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Valencia to Barcelona 2015

N340 The Road of Life.

This January I took on the challenge of walking from Valencia to Barcelona a total of 222 miles in 12 days. Just to make it a little more difficult I carried a 12 foot wooden cross weighing 20KG and my rucksack weighing 15KG. The mission is to share the good news of Jesus Christ with those meet on the road, pray for the sick and proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand just as the first disciples were commissioned to do. In addition to this as Jesus instructed his first disciples  I took no money bag or purse. That means no debit or credit cards or cash. I cheated slightly, I found €1-60  in the loose change at home so I knew I could at least buy a bottle of water.
Even as I was being dropped at Gatwick Airport London the Holy Spirit was at work even before I checked in, I met Ioannis who was flying out to Thessaloniki.  Before we boarded our respective flights Ioannis and I were praying together for him to receive Jesus.
In addition to this I spoke in Churches in Valencia,  Vinaros and Vilassar de Mar generally the response was exceptional with around 25 people responding to a call to get right with God.

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Then there was the actual walk. I walked longer distances solo then I had ever done before,  So physically it was the most challenging walk I have ever done.  during my 12 days of walking I walked primarily but not exclusively along the N340  during that time there were 3 fatalities along that strech of road and I myself had 3 near misses in 1day. You could be forgiven for calling the N340 the road of death but for me it was the road of life. As I walked 3 people that I know of found the Saviour Roland in Valencia, Martin  in Torreblanca and Thomas in Tarragona.

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The impact of what I do goes far beyond just the people I speak to. Thousands of people saw the cross being pulled through the region and at some level would have thought about Jesus.

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God continued to supply my needs as people opened their homes and their hearts to me. Strangers bought me meals and €470 passed through my hands.as I was able to meet my own needs and help others too.
I sense there is a quickening of the Spirit in Europe and believe that there will be an increased level of salvation in the months to come. In March I will be walking in Croatia with my good friend Mike Vickers. I am also planning on travelling to the Middle East to baptise some former Muslim believers.  I also plan to do two walks in the UK one in Devon and one in the North East of England.
All this costs money, currently a few households support me on a monthly basis ideally I need many more to partner with us in prayer and financially.  Please consider joining together with me in bringing spiritual light  in Europe’s darkness one person  at a time.

Words of encouragement.

Just a short blog today. This morning I  went to Esglesia Evangelica in the village of Vilassar de Mar. I was able to share a little of what had been happening in the last two weeks and shared testimony of what had happened on previous walks.

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What I had appeared to encourage and motivate people.  Afterwards one lady told me she was in tears as I spoke and the pastor Matt said my message was particularly relevant to some individuals and that he would keep me posted on the outcome.
In a few hours I will be flying back to London and my family.
Thank you Jesus for all you have done in Spain  and somehow I  feel I will be back again.

A heart for the city.

So, I finally made it. 12 days walking 222 miles 500 gospel tracts countless conversations  and many entering the kingdom of God. Sometimes we can wonder how worthwhile our contribution is to the purposes of the Kingdom.  As I looked out across the city of Barcelona I felt a sense of smallness.

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Barcelona is a world class city of millions of people and today I have interacted with a few hundred and at best spoke to fifty people. It would be easy to be overwhelmed  by the size of the task of reaching Europe’s millions.  Today as I walked the busy streets I barely scratched the surface.
I am reminded of what I read yesterday in Mark chapter 4. Jesus told the parable of the sower. sowing seed on different types of ground. Much of the evangelism I do is sowing, I also have the privilege of reaping fairly regularly too. Perhaps the unseen part is ploughing through in prayer that God would soften hearts to receive his word.
I know from my own experience that sometimes the seed sown reaps a harvest 30, 60 even a 100 times what was sown.  I have shared the words of Jesus with people who have gone back to their own cities and reaped a harvest in surprising ways.
So today I faithfully shared the word. Now it’s over to the Holy Spirit.
I still had some good conversations today mostly with men as usual.

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This has been one of my most fruitful walks with over 20 people making a positive response to the gospel.  My prayer for Spain is that many more Spaniards would come to faith.
The walking is finished for the time being but I am still here for another 24 hours anything can happen.  I still haven’t forgotten the guy at the airport on the way out here.  keep praying, keep believing.
God has a heart for the lost and still wants us to reach out with his love to those around us.

Cliffhanger

I am a great beliver in, “If it’s your day to die then there is not much you can do about it”. Well if you’re reading this then you know I am still alive and kicking.  I was pretty confident today was not the day I would depart this world. It was tough morning walking out of Vilanova il a Geltru.  There didn’t seem much openess and the same was true in Sitges just a couple of hours walk down the road.
I had been reading the parable of the sower before I set off and felt encouraged in God’s ability to reproduce the seed of his word in peoples lives. I have experienced first hand the power of a seed sown and then bearing massive fruit through the lives it has been sown in

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I saw this place in the morning, a house of grace with sewing machines on the gate posts.  I  thought that might be the theme today. I  was wrong.
Firstly I took a wrong turn after midday ending up having to climb a cliff with the cross and rucksack in tow, in order to get back on the right road. Then when I did get back on the right road. it was a twisty up and down cliff side road for about 8 miles.

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basically I walked on the white line at the side of the road for over 3 hours.  It was pretty intimidating walking facing oncoming traffic with very little room for manoeuvre. I was about 3/4 of the way through when I experienced a succession of near misses.
Firstly a motorcyclist decided to hug my white line as he came round a blind corner.  He wobbled and swerved and missed me by inches.  within two minutes a Volkswagen Golf did the same thing. I was now extremely alert to danger as if I hadn’t been beforehand.
10 minutes later I stumbled and almost fell into the road right into the path of an oncoming cement lorry.  somehow I managed to shift my weight and throw myself against the cliff wall instead. I must admit I was pretty relieved as the road widened as I approached civilisation again. As I came of the cliff road I was  met by a guy who was filming me. I was applauded as I came down. He explained to me that he worked for the television and they may use the footage.

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As I came into Casteldefels I found a cafe to get a snack and rehydrate.  As usual the Holy Spirit saves the best till last. It was clearly the Bus drivers cafe and for the last hour and half of the day I have been sharing the good news with different guys as they come in for a coffee.

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So one more day of walking  I am not far from Barcelona.  After today’s adventures I am expecting something special

Their Kingdom shall be an everlasting Kingdom.

Today I was struck by how God oversees all of human history causing nations and Kingdoms to rise and fall. All with the ultimate aim of seeing the increase of the government and peace of his son King Jesus being established forever.
After a solid night of sleep I woke late, but not too late for breakfast. I was still able to be on the road for 9:30. So it was goodbye to Pastor Joaquin and the Baptist Church and on towards Vilanova il a Geltru.

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well I hadn’t got 10 seconds down the road when I got into a conversation with a lady. Joaquin immediately came to my aid and shared with the lady in her own language.

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Afterwards he confessed he is more of an evangelist than a pastor,  that he was sorry to see me go and wished he could walk with me.
I then pushed on up the road. later that morning I could see an imposing arch in the distance.  As I approached it was clear it was very old. It is called Arc de Bara and apparently it stood as the gateway to the Roman Empire  at it’s western reaches.

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This set me to thinking about Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. when the giant statue of different materials is smashed by the rock hewn from the mountain. . Daniel 2v44 tells us “then the God of Heaven shall set up a Kingdom that shall never be destroyed. ”
Later in Daniel 7 just after he has the vision of the 4 beasts we read this in verse 27.
“And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole Heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;  Their Kingdom shall be an everlasting Kingdom, and all the dominions shall serve and obey them.”
The kingdom of God continues to grow in scope and influence.  The reign of Jesus through his people continues to increase and no world power and can stop it.
Brothers and sisters we are on the winning side.
Not long after this I met some lovely Christians staying at the house of prayer for all nations (Spain ) in Roda de Bara.

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I was very tempted to go with them and stay the night but I knew I had to continue much further down the road.
As the journey progressed I shared with a number of builders, truck drivers and motorists till I reached Vilanova.
I have 2 days and 31 miles left till I reach Barcelona.  I have a house meeting on Friday night and possibly will be sharing in a church this Sunday.  so no more praying for a bed, but still pray that the message of Jesus will still impact people on these last few days.

All the pieces of the jigsaw fit together.

A great day for walking.  Clear blue skies a cool breeze amd the knowledge that every foot step brings me closer to the finish line. I normally find that a few days before I start walking I get restless and want to get started.  Then a few days before I finish the walk I start to think about being home. I guess that’s only natural.
However with four days of walking left they are still many more people to see and hear the gospel.
So I said farewell to Tarragona a very beautiful city. Hopefully I will visit again.

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And so it was on the road again. Unusually for me, I didn’t have any breakfast but decided to purchase water and breakfast on the road. Crosswalking isn’t the time to be fasting if you don’t have too. So it was important to refuel at some point.
As I left the city again I met several men along the road.

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both of these guys gave me a few Euros so I could buy breakfast.  At about 10:45 I came to a restaurant at the time I didn’t realise that it was the last place I could stop for quite a long distance.  I went in and ordered a coffee and baguette which I consumed with much enthusiasm.  When I went to settle the bill the owner told me one of the other customers had paid for me already. I was able to thank him and share a bit of good news with him also.
As it came to lunchtime I had been a contact with a Baptist Church which was on my route.

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no one was there and no one answered the phone either.  So I decided to spend the money I had been given on lunch at a cafe just around the corner.

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I had a message from Chris in Valencia saying there was a contact where I am. I was in the process of replying saying no one was around when my phone rang it was pastor Joaquin from the Baptist Church.  Yes they could host me, not only that he speaks excellent English too.
So just 3 more days of walking left please pray I will have a church in Barcelona that I can share with this Sunday.

The Father’s heart.

I was sharing with the Church in Vinaros that the most exciting events of my life have surrounded the birth of my children. I was privileged to be at the birth of all my children.  Although the first time I was so nervous I didn’t want to be in the delivery suite. That moment when as a father I held my son and daughters in my arms for the first time is incomparable. So we read that there is great rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents and that our Heavenly Father rejoices over us with loud singing so we too should share in that joy as people come into that relationship with God for the first time. As  a Christian one of the things that gives me most pleasure is when someone comes to faith in Jesus Christ and is born again of the Spirit.
So as I set each day I am looking to see where the Spirit is breathing new things into life. As usual I  tend to speak to mostly  men, today was no exception.  In Cambrils I had a long chat with two painter decorators.

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Then later in Vila-Seca I had a conversation with a guy on his cherry picker.

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I  also had a good conversation with two police officers on the outskirts of Tarragona who told me to be careful as I was passing a Muslim area.
But Father often saves the best till last. I hadn’t long passed the BASF chemical plant belching out smoke .

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I  met Thomas from Lithuania.  He had lived in Spain for 5 years but like so many others was now out of work. As we talked he told me he would not return to Lithuania as his father hated him and beat him . I  shared with him about my Heavenly Father, someone who is perfect and just and full of loving kindness.  I told him Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. I  could tell the Holy Spirit was doing his work as Thomas’ eyes misted over. I explained that he too could know the father through trusting in what Jesus achieved on the cross.
We prayed together and Thomas confessed his new found faith in Jesus Christ.  There was singing as I went down the road though not as loud as the singing in Heaven.

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My Dad is the best.

Farwell Valencenos, hello Catalonia

So After an excellent weekend and feeling refreshed. It was to hit the road again and crossed over to a new region Catalonia.  The landscape changed slightly as the orange groves made way for Olive groves.
I said goodbye to my hosts Sergio and Marta and headed off.

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It was a beautiful day and the cold wind was now gone making for perfect walking weather.  In order to make up lost time over the weekend  Sergio dropped me off in his car enabling me to get to Cambrils by sunset.
The walking was at a good pace and there weren’t many people about.  At one point I did wonder if I would speak to anyone today. Things picked up later in the afternoon after everyone’s siesta,  I was stopped multiple times for photos.  A Dutch/Spanish couple stopped and gave me biscuits and a bottle of water. I  had a long chat with a French tourist too. The highlight was at a Shell petrol station where a cyclist stopped to buy me chocolate and water.  I had a good chat with him, the guy who works there and some Dutch tourists one after the other.

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tonight I have stopped at a cheap hotel in Cambrils Tomorrow I press on towards Tarragona and then ultimately Barcelona.  Many have come to faith or rededicated their lives to Jesus and I know there is more to come just around the corner.

Spirit break out.

Yesterday I walked one of the shortest distances ever just 5.2 miles. Why? I was facing a dilemma should I push on or stay in Vinaros a town of about 50000 people. Even on that short distance several motorists and truck drivers stopped to talk with me.

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I had a phone number for the pastor in Vinaros  so I called him. He didn’t speak English but someone in the house did. It was agreed that they would give me a bed for the night. I arranged to meet Pastor Samuel at 7 in the evening. However I thought it would be good to find out where the building was beforehand.
As I arrived I started talking with some guys from the shop next door. Then Sergio and two young people from the church rolled up

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It wasn’t long before I was staying in Sergio’s home and scheduled to preach on the Sunday morning.
I knew that the Holy Spirit wanted me to be here. I shared a simple Gospel message and at first it seemed that no one was responding.  Then suddenly people flooded forward and there were several first time professions of Christ as Saviour.

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In the afternoon I shared with the youth  group at a barbecue

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It’s been a great weekend.  Tomorrow I will be dropped off in Amposta to continue walking. I will be officially entering Catalonia.  Please pray for me as I continue the journey.

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