New Mexico man spreads gospel of peace, protection on his cross carrying journeys

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 9/18/20

Stephen Hope of Las Vegas, N.M., has a lot of hope in his heart as he walks across the United States of America carrying a 67-pound cross made of alder wood.

He carried it through Vienna and …

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New Mexico man spreads gospel of peace, protection on his cross carrying journeys

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Stephen Hope of Las Vegas, N.M., has a lot of hope in his heart as he walks across the United States of America carrying a 67-pound cross made of alder wood.

He carried it through Vienna and back last week, walking slowly as he dragged the 10-foot-long cross through parking lots and on the shoulder of Highway 63. His mission is one of hope. The cross he carries is a “Visual gospel in the highway, byways and hedges of America.” He sees discord and division in the country and is on his way to Washington DC to meet with other prayer groups later in September.

Hope is an ordained pastor who will share his verbal gospel and pray with all types of people along his journey as they take a few moments during their day to talk to him. He also shares his testimony in churches that invite him to speak to their congregations.

Hope keeps a small book where he lists the people he’s talked to along the way and sometimes the prayer requests they’ve shared with him. Already he has over 200 pages filled in his third month of his journey to Washington DC. People share with him and he says the people he meets are his church.

For the past 12 years he has been doing these journeys in America, carrying the cross through towns and cities. He’s been to 23 states and his goal is to finish all 50 of them.

It was his first time carrying the cross through Vienna. He’s been walking through Missouri before as in 2011 he was in Joplin, right after the devastating tornado ripped through the city causing deaths and destruciton. “The Lord told me to build a cross from the ruble and to carry the cross through the city for 40 days, so I did.”

He’s a married man with three grown daughters. “I felt the calling twelve years ago. I raised up a cross and asked Him, ‘What do you want me to do?’” His answer was to take make a cross and take it out on the road and show it to the masses of people.

He does “legs,” about six journeys a year that last from two weeks to 40 days. He’s on this journey by himself and says, “God is my compass” throughout his travels.

He goes into a town and parks his truck, which is his home and motel while he’s on the road. Then he picks up the cross and carries it through the town, stopping at public places such as schools and hospitals, fire departments, sheriff and police departments. He stays outside and does not go in. When he gets to the edge of town, he turns around and carries the cross back to his truck, then his journey moves on.

For two years he had a traveling companion and friend, an older gentleman who traveled with him who would meet him at the end of town and they’d go on together. He misses that person as he made the journey a bit easier for him.

Hope says he wants to promote unity in America and among its people, which now is a place of diverse and sometimes hostile and clamorous viewpoints. He’d like to see more sharing in this country.

He is kind to all he meets and sincere in the prayers he prays for them. Along his journeys, he’s met many people, families and has attended events where they prayed together.

His favorite prayer is Psalm 91, which he says is “A great prayer of protection.”

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