Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hello again on the 26th. Coming to you again from another hostel.......


Tonight I am at the Ft. Mason hostel in San Francisco.  I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge today!  It was a beautiful, sunny day and there were many people out enjoying the day and the sights.  I've driven over this bridge many times, but have never walked over it.  This hostel is right on the bay and it has a great view of the bridge off in the distance.  Very pretty........

Today was fairly uneventful, aside from crossing the bridge!  But yesterday was another story!  Now I have time to tell you...........  I stayed in San Rafael for two days- it gave me a chance to rest and to dry out.  Let me tell you how I found a place to stay...  I was walking in the rain through San Anselmo.  I had spent the night in Samuel Taylor State Park and I really wasn't sure where I was going to spend the night.  I want to tell you that my faith is noticeably stronger- I set out in the morning knowing that God would provide.  We all have varying degrees of faith- mine needed some work, and it has been done.  Looking back upon every day of this walk shows me undoubtedly that He has been there for me.  As I was walking along the bike route, I noticed a bike shop-looking kind of place, but it looked a bit like a thrift shop too.  It said something on the front about "The Bicycle Hub" and "tool-exchange", and some other things.  I didn't get the impression that it was a regular bike shop so I kept going.  A little voice said, "Go back and check it out."  So I did.  I shook the water off of myself and stepped inside.  There was a woman sitting in the front window and a man helping a teen-ager work on his bike.  I introduced myself and told them what I was up to.  It turns out that they run a non-profit bike shop where kids can come in (or anyone) and learn how to work on their bikes for free!  They were very gracious to me and gave me some hot tea, fruit, and an energy bar.  I asked them about lodging and they recommended a motel in San Rafael, up ahead.  She helped me with the directions- when I finally got there I realized that I would not have found this motel, or any, for that matter.  I didn't see any motels in this area at all.  My sincere thanks to these fine people.  But that is not all.  The proprietor of the shop asked me if I was fundamentally opposed to riding a bike, and I said no.  "Why?", I asked.  He offered to give me a bike with a trailer to keep and use to finish my journey!!!  Is that great, or what?  I thanked him very much, but told him that I really do like to walk.  I wished them the best and set out in the rain again...

As I followed their directions, each time I took out the paper it kept getting wetter and wetter.  As I was making my way up the street that the motel was supposed to be on I passed the Lincoln Hill Community Church.  It was the only one that I had seen, and it was close to the motel.  Shortly later I found the motel and checked in.  Clean and cheap!  Amen!!  Do you know how welcome that dry, warm, secure place was with hot water, heat, towels, etc.?  The things we take for granted...................  The next day I did attend that church.  I did not get to speak, as it was such short notice, but guess what?  Guess where the pastor was from?  Honduras!!  Pastor Miguel Rodriguez.  He took all my information about the kids and my blog and was very interested!  He said he would definitely follow up on it!  Amen!

The next day I headed out into the sun!!!!  No more rain!  Amen again!  As I walked down the street I noticed a man sitting on the curb.  I looked at him and recognized him.  I knew him from Fortuna- the town across the river from Ferndale, California, where I live.  He is a homeless man that came into my church asking for help.  I remember giving him some money and also seeing him around town.  I went ahead and walked on, but a little voice said to go back.  I did.  I told him that I remembered him from Fortuna and he remembered me.  I gave him a little help and wished him well- you never know who you will run into and where!

I continued on, not really knowing just how I was going to navigate through the various cities along the day's route.  I had several maps, and was doing okay until I got to a place that just didn't correspond well with my map.  I saw a young lady talking to a man up ahead, then they finished and she headed my way.  I stopped her and asked if she was from the area and she said yes.  I asked her for some directions to help me navigate and she said she would draw me a map!  Her name is Molly.  Then she said, "I'll walk a ways with you, then I'll draw you a map."  We walked a ways, and then she said, I'll just walk with you!  So I had a walking tour guide!  She walked me through the city streets......I don't think I would have been able to find my way.  Amen!  We talked about many things as we walked.  She told me about her life.  She is, like many of us, trying to be accepted by others, and trying to make sense of the world.  I could sense her frustration and I told her, "You are the sane one, it is this world that is insane."  She is an angel!  If only the world had more people like her.  I had the privelege of buying her some things she needed- it was the least I could do for all her help and the pleasure of her company.  I am seeing something- I am not to just give, and I am not to just receive, I am to SHARE.  Do you know what I mean?  It is out of balance when we either just give or just receive.  A healthy mix of giving and receiving enriches everyone, and this sharing touches the soul.  Thank you Molly, for coming into my life and walking with me. 

We prayed and said good-bye, and she got me to a well-marked bike path.  I made my way south, headed for the Marin Headlands Youth Hostel.  The last town along the way before heading in towards the hostel was Sausalito.   I was walking along the street in downtown Sausalito and I happened to look down to another street at a level below the one I was on.  I saw a young man walking along and I recognized his earrings.  It was Gary from Elk!  Remember Norman Devall and the young man from Elk named Gary?  Norman had offered me a night aboard his sailboat in Sausalito, but I called him several days ago and he said that they would not be there.  So, I am walking along and there is Gary!  I called out, "Gary!"  I think he was a bit concerned!  He was surprised and glad to see me.  Norman had left for a week, but Gary had stayed to work on a lady's sailboat.  Gary went out of his way to walk with me and listen to my tales of the things that had happened since I saw him last.  How about that?  Two walking tour guides in the same day?  Gary wished me well and I made my way to the hostel.  I arrived at the hostel- it is in a beautiful setting.  As I got there, I asked a lady who was unloading her car where the office was.  She told me and we got to talking.  She invited me to join her for dinner in Sausalito.  I accepted and we had a wonderful evening of conversation.  Thank you Karen!!!

God is good.  I have to confess that I don't know that I really believed it myself always.  I am believing it more all the time.  Of course God is good.  But there is something very humbling when you put yourself out there and he really does come through with flying colors.  I think the key is, "......put yourself out there......."  It is not testing Him , because He can do anything, it is testing ourselves........

Good night,
Thanks for tuning in,
God Bless,
Pray for the Coders and the Kids,

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