After we left the Perky Bean in Fort Ashbey, W.VA. We went to the Post Office and Mailed a box of stuff on down the line to a town about 5 days away. The box had extra food, a big bottle of shampoo and lotion and other resupply items. It is kind of nice to know that there is a box with cookies and goodies waiting for us in a few days! :) We are also expecting a box from my sister and a box from John at Edmond Summit Company. The box from Jennifer is the original box that our computer came in so we can mail that home. Yes, we have decided to mail our heavy laptop home finally. It is just too heavy to carry through the mountains and we are not going to find that many wireless hotspots up here in the backward hills of West Virginia. We have decided to pick up an Iphone in september when our contract runs out and that will allow us to blog much more often. The package from our friends at Edmond Summit Company has our trekking poles in it! The trekking poles help to propel you up and down the mountains taking a lot of strain off of your knees and back! We can’t wait to get those babies! Thanks once again Edmond Summit Co.! You guys are AMAZING!!
Ok so after leaving the Post Office in Ft. Ashbey, we headed on out of town. We reached the edge of town and by this time it was already 3:30 in the afternoon. We knew we weren’t going to get that far before dark, but we decided to press on anyhow. As we approached our first turn off the main road, Kristin asked if we could call Harold (a nice man we had met a few days prior who lives in a town close to the trail) to see if he would be willing to come get us the next day as we pass close to his town. We wanted to go into town to see if we could find a little alcohol stove to put into our backpack. He said that he would be happy to take us anywhere we wanted to go, and asked us when and where he was to meet us. We then realized just how hard that would be to answer. See we are walking these very remote backcountry roads and no one knows the names of the streets around here. Literally they don’t know what they are called, or they have a nickname that never makes it onto any map! For instance, CR-19 could be called “the ridge road” by one person, or “the road where that big willa tree was struck by lightning, and fell across the road in that snow storm 8 years ago and hank and his boys had to cut it out of the way with martha’s good china and drag it off the road with pygmy goats,” but no one but the map company knows it by CR-19!! So as you can imagine, we had a hard time telling Harold where we were to meet him. So he said, “you know, why don’t I just come and get you now and I’ll put you up in a Hotel tonight and take you to breakfast, and wherever you want to go in the morning.” We were stunned! It was such a blessing, but we didn’t want to burden him with all of that so we told him that He didn’t have to do that, but he insisted. He said, “Let’s just say that someone else is telling me to help you.” So we knew what he meant and accepted his gracious offer. It was so wonderful to sleep in a soft bed and take a real shower! It had been almost a week for me! I mean jumping into the river counts right? :) So as we were waiting for Harold to come pick us up, Kristin read Mark 9:41 which reads, “If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded.” We liked it so much that we read it to Harold when he arrived! So we drove a few miles down the road and Harold put us up at a hotel and we went in and dropped our bags. Harold said that he would see us in the morning for breakfast. We decided to run over to wal-mart which was close by to see if they had what we needed in their camping section. Alas, they did not, but on the way we met a beautiful sister in Christ at the Hospital as we passed by and sat a talked with her for quite sometime. Her name was Billie, and she knew instantly that we were working for the Lord. It was so nice to talk with her. After a failed trip to wal-mart and a stop at the local pizza shop, we headed back to the room for showers and sleep! We woke up and phoned Harold to let him know we were up and around and he told us that he would pick us up at 8:00 to go eat breakfast. His wife Becky would be joining us and we were going to “the Royal” for pancakes with white gravy! We had never heard of such a dish and were anxious to try it. The Royal is a little greasy spoon in downtown Keyser, WV, and has that small town charm that you just can’t buy. It only comes from being around for a century or so. So we ate a great breakfast and had some good conversation with Harold and Becky and then Harold offered to take us to a few places to look for a stove. Oh the pancakes with white gravy were AWESOME!! I dare you to try it! Anyway, we went to a few places and didn’t find a stove, but Kristin found a neat straw hat and Harold found the local newspaper editor (at Becky’s request of course:) for us to talk to! So we talked with the newspaper about what we were doing and then they took a picture of us with Harold. After that Harold took us back to the trail and dropped us off at a church that has a fresh mountain spring running under it. You can just walk right up into a room at the church and there is the best tasting water just flowing out of a hole in the wall!!! It was great! We filled up our water bottles and bid Harold good bye. Thank you Harold and Becky for taking us in and showing us around Keyser! Funny thing about Harold: “He’s never met a stranger!” And that’s the Truth!
We left the little church with the spring and walk for about five miles before we happened upon another little church. It is called God’s House of Prayer in Antioch, WV. We were running low on water at this point and decided to ask for some water. Also, the sign out front said that they had a bible study at 7:00 and we felt like we should go. Unfortunately, no one was answering the door at the church, but I happened to glance over to the house next to the church and see two men sitting on the back porch. I told them that no one was home at the church and if they could spare some water. They joyfully said “Sure!” and told us to come on up on the porch and take a load off! So we did, and after introductions we learned that the older gentleman was actually the pastor of the church! We hadn’t so much as sat down when Pastor Kenneth’s wife, Norma Gene, came out onto the porch and introduced herself and her granddaughter Meg. The next words out of her mouth were, “We’ve set two extra places at the table, and dinner is ready. So come in and wash up before supper.” We thought it was strange when she said that because she was looking right at Kristin and I!! It took us a second to realize that she really was talking to us and that she was serious! “Could this be happening? Again? Really God? No way, this is too much,” I thought to myself. I looked at Kristin, and by the stunned look on her face I knew she was thinking the same thing. So we walked on in and washed up for dinner. Pastor Kenneth Ours, his lovely wife Norma, their granddaughter Meg, her husband Mark, and us sat down at the table and had a lovely home cooked meal. They had pork chops with baked potatoes, baked beans, and salad with Meg’s homemade ranch dressing! Wow! It was good. After dinner Meg and Mark had to go home to get ready for their church, and the rest of us sat around and looked at pictures. It was a wonderful time. After a while Kenneth said that he was so glad that we had stopped by, and that he didn’t think that it was any coincidence either. He told me that he and Mark had been building a retaining wall all day (which is quite impressive) and that he hadn’t gotten as much time to study something for bible study that evening. He asked if we would mind just sharing our testimony tonight. We were happy to say yes. He even talked Kristin into singing a song. Which if you know my wife, wasn’t hard to do. :) So around 7:00 we went over to the church and waited for everyone to arrive. After everyone got there, which was 8 people total, Kristin and I shared our story. It is always so great to spend time with like-minded brothers and sisters, and we were so blessed by meeting everyone there that night. After church, we went back to the Ours’ house and talked until almost midnight! Norma is so cute, she made sure that we had eggs and bacon, orange juice and every good thing to eat you can imagine in the fridge at the church before we went to bed. Kenneth and Her had told us that we could sleep in the church and that she had to go to work the next day, so she MADE SURE that we had everything that we could ever need before we said good night! I imagine that there hasn’t been a single soul ever go hungry at Norma Gene Ours’ house. So right now I am sitting at a table in the kitchen of the church, full from breakfast, typing this blog while Kristin catches up on some Zzz. If you can imagine the nicest, sweetest, most caring grandparents you have ever met, that is getting close to the people who are Kenneth and Norman Gene Ours. Thank you both so very much. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers until we meet again, either here on earth or in eternity! God bless you both.