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Friday, August 6, 2010

Home is where the heart is!

Where do you say that your home is? What about your heart? Luke 12:34 says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Do you tend to put more emphasis on the things of this world which will perish or do you focus more on storing your treasures in heaven? For Jeff and I our Home is in Jesus and our heart strives to remain there also. We really know what it is truly like for Jesus to be our home. Our house is a tent which we put into a little bag every morning and put it up in a different place every night, so our heart is always anchored in Christ as we trust that he will show us the right place to put our house! So our heart is in heaven and our home is in Christ! I hope that if you are reading this and you are a part of the body of Christ you can say the same thing no matter what your circumstances may be.

After typing our last blog we decided since it was so hot we would just spend the day in Parsons and hang out with Joe and Ashley and I am so glad we did. We suggested that we could make dinner and share our story with them and Fred, Joe's dad, came over and got word of our dinner plans. So he brought over some delicious corn, green beans, and potatoes from his garden and his wife made some delicious homemade peach and berry cobbler. We grilled some chicken breast and had a feast ready when Joe came home from work. He seemed to be really hungry and he just dug right in and his parents showed up as we took our first bite. Everything was delicious and our fellowship was refreshing. We told them our story and then asked Joe's parents, Fred and Joanne how they met and they told their story. It was really neat to hear how God put them together. Fred and Joanne were getting tired and they went home and us young-uns sat around and talked and shared pictures of weddings and dogs and such! They offered to have a pot of coffee for us in this morning so we took them up on it and headed to the tent to try and get a in little shut eye.

So after waking up, packing up our tent and enjoying some coffee ad pop tarts we said goodbye to Joe who had got up to see us off we headed down Smokey Hollow road going up and down hills and winding around the mountains. We came to a road sign with a tractor on it and I said, "look tractor crossing" Jeff said, "hmm I wonder if we will run into any wild tractors?" Just a few seconds later a wild tractor came flying by!! We turned onto Clover road and walked a couple more miles until we got to a house with a nice pavilion in the yard and thought it looked like a nice place to pop our tent. There was a man using some heavy machinery digging in some dirt and so we walked towards him to see if he was the owner of the pavilion. His name was Rock and he did not live there but was just doing a little work for the family that did. Rock was a nice guy. He had never been out of the state of West Virginia, he liked to live a simple life and was quite content doing so. He said that the Moore's would probably not mind if we camped and said the man of the house would be home at 4:30. It was around 3:00 so we just decided to hang out under the pavilion and relax because it was starting to rain. After talking to us a bit, Rock got back to his work and then headed off down the road. After cooking up a pot of noodles and propping up our feet I fell asleep. It was not too long before Mr. Moore came home and he had already heard about some hikers that were hanging out at his pavilion. Rock had let him know that some harmless strangers were there! He talked to us a bit and we met his dog "Patches" and he said his mother and wife would be home soon. His mother who was born in the farm house there on the property had gone to have cataract surgery. We told him about our visit in Parsons and how we had stopped at the library to type our blog and he said, "well you probably met my wife then, she's the librarian". What a small world!! Then again it is West Virginia and the population of the entire state is about the same as Oklahoma City!

Mr. Moore's mom sent some homemade cinnamon rolls over for us after she arrived home. They were super delish and we ate them for breakfast. The Moore's were very kind and let us take showers and greeted us in the morning with a bag of goodies! After packing up we headed toward a little village called Valley Furnace: Unincorporated. We walked another 10 or so miles that day and my pinky toe was beginning to hurt so we stopped at a house with a big yard and asked if they knew of a place to camp. The man of the house thought for a while and maybe decided we were not creepy weirdos and said we could camp on his lawn by his chicken coup. So we were grateful and walked to edge of his lawn and cooked a little instant mashed taters and set up camp. While we were eating we met the king of the roost and he wanted to show us his awesome feathers and cock-a-doodle. He was quite the sight and sound for the evening. As we were putting up our tent we heard some thunder in the distance and we put our fly on and got in and it almost immediately began a torrential downpour. So we prayed for our safety during the storm and read some of the good book and fell asleep. In the morning it had stopped raining just long enough to pack up our tent before it started to pour again. We hung out with the man of the house and decided to just walk in the rain because the rain did not look like it was going to let up any time soon. We were informed that from where we were at all the way to where we were headed there was no electricity. We stopped in Nestorville which was just a 3 mile jaunt from Valley Furnace for some coffee. Everyone had there power hooked up to generators so the store had some power. After leaving Nestorville we headed for Philippi up WV38 where in poured on us off and on all day. Finally we reached Budget Inn where we were picking up our new backpacks. They arrived just before we did. The hotel was without power and we did not really want to walk any longer in the rain so we said we would take a room. They still had hot water and that was all we needed. The owner asked what made us to decide to walk across America and we excitedly told him. "GOD!!" He said, "well that is a pretty good reason." He was so kind he decided to let us just have the room. We were so thankful! We grabbed our package and packs and headed down the hall to our room, we were anxious to get our new packs! We slashed open the box and took our packs out and John, the outfitter back home had gone over the top again! He sent us 2 boxes of cliff bars, energy jelly beans, a bunch of Summit stickers, and some instant starbucks coffee. Thanks again John!! We love you man!!

It was really good we got a room because it just continuously poured the rest of the night. The electricity came on an hour later as well so that was a blessing we didn't have to walk around with our headlamps all night! Just after we got our new packs all packed and comfy we got a surprise phonecall. It was a nice woman who found out about us on the ADT website and got in touch with us through facebook. She was coming through the area and wanted to see if we needed anything. We said it would be lovely to meet her so she came by the hotel room. As she was on her way I told Jeff it would be nice if maybe she wanted to go get icecream!! So when she arrived she asked if there was anything she could do for us. We told her, "not unless you want to go get icecream!" Well she actually already had 3 milkshakes in her hand!! I will let you imagine the big smile on my face. If you know me at all you know how I am about icecream!! We did not want to offend her with the smell of dirty feet in our room so we went to the lobby to chat. She lives on the trail up the way a little bit and said she would love to have us over when we come through so we of course said yes! After a nice meeting with her we said till we meet again and headed to the room to try and get some sleep in the nice comfy beds! We were exited about the next day because we were going to meet Jessica, the twin of the nice young lady we met in Parsons, and her fiance Collin.


Ok so after we left the hotel we walked on into town to go to the library to update the blog. As we were walking down the main drag there we saw a life sized statue of Jesus in front of a house. We just had to take a picture with Jesus! It was cool because there was a man there cleaning the windows on the house and he was happy to take our picture. After that we hit downtown and found the library. Alas, the library was closed for a staff meeting and we were out of luck. So we called Colin. Colin is the fiance' of Jessica, who is the twin sister of Ashley back in Parsons. Colin said to walk through town and find the covered bridge and he would meet us at the other side of the bridge where the park was. He and his grandfather took us back to Jessica's house. We instantly felt like Colin was an old childhood friend of ours and hit it off immediately. Colin is a student at AB college in Phillipi and is a music major! So obviously we all had a lot in common. After we spent some time at the house setting up our tent and getting to know one another, and his sister Whitney, we got a ride from Whitney up to the church. Colin, Kristin and I all got to sit around and play music together until Jess got off work. What a blessing that was! Thanks Colin! After playing for a bit, Colin suggested that we play some ping pong. What a worthy adversary he is too! Little did he know that my dad and I would stay up ALL NIGHT, EVERY NIGHT, playing ping pong in our back room. Muahahaha!! Colin quickly renamed me "the Oklahoma Twister." :) After music and ping pong, Jessica finally got off work and came to pick us up. We all went back to the house and arrived at the same time as Whitney on her way back from the grocery store. She had picked up stuff to make us tacos and homemade cookies!! Whitney is such a wonderful person. She is the most caring and generous sister and we were so blessed to have gotten to know her and spend time with her. Whitney quickly started in on preparing dinner as the rest of us got to know each other. Somewhere in there Ally made her way into the picture. Ally is the twin sister of Nala back in Parsons. They are both half husky, half wolf, and 4 months old. Jess and Colin had heard from Ashley and Joe that I was a dog trainer. So we all sat around and played with Ally and talked. Shortly after, I realized that Whitney had been in the kitchen all alone making us dinner. So we all got up to go help her. We all pitched in and before we knew it we had a feast in front of us! She had even made a delicious fruit juice sangria-type punch that quickly disappeared. After dinner we shared our testimony with them and then we watched "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." It was actually a great movie! I recommend it to anyone. Great pic you guys. The next morning I woke up early and Colin took me to his church to attend the Iron Men's breakfast. Its a men's group that meets once a month for breakfast and bible study. It was great to get to spend some guy time with other christian men. Don't get me wrong, I love my wife and the time we spend together, but it was nice to spend some time away for a bit. After Iron Men's breakfast we went over to Colin's friend's house. Jeremiah is the associate pastor at the church and has a lovely family. His wife and two young boys are so much fun! After a little while Jess and Kristin met us over at Jeremiah and Becky's. We all hung out and ate pizza and it felt like we were not walking across America for a while. It felt like we were just hanging out with friends and having a good time! After a few hours we went back to Jessica's and hung out there for a while. Dinner time rolled around and Colin suggested we go to Moe's for hotwings. They were DELISH!! We had a great time at dinner, but at some time during the evening I could tell that Colin really wanted to get some revenge at the ping pong table. So I just kinda quietly said, "ping pong tourney?..." and he peered over the rim of his glasses, and his eye brow slowly lifted as to say, "you're on!" So we had Jess and Kristin drop us off back at the church to settle the score. They of course didn't stick around to see us boys battle it out. We wound up play 18 games of ping pong until Jessica finally sent Colin a text that read, "are you ever going to come back home?" We had so much fun, but we finally broke the good ping pong ball and decided to call it quits. The next morning we all went to church and met the church family. Ashley and Joe came up from Parsons and Jeremiah and Becky lead worship. It was really great to worship with all the new friends we had met recently. After church we went to the mexican restaurant. We had a great time at lunch and then went back to the house to pack up. We gathered all our things and hoped in the car because Jess and Colin wanted to take us up to Tygart Lake. Well after we got there we found out it was $20 for a tent site at the park and Kristin and I weren't going to pay $20 to camp so they took us on into Grafton. We drove around looking for a map and a nice church to stay at. We found a map and then after little luck with the churches downtown, Colin took us across town to the Church of Christ. When we got out and put our packs on the grass, a nice man walked up to us and asked how far we were hiking. We had just been telling Colin and Jess how God always takes care of us and provides for us, so when this man walked up to us Colin just kind of nodded and said goodbye for now. It was bitter sweet. We miss you guys so much already, and will be praying for you and your marriage. May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand, together and united, for as long as He sees fit!

As they were pulling away, we start telling the man who walked up to us our testimony. We immediately saw God's love in him and knew that we were right where we needed to be. Turns out he is the pastor of the church! We gave him the Cliff Notes version of our story and then told him that we were looking for a church to camp behind before we headed back down the trail. He just sort of grinned and called his wife over to meet us. After a lightening quick introduction, he asked us (and his wife simultaneously) if we wanted to come back to their house to camp!! (I don't know how to type me jumping and dancing for joy so this will have to do...:):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):!!!!!!!!!!!!************!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WooooHOoooo!!) Well, that's what I was thinking anyway. I mean we hadn't been standing there 5 minutes! I don't think that Colin and Jess were even out of sight yet. God is so good.


We hopped in the Johnson's car and went to their beautiful Log cabin home right next to a stream and were in love with our campsite God had picked for us!! And even better than the campsite, they had.....KITTIES!!! And if any of you know me well, you know how much I love KITTIES!!!!! Love love love kitties!!!!!!!!!! So we set up camp and went in for some pizza and getting to know you time. We told them some more of the amazing stories God had given us while on the trail and talked about God's goodness till 11 p.m. Jeff was getting sleepy and so we said goodnight and had a nice prayer before heading to bed. I am pretty sure everyone slept like babies all night and when we got up this morning the coffee was alreay made. We got to spend a little more time with the Johnson's before the Mrs. had to be at work. Our time with them was not nearly long enough but hopefully we will get to see them again sometime. I know if it isn't here on earth, definitely in eternity!! So on the way into town I told Mr. Johnson we forgot to get a picture and so we stopped by the Mrs. work and snapped a quick photo with our new friends. We got dropped off here at the library and are now 2 hours into our visit here at the Grafton Public Library and my fingers are getting tired of typing. So until next time to all of our readers! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. We miss everyone and send our love to you all. I pray the peace and grace of Christ for you all.

So I forgot to tie in my beginning paragraph with the rest of the blog so I am going to do that now! When I began the blog with the thought of our home being in Christ and where our heart is, I wasn't sure how I was going to tie that in with what has been happening. Mr. Johnson asked us where we consider home to be and I thought, how intersting, I was just writing about that on our journal. I think so many people today feel that the four walls of their house can protect from the evil outside but that just isn't true. We have been on the road for 60 + days now and have not been mugged, or beat up, and obviously have not run into any serial killers! I know that God will protect us no matter where we go. "For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Eph: 6:12 So brothers and sisters, if you call yourself that, do not go about your day being fearful of what is outside of your house. Yes there are evil people out there but put your faith in God and rest knowing that your true home is wherever he is and he, is wherever you are! Only then can you truly be at peace. If a stranger looks like they may be in need, put away your thoughts that they might murder you, it might be the perfect oppurtunity to witness to them, or just to show them kindness. Use the discernment God has given you and you will know if it is a bad idea or not. The things of this world can only protect you for a time but God can save you forever!



The Vandagriffs


  1. So glad to see that God is blessing you both along your walk and introducing you to so many wonderful people. Darren and I were just chatting about you both on our way through Harpers Ferry, WV the other day and we said that if we had met you in our area then we would have graciously invited you all back to our place for a hot shower and mea & of course to visit. Also you could have enjoyed your breakfast on our brand new deck that we can’t wait to begin using. We have waited 10 years to have one and this year we were blessed with having it built as a gift from my parents. Sounds like you have made it to my grandmother’s home town of Grafton. My aunt use to live within walking distance from Tygart Damn of which my great grandfather helped to build I believe back in 1917 timeframe. I wanted to ride up towards Grafton while we were in Canaan to show Darren but because of the rain we didn’t get the chance and Darren said that it would be around 80 or so miles as well. So we will have to plan that for another trip. Until your next blog, God Bless, Vicki & Darren Hiers, Bunker Hill (Canaan Valley), WV friends

  2. Thanks Vicki. Maybe next time we walk across America we can hang out on your deck!! lol!