But what I have most enjoyed is meeting some interesting characters along the route. My first day of survey work led me through Noble County and into the little town of Wolf Lake. As I was photographing, gps'ing and making notes, walking the short two block downtown stretch, I passed a young man who nodded and said "hello". I returned the hello. As I was photographing this little "church", he came out of the house next door and asked if I wanted to see inside, that he was a trustee. I said, "a bit young, aren't you?" And he smiled. He looked all of 20 years old, if that....and I think he said his name was Scott. Evidently a very forward thinking Lutheran church out of Churubusco felt that there was a need in Wolf Lake, so they not only started this church, but they started a food pantry next door. Scott said they were already serving 30 families from that community. I wished him blessings on his work and continued on my way.
Day two of reconnaissance led me into Elkhart County, near the village of Benton where the really awesome 1926 Lee Cabin tourist camp exists. I was all over this. I was out taking pictures, when I heard a television at about 3,000 decibels coming from the main cabin. I walked back to the car when an old fella stuck his head out the door and asked if I needed something.
Uh, just taking some pictures....and I described what I was doing as I handed him my business card. He said, "well, that's all good and fine, but let me ask you this one question.....do you know Jesus?" I said I surely do. He got a big smile on his face and asked me inside. It was like walking into a museum of sorts with all kinds of religious and republican icons, dating back to the 60's. He said his name was "all-is-one" and that he was Cherokee. Finally, I realized his name was Allison. He was from Missouri, and remembers pretty squaws coming into his village from a reservation in the 1920's when he was a boy. As I was doing the math, he asked if I knew we were in the front part of the tribulation.....I said, brother, do I know we've got tribulation! ....as his tv was blaring a southern preacher's end-time prophecy in the background. We had a nice little chat and as I kept trying to go, saying that my car had been running, he asked my name and said he'd pray for me....I said I'd do that same.
Sometimes you have to just stop and listen to the stories to truly have a richer life- seeing Jesus in the people you meet.