Another week has cone and gone! I think the entire team can agree that our second week has passed much more quickly than our first week. Getting into the routine of walking 25 km each a day, irregular sleeping schedule, the whizzing cars, and the constant PR that accompany the trip, you could say that we have achieved some degree of normalcy in the trip at this point.
I am also happy to report that we have sustained no real injuries as of yet - despite some fairly bad blisters for some - but everyone is more than happy to walk, even though it may at times be painful. In that vein, the phrase "offer it up!" has already become a bit of a joking cliché term - and though we joke about how frequently we say it, there is still much truth in the idea of offering up any pain in our walking for the unborn and the intentions we receive along the way at parishes.
The general response we have received so far along the road has been interesting. While the majority of actual response we visibly receive has been so far positive - friendly horn blasts, thumbs up and waves - it is still tough to gauge exactly what the majority of those who drive by us actually think. Looking into the cars of passerbys (we do not try to make it look obvious!), nearly all drivers notice us, and with some degree of interest. It is easy to notice the turning heads, or the glance, and the averted eyes. We very rarely get middle fingers, angry yells, or any negative response. It is interesting to note, because I think it is sadly indicative of the typical Canadian tendency towards apathy on topics such as abortion. I feel that many of these people likely do not disagree with our cause, or respect us for standing up for it, but might feel that since abortion is not directly their problem, then they should not be concerned or excited about the movement. How do we reach these apathetic Canadians? This is not an easy question to answer. But I only hope that our shirts have at least got these apathetic passerbys to think about the issue a little more, and maybe open their minds to consider that maybe there is something wrong with the genocide that we are inflicting on our future generation.
One of the things which has surprised me the most on Crossroads - in a good way - is the importance of the parish mission on the weekends. Visiting local churches, we share with parishoners what our walk is about, and ask for spiritual and financial support. I was initally reluctant to do this part of the walk, but have since found it extremely rewarding for both the parishoners, and our own motivation. For one, while many of these parishoners are deeply concerned about the pro-life movement, many feel that there is no hope for the future of the cause, resigning like many other Canadians to the lie that legalized abortion has become a closed issue in Canada. For them to see young people active and engaged in the mission, who care deeply enough about it to want to walk across the country for the cause, is very encouraging for many of these people. Their encouragement, in exchange, is very encouraging for us. To feel and receive this abundant support on weekends has helped to strengthen our resolve to walk with purpose this summer. Thank-you parishoners!
As I write this, we are currently marching east towards Fernie, BC, headed for the Crowsnest Pass and the Alberta border. While the mountains are beautiful, our legs are looking forward to some flat walking on the plains, which we should reach later this week. We spent this past weekend in Calgary - thank you to Anne Engel for hosting us in Calgary, and to the parishoners there who were very hospitable as well! We spent a few hours praying outside the Kensignton Abortion Clinic in Calgary on Saturday, and were met with our most hostile response yet - a number of fingers and yells were shot at us. It was sad to see, but also good, in some way, to actually receive some response rather than the apathetic blank stares we have often gotten so far in BC. Last weekend, we prayed outside the hospital in Kelowna, BC, where abortions are performed, and actually got some positive responses - great to see!
On the 5 hour drive back to Cranbrook, BC from Calgary, we were fortunate enough to see a great deal of wildlife! 3 black bears, 1 wolf, and a plethora of deer and elk. We have seen a great number of deer while walking as well - luckily, no black or grizzly bears have been spotted during walking. I guess our bear bells at night are working…
Continue to pray for us on our walk, and we will keep you posted on our progress!