I remember when I first met Barrett Keene.
It was May 2002. (UG. That was nearly 10 years ago. HOW did we get this old?) I had just finished my sophomore year of high school My friend Melissa and I were sitting in McCain Auditorium in Manhattan, Kansas at State FFA convention. Some dude poked his head into our row and started a conversation.
I looked down at the words that were embroidered on his nifty blue corduroy jacket. “Barrett Keene…” Why did that sound so familiar? Suddenly, I remembered– we memorized his name in ag class… because he was a NATIONAL FFA OFFICER. (insert fake angelic worship light/sound here: aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!)
Honestly, I don’t remember much of the conversation, mainly because I was in awe. I mean, in the FFA world, National Officers were like a celebrity, at least to me. (Little did I know that eight years later, one of my bridesmaids would be a past National Officer.)
The only thing I remember from that conversation was Barrett talking about oranges (because he was from Florida) and how he introduced me to the phrase “Mamma Jamma,” which I admittedly still use on occasion. I also knew this dude was gonna be a big deal.
What I didn’t know was that he was gonna be a big deal for Jesus.
Barrett is now a Ph.D. student at Cornell and has given me permission to feature his story as a “Factor of 7.” He is walking across America to raise awareness for the 145 million orphaned children around the world. Yeah. Walking. Across America. That’s like 3,475 miles from Miami to San Francisco. It is schedule to take about 9-ish months. This is big, people.
He is making news as he walk’s in Jesus’ footsteps of service. Check out the video at the link below for the clip introducing his mission on CBS Miami.
Pretty cool, huh?
I have been following his progress wanted to give his mission a shout out… we can all help with the cause in a few different ways.
1. Pray for him– health, safety, ability to share the message
2. Check out the Go Walk America Facebook page. Like it and follow along.
3. Share the message with your friends and family.
4. Consider purchasing a uniform (or more 🙂 ) for $20 each… check out www.gowalkamerica.org for more details. You can click on “donate” and make it happen!
5. If you or someone you know has a camper and/or RV and/or car to donate for this trip so he has somewhere to sleep… Um, yeah, think about it 🙂
6. Walk along for a small sliver of the journey and raise funds with him. (Again, check out the Go Walk America Website…)
I never knew that a conversation about oranges and FFA would resurface as a pretty cool Jesus movement a decade later. Barrett’s heart for God is an inspiration. As he walks those 3,475 steps don’t be afraid to take your own steps in the name of Jesus, wherever Christ might lead.
Staying in Step,
“If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm…” Psalm 37:23
PS: Don’t forget that the Jesus Caffeine Giveaway is still in progress… See Friday’s post here for details… And don’t forget to comment/share to enter to win!