Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Walking Home From Mongolia with Rob Lilwall

 Last Sat. afternoon Tammy, the boys and myself had the opportunity to walk with Rob Lilwall and his companion, Leon McCarron, on the final stage of their 5,000 kilometer walk from Mongolia, through the Gobi Desert and China, all the way to Rob's home in Hong Kong.  The reason for the walk, besides the adventure, was to raise money for the children's charity Viva.  The guys started back in November and after 6 months on foot made it to the border between China & Hong Kong on Friday evening.

Rob's journey made the front page
I first became acquainted with Rob last year when we arranged for him to come speak to the  students at the school where I work about his first big adventure where he cycled from Siberia to London.  The stories he shared with the school were inspiring to student and staff alike and so when he announced that he would be participating in a new adventure walking from Mongolia to Hong Kong for charity, we were excited to see how we could be involved. For that reason we have been doing  morning assembly updates, showing video, photos, and blog entries so the students could follow along on the journey.

Rob & Leon at the finish!
On Saturday Tammy and I joined about 60 other volunteers to walk with Rob & Leon on the final leg of the trip. The route would start in Discovery Bay, go over the mountain near the Trappist Monestery, and down into Mui Wo where the journey would end at the beach in Silvermine Bay.

I would not want to carry that pack!
In hindsight, we probably would NOT have brought 16 month old Ethan George.  Although the hike was only about 7 kilometers, hauling the baby with stroller and carry-all, on a hot humid Hong Kong day was pretty tough.

But, we wanted to do it as a family!

Anyhow, the big moment as we waited at the Discovery Bay pier to begin was wondering where Rob would be joining us.  He ended up arriving on a small "junk" (boat) and as the junk approached Rob suddenly jumped in the water and swam to the group to applause and cheers of "well done".  We could all only imagine what it would be like to have been walking for 6 months straight and now, to be joining friends and family for the final 7 kilometers.
With Rob and his wife Christine

We all journeyed together for about 2 hours until Rob & Leon, leading out front, reached the Silvermine beach.  They dove into the water together completing an astounding 5000 kilometer odyssey.

It was a family affair!
Afterwards we joined with everyone for a celebratory dinner and welcomed our friends home after a long, and fruitful, adventure.  For Tammy, myself, and the friends with us, we considered it a real privilege to participate in a small part of their grand journey .  Our family raised HK$ 1200 in donations for the walk but we felt like the blessed ones being able to join in on Rob & Leon's special day.


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