Woman walking, praying from Madawaska to Tijuana
LIMESTONE, Maine — Lyn Hanush left Madawaska on July 4 on a self-described mission from God to walk a meandering 6,000 miles over the next two years while praying for this country.
“I pray for our leaders a lot and every morning before we start out I read Scripture,” said the 75-year-old great-grandmother who plans to walk through 27 states on her journey from Madawaska to Tijuana, Mexico.
Her companion for this leg of the walk through Maine is her granddaughter, Kat Garrett.
This trip will bring her tally up to five long-distance walks that have taken her all over the nation. Dating back to 1983, according to Hanush, she has walked the previous four times from Tijuana to Brookings, Oregon (1,035 miles); Brookings, Oregon, to Blaine, Washington (773.6 miles); Blaine, Washington, to Key West, Florida (4,026.5 miles); and in 2008, Ormond Beach, Florida, to Madawaska (1,832.7 miles).
Her goal, which Hanush plans to complete on this journey, is to walk and pray for the nation in every one of the lower 48 states in the U.S.
During her first week on the road after leaving the Four Corners Park in Madawaska on this latest trek, Hanush reread a section of Deuteronomy.
“I read Deuteronomy 28 that talks about the nation that obeys God. He was talking to the Israelites in particular, but I believe that any nation that really obeys God and follows his ways, he will bless them and obviously America has fallen away from that,” she said.
Hanush believes she’s been called to pray for the fallen. She sends prayers to all passers by. She’s a praying machine.
“I feel that God has called me over the years to walk this nation and pray so I’m just constantly praying, even when I’m talking right now … going through my mind often is prayer, I’ve got so I can dual purpose, I can pray and talk and laugh at the same time,” she said.
Hanush plans to cover around 15 miles a day, weather permitting, so she should be through Maine within a couple of weeks. Her husband Dave drives a support vehicle and they use a motorhome that they park while shuttling shuttle back and forth from the walk route each day.
It’s only been over a week since she started and already she’s in love with Maine’s scenery and people.
“The people here are extremely friendly,” she said.
When asked for a memorable moment during her previous walks, Hanush recalled walking through South Carolina in 2008 when a gentleman asked her what she was doing and invited her into his home for a glass of water.
“As usual I went over and talked to him and he invited me into his house for water and I really didn’t think about it,” she said. “If I thought about it I might not have done it. I was thinking I would love a cool drink of water so I went in with him, and after we’ve been in a while and talked a while, he told me he had just gotten out of prison, which kind of made me gulp.”
But they kept talking, they hugged and the man, apparently wanting to make sure Hanush was safe, at one point asked Hanush, “Do you carry a gun?”
“I said, ‘No, but I have a bodyguard with me all the time’, ‘Really? Where’s your bodyguard?’ ‘He’s standing here right beside me’ … and he looked beside me and it was as if he had seen something,” she recalled.
She’s a big believer in guardian angels.
Hanush did admit that with the amount of praying she does on her walks, the return can be quite low.
“I really don’t see a lot of results. Sometimes I’ll hear back from people, because I have a card that I give out that has my address on it and people can write to me or email me,” she said.
She thinks this might be her final walk, expecting it will take a couple of years to complete the wandering route of about 6,000 miles that she has mapped out.
“This will probably be my final one, but if God calls me to do something, I know he’ll give me whatever I need to do it, he’ll give me the strength and the ability,” she said.
The walk will complete her dream of walking and praying in all 48 of the lower United States.
On Friday she was walking Route 1A between Limestone and Fort Fairfield. She will continue along that road through to Houlton where she’ll switch to Route 2A.
Hanush titles her challenge, the “Go-Pray-Serve Walk.” People can follow her progress online at gpswalk.org.