With his wife by his side, a Santa Fe man who says God gave him a mission to journey across the nation on foot to raise money for the homeless passed through Sedalia Wednesday via the Katy Trail.
Mike and Julie Pearson began the more than 3,000-mile journey Feb. 21 in Port Heuneme, Calif. Traveling across desert, mountain and plains, the couple plans to arrive on the Atlantic coast in New York in the coming months. Pearson was a hotel night auditor and his wife Julie was a Walmart employee prior to hitting the road.
“The good Lord called me to do this. He gave it to me in a dream almost a year-and-a-half ago,” Mike Pearson said. “We prayed about it for a while and he helped us get debt free. He cured me of asthma and we are walking.”
The couple hopes to raise $4 million to start a ranch for homeless persons. While Pearson admitted that is a large number, he added that it is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the problem. So far, they have raised about $6,000 toward that goal.
“We are raising money to start a ranch for the homeless. One where they can come out and work and learn about God and be able to get out on solid ground and actually be able to make a new start for themselves. Whenever God lays it on somebody’s heart to give, they give,” Pearson said.
With so many worth charities in need, why homelessness? Pearson said his reasons for fighting against the epidemic are rooted in his childhood.
“That’s what God laid on my heart and he has put homeless people in my path since I was a little kid,” Pearson said. “I used to have to catch the city bus to school and I would see homeless people a lot. Most of the time I would give them my lunch or do what I could for them.”
As the couple travels, they meet people, camp and pray. Sleeping in a tent or a room when they can, the couple said the hospitality they have encountered along the way is amazing. They crossed into Missouri at the end of July and hit the Katy Trail, passing through Windsor a few days ago on their way to Sedalia, then east.
A journey of 3,000 miles is not an easy task. The couple spent months preparing for it and still there are obstacles. Pearson said the biggest challenge now is the heat.
“The heat and the humidity — I’m sweating buckets out here, I don’t mind the cold. We’ve woke up and had all of our water frozen when we were in Arizona and that was OK. But the heat and humidity, not so good. ” Pearson laughed.
The Pearsons have set up a Facebook page, “Walk 3000 miles in their shoes,” to kept friends and supporters informed of their travels. Donation information for the Pearson’s cause is available on the site.