January 4-13, 2018

January 4 marked the first day of our journey across America from Edmond, OK to Greenville, SC. We started at Cody’s dad’s barber shop in Edmond and plan to arrive at my brother’s restaurant in Greenville in the next 4-6 months.  The trek up the famous Route 66 was a whole slew of emotions.  I felt the history of America through the vibrations of the longboard under my feet.  I felt like I was going back in time with every push.  But more than that, I felt distant from the rest of the world.  I felt like a sojourner.  Cody and I were without a home for 9 days and nights. We slept under a couple different bridges, in wildernesses off 66, and on a couple different church properties.

Before the trip started, we totally underestimated the difficulty of longboarding with 40-50 pound backpacks on.  We thought we would be able to cover distances around 20 miles a day.  We soon found out pushing 10-15 was a very difficult task.  As each day went on, we became stronger and were able to push ourselves further than the day before.  We got stuck under a bridge one day while it rained for hours.  Then on another occasion, the Oklahoma wind almost blew us off our longboards, so we set up camp for that day to wait it out.  We’ve been realizing that food might only be in front of us once every 24 hours, so this makes it imperative that we have sufficient sources of nutrients in our packs. The longest time we went without food was 48 hours.  In that time, we traveled around 25 miles.  The combination of no food, rough sleep, heavy bags, and strenuous travels began to demand unusual emotional responses of frustration and irritability.  Cody isn’t able to fall asleep until around 3 or 4am some nights. This leaves him up alone in his tent for around 6 hours (as I fall asleep at around 9pm). The flip-side is that I wake up at around 6 or 7am.  So while he’s finally able to get some sleep, I’m awake in my tent through the morning.  We’re praying God would help Cody get to sleep and not be restless through the night.  Hopefully as time goes on, the irritability and frustration will be held to a minimum.

We have met some radical people so far.  God has shown us multiple times that he will provide our needs for us.  On three different occasions, we have been in situations where we are about to walk away, and God shows up providing exactly what we needed.  The first time was when we were looking through the window of a restaurant and trying to price the food to decided if we should spend money on it.  We decided to walk away and get snacks at the gas station next door when the owner of the restaurant came out and told us the meal would be on him. The second event was when we were looking for free samples in Walmart, didn’t find any, then as we were walking out, a woman stopped us and gave us $100 dollars.  She walked away after saying “Glory to God.”  Then the third instance was after we had eaten food one day, the sun was setting and we didn’t know where we were going to camp.  We saw a church with a truck in the parking lot.  The woman that came to the door was simply cleaning the church and didn’t have authority to allow us to camp on the property.  As we were about t walk away, the pastor pulls in. He told us where we could camp and the next morning he allowed us to take a shower in the church.  Praise God for all these provisions!  Beyond these have been many more and we believe many more will come to pass.

We stayed with a friend in Tulsa for the past four days and we are ready to hit the road again.  It was a huge blessing to be able to wash all of our clothes and gear.  After showering only once in 9 days and running out of clean clothes to wear, being in the warmth of a home was extremely unfamiliar and abundantly appreciated.  Cody and I will be jumping on HWY 412 which will take us through Arkansas, the bottom of Missouri, and into Tennessee.  We are overflowing with gratitude for the provision of God through the body of Christ.

Thank you to all who pray for us often.  Be looking for daily updates through Instagram and Facebook.  May God bless you!

Justin Matthews

Author Justin Matthews

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  • Bruce Doane says:

    So inspiring to see you walk your talk and see the provisions of our great God!! Appreciate your desire to be such a testimony of His faithfulness. Praying for you guys!!

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