

The long and winding road.

One of the more unusual encounters on a crosswalk happened in September 2014. Alan had set out from Warwick race course through Warwick and Leamington Spa and off into open countryside. On this occasion Alan was joined by a a good friend Bob Mullins.

Just outside the village of Southam in Warwickshire Bob  met Alan with the car and some refreshments. Aso they were talking another guy called Dave pulled up in his car to see if he could take a photograph.

To cut a long story short, God was on Dave’s case. He had been driving cross country from Swansea  to Northampton. On route he had stopped at an Anglican church in Hereford to visit the graveyard where men from the Special Air Service were buried.

At this point Alan interrupted Dave’s story, “The grave you visited belongs to Frank Collins.”

” How did you know?” Dave replied.

So Alan explained that the Holy Spirit can reveal things to those who love  Jesus, so that others can come to know him also. As a result it gave Alan an open door to share why Jesus came. However despite all this supernatural intervention Dave did not surrender his life to Christ.

Fast forward 2 years and two months, Alan is at home. The phone rings, It’s Dave, something has happened. ” I have finally found God” Dave exclaimed excitedly. ” I have been transformed”.

Dave had never forgotten that day, He had visited the Church yard in Hereford many more times and eventually chatted with the vicar who prayed with him to receive Christ.

We never know the results of our conversations, but God promises that his word will never return to him void.

Taking our cities one person at a time.

The challenge of reclaiming our cities for the Kingdom of God seems immense.  We know that the task of winning our communities and our nation is much more than any of us can do alone. However we can work with what we do have and look to love individuals into the Kingdom of Heaven.
With this in mind I entered the great city of London from the west via Northolt and Southall.  There were many opportunities to share Jesus and pray with people on the streets.
In Southall I met a Sri Lankan brother who gave me some money for lunch. Which was a great start to the day. As I progressed through Hanwell a an stopped to ask me a question.  “I have lost my way in life and I don’t know what to do, can you guide me?”
He shared a lot of his own life story and I told him how I encountered Jesus for myself.  By now there was 3 of us involved in a conversation on how to find peace with God. At the conclusion both of these guys prayed with me to surrender their lives to Jesus. 

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By the time I got to shepherds Bush,  Bob joined me again. I had a great time sharing with Keysar from Bangladesh and prayed with another guy called Dan from Romania.  Earlier I had prayed with  young lady called Kate who was from the Czech Republic,  her partner had disappeared on his way to work last Thursday and she hadn’t seen him since.
As we passed through Bayswater Bob and I were invited into a restaurant by Old and Risto.  We had a lively discussion about religion and faith. We pressed on through Hyde Park toward Westminster there were so many opportunities to talk to people and sow seed.

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Finally we crossed Westminster Bridge toward the London Eye. Here I was reunited with family and friends once again. So after 7 days of walking around 100 miles, giving out 100’s of tracts and seeing 4 people come to faith, I was finally home.

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Eyes on the finishing tape.

There is a sense that all Christians should look forward to the finishing line. The time when Jesus places a crown on our head and says “well done.”
However in the meantime we need to compete for the prize.  Thankfully we don’t compete with each other but we do need to train and work hard to keep ourselves in shape and ready for action.
Today was pretty gruelling, a couple of big hills, a wrong turn and plenty of miles.
We left the camp site in Aylesbury and said goodbye to the sheep. No cows today.

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I started walking just west of Berkhampstead the morning was tough with not many people wanting to talk. By the time I got to Chesham things began to improve and there was a greater sense of openness to the message.
I pushed on through Amersham and despite getting lost for a while I managed to press on.
Thankfully Bob found me and got me on the right road.  There was a temptation to call it a day and drive the last few miles to Bulstrode.  However my eye is on the prize. For me seeing people find Jesus is always my main aim.
It was in the last 2 miles I had my best conversation with Noel from Ireland. Although he was brought up a Catholic he already had come to the conclusion that you could cut out the middle man and go straight to Jesus your self.
I am now praying he will do precisely that. Just as I was almost home I was invited into the home of a delightful Christian family Simon and Jools.  I briefly enjoyed some excellent hospitality before finishing strongly on the A40 and into Bulstrode.

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Rest day tomorrow,  where we will be worshipping with local churches before pushing on into London.
The finishing line is at Jubilee Gardens by the London Eye on Monday night 7pm. You will be most welcome to join us.

Come home Jack?

After a night’s sleep at Gubbins hole farm in Marsh Gibbon,  it was back on the road to Aylesbury.

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So it was farewell to the cows and time to share the love of Jesus with the people we met.
In Aylesbury we were pleased to find generally more openness to the Holy Spirit than anywhere else on this trip than anywhere else so far. I lost Bob for a while as he had a lengthy discussion with a young street musician Chris.
I was encouraged by Janet who walked up to me and prophesied over me as I gave out gospel tracts.

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People were very open and we had many opportunities to share with and pray for people on the streets.

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One guy that touched our hearts today was a young guy in.his twenties called Jack. When I asked him if he had any faith he told me,” less than I used to”.
From our conversation it was clear that circumstances had caused him to drift away from his heavenly Father. We are praying that he comes home to Dad soon.
Tomorrow we are heading towards Gerards Cross where we will be camping in the grounds of Bulstrode the WEC headquarters.  Just 2 days of walking left. Please join with us in seeing they have maximum impact.

Special delivery

If miracles happened every day, they wouldn’t be miracles.  So just as some days maybe mundane with not much happening others are exciting filled with the supernatural power of God. Yesterday was a mundane day, unlike the previous day and also unlike today.
The plan was to walk from Brackley to Bicester and then onto our bed for the night in Marsh Gibbon. I had another shout out on BBC radio Northampton before I crossed the border into Oxfordshire. I was on the back roads and although I may not be very visible or necessarily speak to many people it’s often in the remote and hidden places that Father has someone he wants to meet with.

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The road was quiet and I remember a FedEx van passing me. Half a mile later I caught up with it in a small hamlet called Cottisham.  The driver decided to engage me in conversation asking how heavy was the cross. (20KG if your interested).
We began to talk about faith he was from a Catholic background and believed in Jesus.  However when we discussed relationship he acknowledged he didn’t know God. A short while later we prayed together for him to receive Jesus as his friend. Gustavo shared with me that his wife Marcia is riddled with cancer so we prayed together for her healing.

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Initially as we entered Bicester we found the people fairly unresponsive.  However we hung around and persevered. It wasn’t long before we had opportunities to pray for the sick. No immediate healing to report but they all have my number should things improve.

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We do serve a God of miracles,  we may not see them every day, but we see enough to know that he is actively blessing his creation.
Thanks for standing with us in prayer.  We are expecting to see more exciting things as we pass the half way point of this crosswalk.

Radio stars

Today was a fairly straightforward walk into Banbury and then on to Brackley. Although it was overcast it was still very warm.

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Conversations and people were few and far between.  However I did get a mention after the news On BBC radio Northampton.  Thanks to my friend Russell Holding for that.

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I met a couple of guys who go to church in Chipping Norton who stopped their van for a quick chat and some encouraging words.
In the afternoon a guy pulled over in his land rover for a chat. He felt blessed to see me with a cross and I explained that my motivation for doing this walk was to pass on the message of Jesus with those who stop to talk to me. We chatted for a bit and he listened intently saying he wanted to follow the progress of my journey.
Turns out his name is Robbie Williams! !!

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These walks always fluctuate, you never know what lies around the next corner. Some days are packed with excitement, today wasn’t.  However it has been a great trip so far sometimes I can go 5 or 6 days praying for something significant to happen. God has been moving powerfully already.  Join with me to see salvation come as I walk to Bicester on Thursday.

The awakening. (A tale of two Daves).

Today’s blog begins on Monday night. After a tough days walking, dinner, shower and writing the blog came bed. Whilst on a crosswalk it is not uncommon for me to be in bed asleep by 9:30pm.  Last night true to form I was tucked up in bed early pushing up the zeds.  I was woken from my sleep about 10:20pm by my phone ringing. I looked at my phone it was not a number I recognised but I answered it anyway. In my semi conscious state I couldn’t really understand what was being said. Eventually I began to understand what was happening. My caller was called Dave he had met me in Acocks Green.  Bob had popped into a tesco express to buy some bottled water as we were both thirsty.  I had briefly chatted to guy called Dave at the bus stop while I was waiting.  I can’t recall the conversation but I did give him a gospel tract before he got on the bus.
Dave told me that what I had said had really impacted him, that he had read the tract and prayed the prayer at the end.
He was buzzing with excitement,  while in my confused state I tried to take in what he was telling me.

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Today we walked through Warwick and Leamington Spa and then on towards Banbury.  It seemed to be a fairly low key sort of day. I hate low key days. I was feeling quite dehydrated and texted Bob, who had gone on ahead to set the caravan up. As I approached the village of Southam I thought it would be good if he turned up now. Seconds later he pulled into a lay by across the road. I was relieved to be supplied with water, a banana and some biscuits.
A few moments later another car pulled into the same lay by.  The guy got out and asked if he could take a photo.  Not an unusual request and I was happy to oblige . I just asked if I could finish my banana first. We started talking, the guy explained that he had the day off work and had visited his daughter in Swansea and was driving home to Northampton where he lived. On the way home he had pulled in at St Martins church in Hereford.  He then began to explain that he had laid some flowers on the grave of an S A S veteran. Before he could finish the story,  I said ,”it was Frank Collins”.
“How did you know?”, he replied
I knew Frank back in the 90’s we had served together on some youth camps organised by WEC.  Frank sadly passed away in 1998 and I still remember the shock.
The guy, Dave, then said” I read his book and would like to have met him. In fact at the grave I asked him to give me some guidance. “Now I am in the middle of the country side talking to a man who knew him just an hour and half later.;”

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It was an amazing coincidence!  No, more than that it was a divine set up. We prayed together and I encouraged him that Jesus had planned today. I left him with a gospel tract and challenged him to surrender his life to Christ today.
So there you have it one saved and another has a wonderful Holy Spirit encounter.  Please pray for both Daves.
Also continue to pray for Alan and Bob as we continue on our journey to London.

Rolling back the years.

In some ways today was a trip down memory lane. Birmingham was where I went to Bible college from 1988-90 it was also the place where I met my wife Sarah.  So I have happy memories of the city.
However let’s just rewind a little bit back to Sunday.  We attended light house church New Malden in the morning which is my travelling companion Bob’s home church. We had a real blessing as they commissioned us and sent us out. The guest speaker Vegod Dutt from New Zealand had some highly accurate and significant prophetic words for me and for Sarah.  Insight into our lives that could only have been revealed by the Holy Spirit.
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After lunch Bob and I set off for a caravan site in the middle of Warwick Racecourse.
As Monday morning came the plan was to get the train to central Birmingham and then walk back towards Warwick.

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As we entered the Bullring market area, we immediately spotted a guy who needed some encouragement.  I sent Bob ahead. Darren was a young guy going through a difficult time,  but he is a believer. Bob chatted and prayed with him. I gave him all the cash I had.

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As we progressed through the inner city of Birmingham.  We met a gang of ticket inspectors at a bus stop. Banter duly followed. Bob Mullins being a retired London bus driver gave them stick about all hanging around together doing nothing.  I was told categorically you can’t take that cross on the bus! And ” I know we’re not popular but please don’t crucify us.”

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As we moved on we walked through Spark hill and Sparkbrook two predominantly Muslim neighbourhoods. I had an excellent conversation with Amir who came here from Afghanistan 15 years ago. When he saw us he crossed the road to come and talk despite it raining at the time. He was disillusioned with Islam and very open to the good news of Jesus Christ.  Definitely the best conversation of the day.

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By lunchtime we made Acocks Green.  25 years ago I had a placement at a church which met in the local primary school. It was planted by the well known Elim evangelist George Canty.
I remember on one occasion attending the church on the Sunday morning and putting our bus fare home in the offering.  This meant that Sarah and I would have to walk the 7 miles back to college and miss lunch. That day was the only day that some one offered us a lift back. An hour later another lady from the same church turned up at our door with a gift which was 30 times what I had put in the offering.  She had meant to give us the money at church and afterwards was convicted by the Holy Spirit and drove over especially. God is good.

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Tomorrow we push on into Warwick,  Leamington Spa and then onto Banbury Oxfordshire. Please pray we see breakthroughs in salvation and healing.

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