On the Road Again
With a Message of Hope for Those Trapped by Addiction
Ted Stone, who completed his third walk across America in 2000, will attempt his fourth crossing in June.
Stone, an evangelist from Durham, North Carolina, will use the walk to advance his ministry of hope to those trapped in substance abuse and to challenge churches to engage in helping others overcome addictions by having an open heart for broken people.
In June 2002, Stone announced his fourth trek would start in August of that year, crossing America east to west, setting out from Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. However, doctors diagnosed colon cancer a few weeks later, causing cancellation of the walk; Stone subsequently survived two surgeries. According to the revised plan, Stone will begin the nearly one thousand mile walk in Chicago, Illinois, June 18, ending his walk nine weeks later in Pensacola, Florida.
Stone completed his first three walks while in his 60's; if successful, he will complete his fourth walk at age 72.
Age and a bout with cancer might deter some from undertaking such a God-sized task, but Stone trusts that God will supply Him with the strength to complete it.
On his previous treks, Stone carried the American flag, but this time he intends to carry both Old Glory and the Christian flag – the one to celebrate the freedoms he enjoys as an American and the other to underscore his message of hope that with God, there is freedom from the bonds of addiction.
"Most programs use something to substitute for the abuser's addiction," he said. "Some even refer to a higher power. But my message is that by putting your dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ, you can break your dependence on chemical substances."
While getting into physical condition for the walk, Stone is scheduling speaking engagements. Stone believes that Christians hold the ultimate answer to the world's drug-abuse dilemma, and he hopes to secure a host congregation at each stop along his journey so he can make a direct appeal to members that they make their church part of the solution to America's drug problem.
"We are in the business of changing the hearts of men and women," Stone emphasized. "We represent Jesus here on the face of this earth, and broken people depend on us."
Stone intends to offer his newly launched "HIS Way" ministry as a model for a church-based outreach to recovering substance abusers. HIS Way emphasizes the training of Christian mentors to pair with enrollees with the ultimate aim of not only achieving permanent recovery, but involving them in a new way of life through Christ's church.
Stone's previous walks include:
1996 – a 3,650-mile effort from the Capitol steps in Washington, D.C., southward to Jacksonville, Florida and westward to Los Angeles, California.
1998 – a 3,550-mile trek from the mayor's office in San Francisco, California, eastward to Virginia Beach, Virginia.
2000 – a 1,700-mile, south to north trek that began in Nueva Laredo, Mexico and ended in Detroit, Michigan at the Ambassador Bridge leading into Canada.
2006 National Day of Prayer
This year, Dr. Henry Blackaby is the Honorary National Chairman for the National Day of Prayer on May 4. For information on how you and your church can participate in this important event, go to www.ndptf.org.