The 500 Mile Walk

Robert Strand

walkingintotunnelFifteen-year-old Mike Durbin isn't a man of steel, he doesn't leap over tall buildings in a single bound nor can he stop a speeding bullet! HOWEVER, Mike is a modern-day super-hero. Why? He recently decided to step out of his comfort zone and walk 500 miles to find out what it means to be a "youth in ministry, reaching people for Christ." How did it happen?

This high school junior (11th) from Whitehouse, Texas attended a special missions dinner where Chet Caudill spoke on the subject of real "sacrifice." He challenged the students to make an extraordinary effort to raise money for missions so as to gain some understanding of true sacrifice in the process.

Mike was inspired to pray and asked God to give him an extraordinary something to do. The next morning he told his father, Big Mike, that God had given him a concept to walk 500 miles from Whitehouse, Texas to Springfield, Missouri in order to help his youth group raise $10,000 for missions! The walk took place June 1 through July 1.

He was joined by his 19-year-old uncle, Marcus Durbin. Big Mike and 8-year-old brother, Dalton, helped with the daily itinerary and logistics. Along the way, because of his blog, and walk, he had opportunities to speak to churches, camps, youth groups, several media outlets, all giving him an opportunity to share his faith and raise money at the same time for this project!

Oh, yes, one more thing you must know, Mike is a survivor of childhood leukemia! He says, "My theme is 'I WILL WALK.' I will pray; I will fast, I will give, I will mow lawns, I will bake cookies. Be passionate and get out there and do it!"

(Adapted and excerpted, Jennifer Taylor, On Course,Fall 2009/Winter 2010, permission)

"The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day" (Proverbs 5:18).