Grants Pass Members Take on Mission Impossible

July 04, 2017 | Gloria Wilson

“I never would have believed I could do this,” reported Cathy during the praise time of Wednesday night prayer meeting at the Grants Pass (Ore.) Church. “It’s easy, and I’ve made so many friends. It may sound crazy, but I just love it.”

Cathy proceeded to tell us how that she and her husband, Tom, go walking every day. They have come to realize it is their ministry. They walk the same route and talk to everyone they meet.

When they first started going on these walks, they got tired about half way and stopped at the local Arby’s to get refreshed. This was the beginning of a daily habit, always stopping and talking to the workers at Arby’s.

They soon became friends and learned about what was happening in their lives. Cathy would ask if there was anything they could pray about, and there always was. Cathy and Tom would then place the more critical issues on the church prayer chain. The workers rejoiced in the answered prayers. When Tom was in the hospital, they prayed for him.

I had seen Tom and Cathy walking a couple of times as I was driving to town. And now, as I listened to their testimonies each week, I began to think that maybe I could do something like this. Being a scaredy-cat by nature, I was hesitant but determined. I had been praying for God to show me how to meet my neighbors. But I didn’t know how to go about it. Where should I walk so I could meet people? What time would be best? And what would I say to people? I decided to go out with Tom and Cathy and observe.

We left their house at 10 a.m. with smiles on our faces enjoying a warm, sunny day. First, we had to stop at the next door neighbor’s house and check on them. Shortly after that we greeted a woman just finishing her walk using her walker, and then just ahead we wished a good day to a mail carrier.

As we walked along, Cathy explained that sometimes they don’t have any conversations, but that’s God’s department. They always ask God to give them an opportunity to talk to someone.

We stopped and visited with Joan, a new widow. She was eager to show us what she had accomplished on her back patio. Rick and Judy were out front working on their well-manicured, beautifully landscaped front yard. We stopped and talked to them for a few minutes, and I saw that they already knew Tom and Cathy. Soon we turned into a mall where we met a man on his electric scooter that Tom and Cathy also knew.

As we finished our walk, at about 11:30 a.m., I hugged each of them and thanked them for allowing me to go along. I enjoyed their friendship and all the flowers and blossoming trees — especially the dogwoods. I was feeling so refreshed and happy inside. 

“Yes, I believe I can do this, and I’m going to start this week.”