without even sticking out a thumb

Americus, GA

We arrived at Koinonia Farm yesterday evening, just as the sun was setting over the fields. Someone came out and welcomed us joyfully, though we were several days early. It was hard to believe we had started the day over 45 miles away.

We had traveled so quickly, it's hard to keep track of it all. After Darlene dropped us off, we'd only walked a few miles out of that town and found a quiet church with shelter for the night. But it turned out to be an eventful evening. An old truck pulled up with two big guys in it, asking us a bunch of suspicious questions, but our answers seemed to satisfy them and they left. Just as we were about to lay down, though, a police car pulled up. Someone had seen us and called him. When he heard our story he was sympathetic, but couldn't let us stay there because of the complaint, so he offered to drive us thirteen miles further down the road to another sheltered place there. So we got a ride in the back of a police car (where the door handles don't work). We talked with him more on the way, and when he dropped us off he gave us the last three dollars in his wallet, apologizing that he didn't have more.

That long ride allowed us to reach the next town by evening, after a nice walk through the rolling Georgia countryside, and we found grocery store and a church to sleep at. We attended there the next morning. And met the pastor, Eddie, who invited us home with him for Sunday dinner and a much needed clothes washing. Then back to the church while he prepared for the evening service, where we got to shower in the "bridal suite" (a nicely decorated room for use during weddings). After the service we went home with Eddie and Stacy again for subs and conversation and slept there too. We left the next morning very grateful—and with the further possibility that they might pick us up on their way to the next town later that evening. We were hopeful for that ride, since it was almost 25 miles to the next town, further than we could walk in a day.

As it turned out, we had managed about ten miles when a man on his way home from work offered us a ride in the back of his pick-up. We hesitated, then accepted, a little sorry not to see Eddie and Stacy again. But when we were dropped off and began to look for a church for the night, we had only walked a few blocks when I heard someone call my name. We turned and there was Stacy. She had just dropped Eddie at a meeting and was headed for Americus for dinner, did we want to come along?

So we shared another meal with her and found ourselves in the town we had been headed for. Having moved so far so quickly, however, I didn't know the area. So we wandered, looking for a church, and not finding much, when I thought of the Habitat for Humanity headquarters there in town (Habitat started from Koinonia Farm, and now operates out of Americus). Maybe someone there would point us in a good direction. It was closed when we arrived, but there were some people in the parking lot, so we introduced ourselves and explained our situation. Hearing we were headed for Koinonia, one of the women promptly offered to drive us. So our third ride of the day landed us at our destination.

Our most extreme experience yet of being carried. Over two twenty-five mile stretches which offered little shelter or water, through the hands of a half dozen people we hadn't met before (not to mention the hands that dialed the police to get rid of us). Almost as if someone arranged it. You know, it may not be so bad to be a nobody, as long as you have someone looking out for you...