Cross-Country Pilgrimage Inspires Faith to the Fullest

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St. Augustine once said, "Enthusiasm in one man ignites the same fire in another."

CBN News recently caught up with one young Christian who put those words to the test by making a cross-country journey to inspire other Christians to live out their faith to the fullest.

It's been a long walk for Dan Reinke.

"Ninety-nine days, about 2,510 miles and about 5,300,000 footsteps," he told CBN News.

In May, Reinke stood on an Oregon beach, looking out at the Pacific Ocean. Then he turned east with a mission to accomplish more than just a cross-country hike.

"The best word would be to call it a pilgrimage," Reinke told CBN News. "And it's also a personal journey and striving to grow closer to God."

Reinke grew up Catholic but fell away from the Church. That slide ended about two years ago, and he said his return has brought more happiness than he ever imagined.

Now Reinke's hoping to spread that happiness by encouraging other Christians to live out their faith fearlessly.

"I mean you hear a lot of negative on the news and sometimes it can kind of be depressing," he said. "I think people are looking for something....something that will inspire, and God's allowed this trip to do that."

Reinke is not a preacher so he decided to let his sign do the talking. The sign, which simply says "Cross America" with a cross on either side, proved to be enough to pique the curiosity of a number of people along his three-month journey.

"I saw the whole backpack and all the things and I'm like, 'What are you doing?'" one passerby told him. "I think it's wonderful. I think it's what we need. That's what our country is lacking."

Though it's been lonely, Reinke said total strangers treated him kindly along the way, offering free meals, a place to sleep, a cup of coffee or an encouraging word.

"There's a lot of good people out there is what I've come to find," he recalled. "A lot of people who took care of me along the way in lots of different ways, whether conversation or coffee or breakfast or [a] small donation or [a] big donation."

Reinke's long journey ended at the Virginia Beach, Va., boardwalk. With his mission behind him, he's beginning life anew.

Diving into the ocean, feeling the cool water rinse off the dirt and sweat felt like a baptism he said.

As he walked out of the water, he pointed to heaven and smiling, said, "I'm done!"

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Steve Little

Steve Little

Christian World News, Senior Producer

Steve Little produces Christian World News, CBN's weekly news program featuring stories about the the global church. CWN also exposes the persecution and suffering many Christians endure for their faith.

Steve also travels regularly to countries of the former Soviet Union to produce stories on the activities and challenges faced by the church in that region.