Dr. Balcomb Reflects On Peace Road UK 2021

After 300,000 steps, 154 kilometres and the equivalent of 600 stories of stairs, Peace Road UK has been completed as the team travelled across the entire country from west to east, along Hadrian’s Wall.

Fumiko and I and all the UK Peace Road team send our warm greetings from the city of Newcastle in the north-east of England. Together with many brothers and sisters, we have now safely completed the Peace Road UK 2021.

It was an amazing experience over the last eight days, as we walked across the entire country from west to east, following Hadrian’s wall. Altogether it’s now 300,000 steps and 154 kilometres and the equivalent of 600 stories of stairs!

Even though we both normally walk 10000 steps every day, this was very different, and frankly all of us wondered at the beginning whether we could really make it! But thanks to Heavenly Parent’s protection and True Mother’s prayers we made it without any injury or accident.

We weren’t the only ones walking the Wall, and we met many friendly and determined people walking across the country in both directions for a variety of reasons. One particularly moving encounter was with a father, his son, and a friend. The father was totally blind, and held onto a rope attached to his friend’s backpack. Meanwhile, the 9-year old son proudly walked in front. Suddenly, my sore feet didn’t feel quite so sore!

Our own youngest walker was 15, and our eldest over 80. For all of us, it was an incredibly moving experience combining our utmost physical efforts with a deep spiritual purpose. As we walked, we often thought about True Parents, and how they walked as refugees from North Korea to South Korea so many years ago. Now of course we are hoping that we will soon be able to walk back from the south to the north, across the 38th parallel and visit our True Parents hometowns of Anju and Cheonju.  When that day comes we would like to walk it as a pilgrimage, not travel by car!

Saturday August 7th was our last day of walking, one week after we left Bowness, and we were happy to be welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Habib Rahman. Mayor Rahman is still in his 40s and as a Muslim man in a city where there are not so many Muslims has had to overcome many prejudices. He spoke encouragingly about the work of UPF and asked us to invite him to our future programs. Then he walked with us through his own city for a couple of miles, posing to take photographs at some of the bridges for which Newcastle is famous. We were also joined by the Mayor of Carlisle, Pam Birks, our first city, so we feel hopeful that this event is raising True Parents’ and our movement’s public profile.

– Dr. Michael Balcomb.

In the coming weeks we will be posting written testimonies from the Peace Road UK Team, so keep an eye out!

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