Periodically, we hear on the news about refugees walking many miles to reach peaceful countries. Refugee camps aren’t nice but they do help people remain safe from military conflict.
Though I’ve never been a refugee, there were three times in my life when I walked twenty-five miles around Vancouver, British Columbia. Beginning in 1968, an event called Miles for Millions was organized to raise money to feed impoverished Third World people.
Though I made half-hearted attempts to find sponsors, I did walk all twenty five miles for three consecutive years. My reason for doing so wasn’t to help the poor but because it was a chance to be unsupervised for twelve hours.
I was incarcerated in Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind at the time. During non-school hours, supervisors made sure we stayed on the grounds. We couldn’t just walk to the nearest store to buy candy or pop. We all had to go as a group. I felt like a prisoner as we walked in orderly ranks down the streets of Vancouver. Each boy with a little vision had to take the hand of a totally blind boy. The same was true for any events the supervisors took us to.
Things were so nice on the Miles for Millions walks. Nobody watched over us as we followed the crowd along the route. The weather was sunny and warm all three years that I walked the walk too. I felt euphoric as I walked from checkpoint to checkpoint. The only other time I felt so free was at my home in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta during the holidays.
Though I felt tired and sore when I reached the finish line each evening of the walk, it was all worth it. Any break from those supervisors was worth it.
I wrote about the six painful years that I spent in that institution in Deliverance from Jericho. More information about it, and my debut memoir, is at the Bruce Atchison’s books link.
Meanwhile, I have a brand new book out called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. You can find out more about my testimony of God’s grace by visiting Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Virtual Bookworm Publishers.