By Briana Lynn
A family from South Carolina is on the journey of a lifetime as they travel on foot across the United States praying as they go. The group recently made their way through Tucker County and is now prepared to pass into Ohio.
Hailing from Greer, South Carolina, the Lynn family of seven, which consists of husband and wife, Todd and Joice and their five children: Catie, Boaz, Becca, Briana and Elyah, are currently on the American Discovery Trail (ADT). As they walk they pray for the county and its citizens, but praying is not all they do. They also minister to those they come in contact with along with participating and helping different churches along the transcontinental route. Their coast to coast voyage began at the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of Delaware (when?) and will find them ending in Point Reyes National Seashore in California.
According to its website, the ADT stretches “across more than 6,800 miles and 15 states.” The trail links “communities, cities, parks and wilderness.”
The journey will not be an easy one or a quick one.
Todd Lynn said, “The Prayer Walk America trip should last from one and-a-half to two years.” Lynn’s sixteen-year-old daughter Catie, is walking the trail in its entirety and if she finishes within the estimated time it is said that she will be the youngest person to complete the ADT.
The inspiration to walk across America came to Lynn as he was reading his Bible. He was studying a verse from Genesis 13:17 that reads, “Walk the length and width of the land, for I have given it to you.”
Lynn did not make the decision to go right away; he definitely had to pray about it first.
“I had a mixture of feelings when God laid this task on my heart. I thought the adventure would be cool, but I also thought how tough it was going to be on my family,” he said.
His children would begin homeschooling so that they could participate in the walk as they desired.
He said, “I was wondering what people were going to think about the trip and how we were going to pay for it. But I was excited about it too … and a little frightful.”
After praying for a while, he felt God leading him to walk “his” land, which is America; and so the adventure started.
Every morning the Lynn family wakes up around 8 a.m. and has breakfast and devotions. Then it’s decided who wants to walk on the trail that day and who wants to minister to the people in the town. They try to complete at least 10 miles a day on the trail. They also squeeze in their assignments for school.
As the family passes by churches, they pray for them and talk to anyone there about the ministry. Some churches have extended an invitation for the family to stay there for a while. When the ministry passes by people, they ask them a few questions. The family asks if there is anything they can pray for them about, if they would like Prayer Walk America to pray with them now or as they go, and if they know Jesus Christ. The main focus in all of this is to minister to people both physically and spiritually.
Prayer Walk America ministers by feeding the homeless that they meet, taking food to the elderly, playing music, speaking, and singing at churches, as well as encouraging people in their faith. They also invite people to have supper with them, which gives them the opportunity to tell people about God. Throughout these encounters the ministry is constantly praying.
While the journey is a joy to be a part of, Lynn admits that it does have its ups and downs.
“The hardest thing has been when I see my kids struggling with what we’re doing. The most enjoyable thing has been when I see my kids enjoying what we’re doing,” he said. “The most exciting things are definitely the surprises both on and off the trail. It’s also been exciting to see how God uses the ministry to inspire other people.”
Prayer Walk America is part of As You Go Ministries, which is an international mission outreach that partners with other ministries, such as Living Water Ministries and Clayton King Ministries, which helps feed orphans and the homeless along with providing medical assistance in Benin, West Africa.
To learn more about this ministry, visit prayerwalkamerica.com or prayerwalkamerica.org. Individuals can leave comments, partner in prayer with Prayer Walk America, and/or donate to help with this ministry. They also communicate on their Facebook which is prayerwalkamerica. All financial donations are tax deductible and they will help the ministry to continue making a difference in people’s lives.