Missionaries ride through Haywood County
If you should ever see five horses, one dog and their two masters huddled under a BP Gas station overhang in the pouring rain you should stop and introduce yourself.
This is what Austin Thompson did when spotting the curious group in Canton, on Wednesday afternoon.
The masters are Tim and Lynn Tuggle. They have been on a mission across America over the past three years, beginning Aug. 10, 2010 in Fort Bragg, California. Riding for God and country, they follow the life of modern day disciples, calling themselves The Disciples of Jesus Horsemen.
The stories they shared over only a few short hours were inspirational and faith renewing. As can be imagined, across the 4,000 miles they have traveled, they have experienced every aspect of this great nation. They have slept under the stars in the Nevada desert, they have slept under bridges along highways, they have slept at luxurious expansive ranches and now they have slept in Austin and Rachel Thompson’s Little Red House.
They have been greeted with smiles while riding through neighborhoods that police warned them not to go and they have eaten and slept along side the homeless. All the while they spread the good news, praying for you and with you and counseling by using their own stories of struggle and triumph.
Only one short example of their inspirational stories describes their travels through the desert of Nevada. As they started on their way they were greeted by a man who strongly warned them against their plan of traveling through such harsh terrain. They however kept on, knowing this was the path in their hearts.
A couple hours in, a park ranger found and stopped them asking for their license to hunt antelope. They explained they were not there to hunt and told him their mission. The Ranger had ample knowledge of the area and mapped out every watering hole they would need along their way. As if a ranger finding them in this expansive desert was not enough to prove that they were on the right path, they were assured again as they approached the first watering hole.
The thought of how they would feed their horses was realized earlier on when the barren land proved to only provided such harsh plants as sagebrush. They kept their path and their faith and when they arrived at that first watering hole there were six bails of alfalfa hay and a note from the rancher of the area stating he had heard their story and he would supply them with hay at each of their stops through the dessert. God had and does provide for them daily.
Tim and Lynn plan to stay one more night in Haywood County, (“God’s Country” as Lynn posted on Facebook) and then they are headed east toward their destination of three years, Newbern. So, if you are headed east and you see this curious group, stop, introduce yourself and be prepared for a memorable encounter full of inspiration and faith.