On day 37 of his “faith march” James Sheldon of Winchester entered Marion with his black and white Clydesdale, Reba, dog, Jill, and an old-fashioned cart.
Sheldon is on a 50-day mission, traveling across Kansas in his horse and green and yellow cart to rural towns to talk about their importance to our culture.
“I’m telling people of rural and small towns that what we have is a priceless gift and worth hanging on to,” he said.
Sheldon arrived in the area on a rainy day and took shelter at a farm outside Marion. Friday he traveled into town to resupply at Carlsons’ Grocery Store.
While in Marion, Sheldon introduced himself to people and shared his mission.
“There are people who care about small towns but there need to be more,” he said.
Sheldon believes that by cultivating rural values, people can lead a more Christian lifestyle and bring change to a selfish and power seeking society.
“The rural culture is one that’s shared in some way by all Americans,” he said. “We have all come from rural backgrounds, however people forget how important they are and little towns all over the country are being boarded up and traded for big city life. We need to stop following those who only want power and control and follow God to save our simple way of life.”
Along the way, Sheldon said he has met some amazing people.
“When I did my first mission I was shocked and moved by people’s generosity,” he said. “I know there’s no way I can ever thank everyone who has been so kind to me along my journey. It’s truly touching to see there’s so much kindness everywhere.”
During his journey, Sheldon camps out in a tent, and does all his cooking over a campfire.
“I pack everything needed for the three of us in the back of the wagon,” he said. “At first it was hard, but now that we have a system things are going pretty well. I’ve been fortunate that on most rainy nights someone has offered me a place in their home to sleep, and a dry place for Reba to stay.”
After spending the day in Marion, Sheldon traveled to Florence Friday where he met with Phoebe Janzen and spoke to other town members about preserving their rural way of life.
“He was interesting to talk to and had some good points,” Janzen said. “He ate in town, and washed his wagon before heading south out of town to his next destination.”
For those looking to track Sheldon’s progress across the state visit his website http://www.faithmarch.com/.