The Never Give Up Walk

Never Give UP

2 Corinthians 5:7

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

It would take you over 55 days—two months—to walk from Brooksville, Florida to Marion, Indiana.

You would travel 1,016 miles across five different states. You would trek across hills and plains, mountains and valleys. Hot sunrays would beat down on your neck; cool raindrops would slide down your face. Gusts of wind would beat against your back; the smell of hot asphalt would burn your nose. Blisters would cover your feet and mosquito bites would plague your skin.

Yet, Josh Bonner (’02) plans to do just that for his friend Jason Helm (’03) who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Both men graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University, but only knew each other in passing. In 2008, Bonner took a short‐term missions trip to Mozambique, Africa where Helm was living as a long‐term missionary. The two men reconnected and have followed each other on social media for the past seven years.

While on Facebook one Sunday morning in February— around the same time he began feeling a call to ministry in the Wesleyan Church— Bonner saw something that gently tugged at his heart. Helm had been fighting a two­‐year battle with a rare, but treatable, form of pancreatic cancer and the treatment could cost upwards of $75,000­‐$100,000 out of pocket. Unsure of what he could do for a man he barely knew on another continent, he pushed it to the back of his mind.

Bonner sat in church that same morning as a message about how God can multiply what we financially give to others flooded his ears. The gentle tugging he felt earlier returned and he knew without a doubt that this was God speaking to him.

Bonner wrote in a blog post, “After much apprehension, I really felt the Holy Spirit call me to get involved with Jason’s need as a way to help him and to prepare me for ministry.”

Josh Bonner - Never Give Up walk

The elementary school physical education teacher knew he did not have the financial means necessary to fund Helm, but he knew he needed to do something to support him. With Helm still living in Mozambique with his wife Rachel (’03) and their three young children, Bonner began to plan a way to raise money for his brother­‐in‐Christ.

On June 13, 2015 Bonner will depart from his home in Brooksville, Florida with only a backpack in tow and walk the long journey to Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. Not only is he embarking on the voyage for Helm, but he is also using it as a ministry opportunity by handing out Bibles along the way, posting updates to Facebook and using every encounter to glorify God.

Josh Bowlin, an IWU professor, has already raised $15,000 for his friend Helm. To fund the remaining cost of Helm’s cancer treatment, Bonner is actively seeking out churches, organizations and individuals with whom he can financially partner to raise $50,000 before he reaches Marion.

He expects the journey to IWU will take him between 55 and 60 days, placing his arrival around the second week of August. Helm plans to join Bonner in Indiana to walk the last few miles together.

With an undeniably daunting trek ahead of him, Bonner remains faithful saying, “God is going to provide. I just know it.”

To follow Bonner on his journey to IWU, like his Facebook page “Never Give Up Walk.” To donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/nevergiveupwalk

Indiana Wesleyan University
4201 S. Washington St.
Marion, IN 46953

866-468-6498