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- Off Route
- New York
- USA 29 July: NYC Manhattan - NYC summer Camp
- USA 22 July: New York Brooklyn - Brooklyn
- USA 20 July: Chelsea Manhattan - Queens
- USA 16 July: NYC Queens - NYC Manhattan
- Route 2012
- Schools and Kids
- World-Harmony-Run Song
- Torch-Bearer Award
USA 9 May: Jackson, MS - Lake Providence, LA
“A mother is a special gift from God.” This is the sign we saw in front of the Zion Baptist Church in Raymond, Mississippi in honor of Mother's Day as we ran through town. We actually had made a wrong turn and had to drive back to the running route through town when we discovered this very attractive and apropos message on Mother’s Day here in the U.S. We quickly decided to stop and take some photos of the sign with the Torch. This attracted some of the members of the congregation who were just arriving for a service there.
After a brief introduction about our event which we were all taking photos with everyone by the sign as the Pastor arrived. We were not too sure of what he would think of three strangers holding a lit torch in front of his church. His response was quite unexpected and positive though. He said that he saw us on the television news last night when we were being interviewed at our hotel in Jackson. He was thrilled that we happened to stop by his church. When I told him that we accidentally stopped there because we had gotten lost, he replied, “Well you really didn’t get lost after all.” Since we ended up in a truly inspiring and uplifting place with such wonderful people to share our message with, it really was the right place to be at that time. Before leaving he and some of the members who were present in the parking lot offered us a prayer for our safety and success. Getting lost was never so wonderful and unforgettable.
Our first ceremony of the day was in Tallulah, Louisiana after our first crossing of the great Mississippi River.
The Mount Olive Baptist Church very kindly welcomed us into their Mother's Day Service.
Exquisite hats were the order of the day.
A soulful choir set the tone of spirituality and sacredness.
This city has been welcoming the World Harmony Run for many years with open arms and wonderful Southern hospitality.
It was no different this time at Mount Olive Baptist Church where we were greeted by Pastor Dennis Redden and the Congregation as they celebrated Mother’s Day.
The recently re-elected Mayor of Tallulah, Eddie Beckwith Jr., read out a proclamation for World Harmony Run Day. He also mentioned the possibility of a street in Tallulah to be named, or co-named, ‘Sri Chinmoy Street’, in an effort to remind the citizens throughout the year of the important message of humanity’s oneness. This concept of oneness was a dream which Sri Chinmoy dedicated his entire life to through the World Harmony Run and many other spiritual, cultural, academic and humanitarian activities.
The Mayor awarded two people with the Torch Bearer Award. The first was Stan Livingston who works in the housing department and is a local scoutmaster. His fine work with children and his enthusiastic support of the World Harmony Run definitely deserve our Torch Bearer Award. We are extremely grateful for all he has done for us in the past and for today’s events as well.
Thomas Joe Williams, Deacon of the Mount Olive Baptist Church, also received a Torch Bearer award from us. His work in the church and in the community are well appreciated by all those who know him, as well as by his friends in the World Harmony Run.
We stayed for the remainder of the service and were touched by the spiritual energy and passion of the Pastor and his congregation.
Some of the happy congregation - always a good indication of a happy church.
Afterwards we all joined them for a delicious meal and chatted to them about previous World Harmony Runs that came through the city.
It was like being reunited with a long lost family.
Upon leaving we were joined by Alfred McClodden, a Tallulah long distance runner who has blessed us with his presence and his running miles in this area since 1997. He patiently waited for over an hour while we were in the church service.
Then he ran with the torch for 6 miles – the furthest anyone has run with us so far this year on the U.S. World Harmony Run.
Alfred is truly a very special friend who, since meeting Arpan on the World Harmony Run in 1997, was inspired to start running marathons. He has now run 86 marathons in 37 States all in a span of 11 years so far. Upon departing, he told us that we can always count on him whenever we run through Tallulah.
The heavy downpours of the morning had dissipated and we were left with a fresh, partly cloudy afternoon perfect for running.
The road was straight and flat all the way to Lake Providence, our final destination for today.
Vajra our eldest team member at 68 did more than his share of miles. He's an inspiration to the team and keeps us amazed at his youthfulness.
At Lake Providence on the steps of Byerly House (Louisiana Welcome Centre), we were greeted by Mildred Bonner who read out a proclamation on behalf of the Mayor Issac Fields, Jr. declaring today World Harmony Run day in Lake Providence.
Most of our team was present as well as a few very nice local people who were passing by and kindly joined us for the ceremony.
Mildred was a very inspiring woman, and at 80 years old she had the energy and vitality of someone much younger. She has served the community here for many decades, working with children in art and drama and helping them to develop their creative talents.
She has also been involved in numerous other important local activities and organizations such as Daughters of the American Revolution, Doorway of Louisianna, and various fundraising events to improve the community here. Mildred was a wonderful ‘hostess’ who made us all smile as we finished a long day on the road.
We are very grateful to her for her enthusiastic support.
Three of us who could not make it to the ceremony went shopping so we could make dinner for everyone. In the parking lot of the local supermarket we were greeted by a local woman named Christina who was enthusiastically curious about our event. She immediately offered us a small donation and also offered us some space at her house in case we did not have enough accommodations. We then got to meet her mom who lived nearby and was celebrating Mother’s Day with her family. It turns out that she had welcomed the World Harmony Run many years ago and carried the torch with us as well. We were so thrilled to meet her again and very grateful to the goodwill and kindness of her and her daughter Christina.
Our women's team had a long drive to our starting point, at Mound, but it was worth it for the beautiful scenery and quiet roads.
We crossed the railroad track to our start point just in time before a long, long train went through, closing the crossing behind us. It was a cool day, with a big, strong sky of impressive cloud formations. These did eventually empty themselves onto us as we ran, reminding me of my home in the UK!
Hello, and thank you, to Connie and her daughter Vicky for stopping in the rain for a chat and a photo with the torch.
Today was our first day of running in Louisianna.
And it felt like the first time we really were in rural USA- surrounded by freshly planted corn fields and silos.
At the end of the day we enjoyed a peaceful walk around the beautiful cyprus lined Lake Providence.
The beauty of Lake Providence is always breath taking and is one of Louisiana's best kept secrets.
Our route over the next few days.
We were surrounded by beauty today. Thank you
Distance: 96 miles
Arpan DeAngelo (New York), Atulya Lee Berube (San Diego), Mark Collison (England), Kshetragna Ulanova (Russia), Surya Smolennikova (Russia), Vladimir Salnicov (Moldova), Kokila Chamberlin (England), Salil Wilson (Australia), Vajra Henderson (New York), Drsalu Gruenstaeudl (Austria)
Gallery: See more images!
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