Carrying the message one step at a time across America
Published 9:44 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016
By Dawn Burleigh
Stephen Hope began a journey in 2008 to help bring the message if Jesus to others by carrying a 70 pound cross across America.
“I asked the Lord a direct question about the cross,” Hope said as we stood on the feeder road on Interstate 10 on Tuesday morning. “I asked him what he wanted me to do with the cross as I was putting it in my garage.”
Hope had returned to Houston following a revival in Corpus Chirsti. He said placing the cross in his yard was not an option in the middle class neighborhood.
“He told me to take it to the highways and biways. To take it to the people,” Hope said. “I said I would have to think about it.”
Hope did say yes and began his journeys one step at a time. He has since walked across 12 states since his travels began May 20, 2008.
Hope does not walk alone. His traveling companion is his dog, Ranger.
“If there is a Guinness book for walking a dog, he would be in it,” Hope said. “He has walked over 1,000 miles on a leash by my side.”
Hope was 150 miles into his current journey before Ranger joined him.
“I have had him since he was a pup, but I wanted to wait until he was four and half months old before he started walking with me,” Hope said.
Hope also carries a book of the names of people he has prayed with along the path. Since May, he has collected 350 names.
“Once in a while, I have help,” Hope said. “A 13 year old girl wanted to help. She carried the cross almost a mile.”
The message Hope offers is a visual message gospel of Jesus.
“People know the story of Jesus and the cross,” Hope said. “The sight of a man carrying a cross will bring up the thought and the Holy Spirit can work with that.”
Hope also said people often turn around to stop to speak with him.
“Depending on section of highway, some have gone nine, 12 or 12 mils to turn around,” Hope said.
Currently, the man hoping to spread the word of Jesus, is also praying.
“I have been praying for some motorcyclists to help me beginning 10 to 12 miles from the state line. Yesterday as I reached Exit 868 a motorcyclist saw me carrying the cross and did a double take,” Hope wrote on his Facebook page chronicling his journeys. “He fueled up at the next station and by the time I got there, he drove up to me. I told him in 8 years of carrying the cross; only 5 motorcycle riders have ever stopped to talk to me. I told him my vision of getting help from motorcyclists to carry the cross. (They would each have to help me one mile as Simon helped Jesus.) He prayed with me and blessed me with donation for a meal and a room. He is going to call a few of his buddies to see if they can help me carry to my final STATE LINE Destination in Orange.”
Hope is holding a revival at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6 Lion Den Park in Orange.
His journeys can be followed at Crosscarry America on Facebook.