Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crossroads, Week 2

A particularly powerful update from OLSWA students and Crossroads walker, Michael Hayden:

(Their walk is being featured on LifeSiteNews today.)

Week 2, June 1st – 8th

Dear Friends In Christ,

Yesterday we entered the 3rd week of our crossroads expedition and Monday signaled the end of week two on the road. In two weeks we have managed to walk across all of British Columbia and pass over the Rockies. On Monday we finally crossed into Alberta and entered the Great Plains and we look forward to much flatter walking for the next few months. This trip continues to bring so many blessings and hardships so that I do not know where to begin.

Since our team is only made up of six guys we have to really push hard to make it across Canada in 3 months. Because of this our crew has been averaging 130-160 kilometers every 24 hours. I have been on the night walk for most of the last two weeks and have had some really beautiful and moving experiences during the long hours of the night. On Monday I was walking right around dusk outside of Cranbrook B.C. and suddenly I looked into the ditch and there was a grizzly bear no more than 30 ft from me… I continued to walk on slowly and he ignored me and continued to just sit there, thankfully! Our whole team after that has carried bear spray and whistles with us at all hours of walking.

The mountains were some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever walked through. On Tuesday Wed, Jun 2nd we crossed over the Kokahala pass at over six thousand feet. At the top there was still many feet of snow but the spring run off had begun and there was beautiful waterfalls everywhere. We then crested the mountains and headed into the vast wilderness between the coastal mountains and the Rockies. Along the way we came upon many small towns and villages and the people were INCREDIBLY welcoming! There is a large Korean population in B.C. and Alberta and it seems everywhere we go there is a new Korean family that wishes to feed us till we cant eat anymore. At one RV campground we stayed at the owner was a catholic Korean lady named Sue who invited us in and fed us and gave us huge amounts of food for the journey. But although the Korean people have been most generous there are other countless kind people that we have met. Most especially, the old ladies that are in every church that love us and feed us as if we were their own grandchildren… once again, I didn’t know charity could kill you but at some point you just have to say “please, I am so sorry but NO MORE FOOD” or else we would explode. But their generosity, charity, and prayers are what sustain us, that and daily mass and reception of the eucharist.

This weekend I was speaking at a church here in Calgary and a man came up to me and grabbed one of the stickers I was handing out. He was in his 30’s – 40’s and he had a young child in his arms. He looked at the sticker and then he turned to me and said "this sticker saved my grandsons life, Two years ago my 16yr old daughter became unexpectedly pregnant. She was going to abort the child without telling us. On the day of her abortion she came over to my house and I had just been to the last talk by the 2007 crossroads team and had put this sticker on my truck. When my daughter came over she saw this sticker (the same one I give to everyone at the churches) and she decided to not have her abortion and she told us. My Grandsons name is Isaac Angele, Born Jun 3rd, 2009. He turned one two days ago, thank you and keep up the good work." Our entire team was moved by this story and by the power of one little sticker to save a life three years after it was given.

Today on June 9th our entire team went and prayed outside of the Kensington Abortion mill in Calgary. This is one of Morgenthaler’s hellish creations, a modern building hidden off to the side that is cold and plain. Within ten minutes of arriving the cops arrived and they informed us that the bylaws stated that we were only allowed to have 4 demonstrators on the sidewalk at a time and no signs were allowed. The rest of the team had to sit fifty feet back in a park, hidden behind some trees, or else they threatened us with arrest. Luckily our Crossroads shirts state our message very loudly and there is no real need for more signs. I have never seen laws that strict around an abortion mill, it was such a saddening experience seeing car after car of couples and women driving into the gates of the mill… I wanted to cry out to them that their children were worth saving but the law has stated that we cannot approach these women… Seeing this butcher house right in front of me and knowing that inside children were being killed at the very moment… It sinks into the core of your soul and I am filled with sorrow and a grief at the state of our world. Is it not a man’s duty to defend women and children when necessary? And when this duty is taken from us and we are bound by unjust and sickening laws all we can do is stand their and cry out silently to our lady and our lord to reach out to those parent and protect their children.

But there is HOPE! Our message is a message of hope and of love and every day God uses us to touch people and move their hearts. Every day we witness the goodness of people and the cheers and positive honks and yells that accompany us on our every step make each blistered and weary kilometer easier to bear. Please know that you are all lifted up in our prayers and that your continued prayers are what sustain us. We are all becoming more and more aware every moment of the power of your prayers to help us along the way. I honestly do not know how I can continue running after 25 kilometers and I cant feel my feet anymore and its 4 AM and I have been walking all night… but I find myself renewed and refreshed and I can continue on as far as I have to go. I know that this walk is only possible through the thousands of prayers and intentions that accompany us so please! Keep up the good work! The message of Life is bearing fruits already and hearts and minds are being changed.

P.S. Please forgive my hurried and late writings. I have had very little sleep this week and this is the first chance I have had to take a breather… Now my team is off to bed after no sleep for the last 35 hrs. God Bless you all.

Michael Hayden

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