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Manchester to London 2013

The finishing line.

Today was a lot tougher walking than I anticipated,  although it was meant to be stretching 17 mile walk today, I got a litter disorientated around Bushey in Hertfordshire and probably added at least 2 miles, today I had a few chats with cabbies, one who was a christian said he would look out for me in Trafalgar Square tonight. Having been taken off course I met A couple of Indian ladies, the first Mary, was a believer and really encouraged by what I was doing the second lady was called Roshni we had a long chat about Jesus and the resurrection and reincarnation, after talking for about 30 minutes Roshni, decided to become a follower of Jesus.

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Walking into London was all I had hoped it would be, coming down the Edgware Road was like walking in the middle East just colder.

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Again I met another guy Mohammed he was in a lot of pain in his hip and knee. After chatting for some time I offered to pray for him,within a few seconds he jumped up and asked,”What have you done?”
He had felt a warm sensation down his right side and all the pain leave. I told him that Jesus had done it, and he confessed to being free from pain and having full mobility, almost immediately he got up and almost ran off, before I could get his details.

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Mohammed leaving his face somewhat obscured, probably for the best.

I continued into central London, walking down Oxford Street and Regent Street,  there were crowds of people, but in reality I only spoke to a handful,  I had a good chat with Gabor from Hungary.

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Then it was on to the finishing line at Trafalgar Square,  wherr I was met by some hardy souls who had braved the cold and wet. Thanks guys.
It was emotional to see family and friends,  we prayed for the nation and for everyone who had seen or spoken to me along the route.  God has been so good,  I have seen first hand Jesus working powerfully in people’s lives.  Thank you everyone who has stood with me in prayer and supported me, it made all the difference.

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The last leg

Sorry for the absence of a blog last night, I took the sabbath day rest too seriously. I fellowshiped with Houghton Regis Baptist Church.  They interviewed me during the morning service and I had a really good time with some of their young people in the evening. It was great to spend time with their minister David Skinner and his wife Catherine.

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So this morning I head off and David walked with me a while, the weather changed today and I experienced a measure of rain longer than anything previously on this trip.  In Dunstable I had a good chat with some scrap metal dealers, then later with some Irish travellers who were not keen to be photographed.

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Despite the rain a number of people stopped to talk, Jack from Poznan in Poland spent some talking concerning salvation. Later on two plumbers pulled over in their van, Pete and Chris. After talking for a while I was able to leave them with a gospel tract

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Some time after this,when I was just half a mile from my destination, I realised I had lost the bag that the cross goes in. I had to park the cross in a safe place and retrace my steps, praying fervently. Till Eventually I found it about 3 miles back.

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So today I have walked 16 miles with the cross and another 6 without it! Doh! Tonight I am staying with Kevin and Lesley Price from a Baptist Church in Watford.  They have arranged a small meeting for folk who are interested in what I am doing.

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On a personal note, just as I was crossing the border from Bedfordshire into Hertfordshire.

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I got the news that I was a father again, so welcome 4 years and 10 months old Kristen Jemmimah into the saunders family, we are so blessed. Its the last leg tomorrow Watford to Trafalgar Square just 17 miles. Looking forward to seeing friends and family there.

A lady in a million

Those of you who have been following the blog will know that yesterday was full of mishaps.  However I forgot to mention that a banana in my rucksack had been reduced to puree, it looked like someone had been sick in my rucksack.
Enter my wonderful wife Sarah who drove up from London with spare tyre and inner tube, she not only helped me sort out the wheel but cleaned my rucksack as well. She truly is lady in a million. I normally have a picture of my host but instead here is a picture of my guest a lady in a million.

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So this morning I reassembled the cross with brand new tyre.

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And off I went on a 17 mile walk from Newport Pagnell to Dunstable, today was a vast improvement on yesterday and I had plenty of opportunities to share good news with people on the road. I was invited to join a family having a drink in the sunshine outside a coffee shop, pete who deals with organising the transportation of abnormal loads was particularly interested in what I was doing and why.

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Later on as I came to the village of Woburn I had several opportunities to share with people.

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I was invited to join some people having a drink outside a pub. They wanted to buy me a drink, but the pub gave me it on the house. 2 pints!! One of orange juice and lemonade the other tap water. With ice!
Had a really good chat with kimberley, whose brother had photographed me in Northampton a few days earlier,  she was keen to hear my message and had heard about me on Facebook

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Again in woburn I had the opportunity to talk about what Jesus means to a group of about 12 people who had gathered around me. After that it was a lot of empty miles,till just outside Dunstable,  A number of Christians stopped to talk or take photos.
Up till about 5 o’clock I had nowhere to stay, but thanks to another special lady Susan Clark,  I am now staying with David and Katherine Skinner from Houghton Regis Baptist Church.  Immediately after accommodation was sorted I had 2 more offers of a bed.
Tomorrow I will be worshiping locally and having a rest. So I just need somewhere to stay on Monday night in the St Albans or Watford area.
God is good.

We are not unaware of the Devil’s schemes.

The promised rain didn’t materialise,  I was glad about that, and it was certainly a lot cooler. So at 9AM I waved goodbyebto my excellent hosts in Northampton Lewis and Aileen.

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Today was a great day for walking but a tough day in finding people to talk to, this was the quitest walk of this trip. In fairness it was very rural, and after a while the smell of manure began to annoy me.so for long stretches it was me and the Holy Spirit fellowshiping together.
I did meet a few folk, I shared with 2 dustmen,2 postmen,  and lovely old Mrs Valentine.

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Progress continued well through the day, and I was rejoicing in howcwell I had managed physically. At the three quarters stage I was doing really well.

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It was after this that the challenges came, there was a bit of nasty mockery from a couple of motorists,  there was a near miss from a lady driving to fast, then as I arrived at Newport Pagnell,  I was told by a local minister he couldn’t help me as he didn’t know me, and wasn’t prepared to take a risk. Then on top of that the tyre went meaning I would be in great difficulty tomorrow.

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Not long after that I had an offer of accommodation from a lady recently separated from her husband which I declined. You will be pleased to know Sarah is on her way with a spare tyre and inner tube.
The exciting thing is there are three days of walking and 51 miles to go till Trafalgar square on Tuesday night. I am convinced that the next four days will be powerful for the kingdom,  stand with me in prayer as we see Jesus take his rightful place in this nation

We are not unaware of the Devil’s schemes.

The promised rain didn’t materialise,  I was glad about that, and it was certainly a lot cooler. So at 9AM I waved goodbyebto my excellent hosts in Northampton Lewis and Aileen.

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Today was a great day for walking but a tough day in finding people to talk to, this was the quitest walk of this trip. In fairness itvwas very rural, and after a while the smell of manure began to annoy me.so for long stretches it was me and the Holy Spirit fellowshiping together.
I did meet a few folk, I shared with 2 dustmen,2 postmen,  and lovely old Mrs Valentine.

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Progress continued well through the day, and I was rejoicing in howcwell I had managed physically. At the three quarters stage I was doing really well.

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It was after this that the challenges came, there was a bit of nasty mockery from a couple of motorists,  there was a near miss from a lady driving to fast, then as I arrived at Newport Pagnell,  I was told by a local minister he couldn’t help me as he didn’t know me, and wasn’t prepared to take a risk. Then on top of that the tyre went meaning I would be in great difficulty tomorrow.

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Not long after that I had an offer of accommodation from a lady recently separated from her husband which I declined. You will be pleased to know Sarah is on her way with a spare tyre and inner tube.
The exciting thing is there are three days of walking and 51 miles to go till Trafalgar square on Tuesday night. I am convinced that the next four days will be powerful for the kingdom,  stand with me in prayer as we see Jesus take his rightful place in this nation

Adventures on the winding road.

After a really good night’s sleep normal service was resumed with a full English breakfast courtesy of my hosts Jim and Sue courthold.  There is nothing like the smell of Bacon and the shriek of the smoke alarm to get you going in the morning.

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I walked down into Market Harborough which has a strong Christian heritage. And met with local Baptist pastor Nick, before hitting the road to Northampton.

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However immediately on coming out of their coffee shop,  I met Nick and Rebecca who were from Derby.  It was the third time they had seen me in 6 days, so the couldn’t hold it in any longer,”what was I doing?”
What a great opportunity to share good news, they listened intently while I spoke about the purpose of the cross.

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Again I met a number of travellers, many who asked for prayer for their family circumstances.

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I prayed with Mary, Kathleen and little Larry who were going through a particularly difficult time.
After this it was a long walk in the hot sun, a motorist stopped to give me water. I had several good conversations with folk in Brixworth. I was invited in by a mechanic called Roger for a cuppa and a chat at the garage there. By now I was three quarters of the way. Today was really hot, but thankfully my hosts tonight Lewis and Aileen live on the edge of Northampton. So I will visit the town centre on the waybto Newport Pagnell/Milton Keynes.
Tomorrow the weather changes, heavy rain is forecast,  pray this will not hinder any opportunities I may have to introduce people to Jesus.

He meets our every need.

Today, I set off from Leicester to Market Harborough,  I toyed with the idea of going into Leicester cith centre,  but it would have added 6 more miles to the day, as it was the warmest day of the walk I decided to press on. So it was goodbye Trevor and Mary and on into the unknown.

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A while later while walking down the A6, I encountered Steve, the vicar of Saint Paul’s Oadby,  he was surprised to see me with the cross, and at first I didn’t realise he was the vicar, he encouraged me by praying for the walk, and off I went.

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Well those prayers worked big time, a few minutes later, I found myself invited to join a gang of men on a building site, on their tea break. What a great opportunity to share my testimony with proper blokes.  One guy was particularly interested and asked all the right questions,  some sloped off, clearly not interested.  Two of the men were clearly impacted,

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A while down the road, another guy Damien,  came up to with some ice cold water and a double mars bar, just what I needed at the right time. Later in the day his wife Emily rang me to see if I needed accommodation. She is also an osteopath,  and she offered to come round and sort out any aches or pains I had.

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A few miles later, 5 vehicles stopped to talk with me in the space of about 400 metres. The second car was a Mormon lady who gave me two bottles of water and an orange drink. I met a number of the travelling community today, many who were believers and were blessed to see me passing through.
I had several opportunities to share with pedestrians and drivers, and even a couple of horse riders. By the standards of this walk it was a quiet day, but who knows what is round the corner.
Tonight I am staying with a lovely couple Jim and Sue Courthold, I think I could have stayed in about 10 homes tonight.
Tomorrow I walk on to Northampton.

The power of the cross

Today began as a disaster and ended up with a party in Heaven.  Yesterday was a long day and clearly I was very tired because as we unloaded the bolts and plates that hold the cross together I put them on

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top of the dustbin outside.  However I forgot to bring them in afterwards. Someone passing last night or early this morning must have thought they had been put out with the rubbish and recycled them.
A few phone calls later and my good buddy Mike Vickers was on the way with replacements.  The Crazy Brothers were reunited. As far as I am aware this cross is one of three, so ee were able to perform the necessary transplant to save the cross.
So we said goodbye to my host Tom, and set off into Loughborough for lunch.

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Mike had come with his daughter Bethany, who commented, ” he still needs training, doesn’t he Dad?”

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So then it was back on the road, I recognise that the visibility of the cross can provoke a number of reactions,  seriously,  please pray as I walk through significant Islamic communities.

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And indeed this proved to be the case as first of all a lorry driver stopped the traffic on the A6 to talk to me and get my literature. Most of today’s walk was along the busy A6, yet surprisingly I had a number of conversations with vehicles that had pulled over, a roadside cafe gave me free bottle of water as we chatted.
Yet again God saved the best till last, a lorry with a large red trailer pulled in to the lay by in front of me. As I approached the driver got out to talk to me. ” why are you(swear word) following me?”
I explained that I was walking from Manchester to London and that it would be pretty hard to chase a truck. He continued ” you are (swear word) following me with that cross. ”
He went to explain a few months ago he was driving through Poland when he saw 2 men walking with a cross. He had shouted at them to get off the road and driven close to them, so they would be frightened.  It just so turns out I had been following him after all!!!
Clearly God was on his case, he asked why would two crazy men travel across Europe with a cross?  Which gave me the opportunity to share Jesus. The challenge came clewrly if Jesus is that serious about pursuing you, to die in your place and then send someone to chase after you, what should your response be?
Jaroslav and I prayed together in the lay by and he committed his life to Christ.
In the excitement I forgot to take a photo,  so Jaroslav if you are reading this, please send me a picture?
Tonight I am staying with Trevor and Mary who are involved in an exciting Church plant in Leicester. Tomorrow I walk on to Market Harborough,  where there just may be a impromptu meeting at the Baptist Church.
Keep praying, I know it keeps me going
Alan.

Still waters

Things changed today, this was the first day I didn’t have a full English breakfast, I had it the night before instead, after which I spent a pleasant evening playing taboo etc.
Here are my hosts Tim and Lynn

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This morning I did my own breakfast and dealt with some Monday morning administration,  and hit the road at 10 AM. Today was going to be physically challenging as I had to walk 19 miles on my own with no one to share the load. Surprisingly I did quite well arriving in Loughborough around 7pm.
There weren’t many folk on the road today, and it seemed that I had to be Alan the pastor today, I met Raj in Alveston today, he saw me witnessing to some drunks around 11 am. He came over and introduced himself as a Christian who pastors a church in his spare time, we enjoyed fellowship together and he seemed really encouraged by the walk.

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After a while it became a lot more rural and there were not many people to talk too, however a man called Nigel, pulled over in his car and wanted to talk, he was recently bereaved and felt very alone, his daughter was getting married soon and he asked for prayer,  which we did at the side of the road. I enjoyed the scenery,  but for me it is all about meeting people.
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Negotiating junction 24 of the M1 proved to be a challenge,  but I crossed over safe and sound. The last 6 miles were a real effort, but I did have one last meaningful conversation with a young guy, who was brought up as Christian but not really embraced Jesus for himself. Arrived in Loughborough just after 7 feeling just a little proud of my athletic prowess. 
Tomorrow I walk on to Leicester,  expecting exciting things for then,.
And so an ealy night beckons before tomorrow’s adventure.
Good night.
Alan

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