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A covered wagon journey for Jesus

Saturday, November 19, 2011

After losing their jobs in the automotive industry, filing for bankruptcy, and losing their home, Mark and Deb Harris have decided to hit the road in a covered wagon. The two packed up all their belongings in the homemade wagon with no end destination in mind just a direction, south. The two travel only about 20 miles a day but in their minds it's what God wanted them to do. Pictured above, Mark Harris during their stay at the Little Dude Ranch in Greencastle. [Order this photo]
If you've been traveling along U.S. 231 recently, chances are you've seen husband and wife Mark and Deb Harris traveling along the side of the road in a homemade covered wagon.

They left their hometown of Perry, Mich., on Thursday, Sept. 22 and 56 days into the trip they arrived in Greencastle Thursday evening, staying at the Lil Dude Ranch on U.S. 231 North.

The couple have not decided on a destination for their journey just a direction -- south.

After hitting hard times and being laid off from their jobs in the automotive industry, the two were forced to file for bankruptcy as well as give up their home, selling many of their items to help with funding.

"We're just journeying, we don't really have a destination," Mark said. "The Lord just kind of put it in our hearts to go."

Everything they own is packed inside the wagon, which includes a bed, a refrigerator and even a small stove. Due to the wagon being built by hand the two left a little bit later then they planned, but they are still hoping to avoid the winter weather.

Originally, they had planned on taking 231 South but they are now going to divert their route to Manhattan Road to U.S. 40 in an effort to avoid the hills as much as possible as they are extremely hard on their two Belgian horses, Bob and Casey.

The couple had purchased the horses, which have been together since they were six months old, from an Amish man who no longer had a use for them. Mark and Deb then began training the horses back in July in anticipation of their upcoming journey. The horses themselves were not in the best of health and apparently not used to working. But with a little training, the horses were able to learn to pull the covered wagon with ease.

"It really has been an adventure," Mark said. "God puts you in positions you're not comfortable with."

Daily travel only amounts to an average of 15 miles a day depending on the conditions of the road. The Harrises find places to stay along the route at the homes of generous people who also can provide a safe shelter for the horses to stay the night.

"It took us slowing down to 3.5 miles an hour to realize that life is still okay," Deb said.

As for now, the two are setting their sights on making it to Mississippi but they'll be happy wherever their journey takes them. They don't worry about the little things, and in the end they know whatever happens is what God must have had in mind for them.

"I'm 55 years old and our moms were upset with us going," Mark said with a smile. "We promised our grandbabies we'd be back in the summer to see them."

The Harrises update a blog about their daily travels as well as their prayer requests for people they meet along the way. Supporters can also donate to help fund their journey on their blog, www.walkinginthewill.blogspot.com.

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Good luck to you. Have a safe journey. Thanks for showing Putnam County, Indiana that it's ok to slow down.

-- Posted by floyd'srangerriders on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 10:34 AM

Seen them on US40 headed west in Brazil about 4pm this afternoon. Good luck to them.

-- Posted by theduke2 on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 4:48 PM

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