On Bonnetsville Road just on the Clinton end Monday, two travelers with an entourage of five horses and a dog were continuing a journey of unfailing love and asking for prayer for the country.
Tim Tuggle, and his wife Lynn, are traveling from Fort Bragg, Calif. to Emerald Isle in a journey that is taking them over three years. Traveling at just over two miles an hour, the trek has been a long, but rewarding one, according to the couple, who have been winding their way through Sampson over the past few days.
They stayed this weekend at the home of Ruby Daniels and her husband who, in a brief telephone interview Monday morning, said the pair were an absolute delight.
The three-year journey has been a mission of faith for the couple, they said, stopping briefly to talk before heading to Clinton and parts east.
“We are asking people to pray for our country, our military, and our government,” said Tim Tuggle in a candid interview along the roadside on Monday.
“We’ve been sent by God on horseback,” he detailed, explaining that they have been taking their cross country trip with the help of 38 different horses throughout their travels.
“They came to us,” said Lynn, patting the neck of her horse. Because of those horses they have been able to travel more and see more.
“People give us horses,” Lynn Tuggle explained, stating that often folks just want their horses to have a job. They definitely have a job working with the Tuggles, who travel around 20 miles each day, some carrying their bed rolls and gear.
Tagging along with them is their dog, Chico, who has been making the journey with them as well.
“Our kids got raised but we acquired five more,” said Lynn about their horses.
“We have six kids and six grandkids, and both our parents are still alive,” said Tim.
“We are so blessed,” Lynn added.
“We had no idea that this (the journey) would turn into what it has turned into at this point,” explained Tim. The Tuggles said that they have found themselves in all kinds of neighborhoods, all kinds of areas, ministering in ghettos and visiting with the homeless.
“Both the dog and horses are our main tool,” said Lynn, explaing that the sight of horses in the inner city really sparks up conversation.
“We have seen a lot of neat things,” she added. “Plus thousands have witnessed what God has done.” During their journey the pair said that they have been approached by two writers and two different film crews interested in chronicling their journey.
They started their journey from Fort Bragg, Calif. on Aug. 10, 2010. Lynn was a nurse and her husband was a contractor.
“We have thought that we would go back,” said Lynn. But both admit at this time their future is a bit undecided in regards to their travels, but their ministry and desire to put God first will keep them moving.
“Someone is giving us a horse trailer with quarters in it,” said Tim. They plan on going to get that later, plus visiting in Charlotte in June.
“We will be in this area, and in Fayetteville in July,” said Tim, still unclear of their plans after reaching Emerald Isle.
“We want to encourage local churches to go out and minister to the people,” expressed Lynn, saying she wants people to get out of the four walls of the church and get on the streets, meeting people where they are rather than expecting them to merely go to church.
“We want to encourage people who claim to be Christian to ask God to forgive,” explained Tim. Lynn said that “we the people,” the people of God, need to remember that we are responsible for where we are as a country.
“We have even had children ride with us,” Lynn said of their ministry on horseback. The Tuggles have been married a long time, and Tim said the journey has really impacted his life and relationship with his wife.
“When you dedicate your life to Christ things happen,” said Tim. “Men don’t understand until they let God shape their heart.” He said that chasing after God’s image and mirroring His walk are important.
“We have also seen how good the U.S. is,” said Lynn, who also encourages people to not be fearful because of the negativity that they hear.
“Try not to live on fear but rely on God,” Tim added. “It’s like Psalm 32:10 which says that the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him. That’s what we are doing.”
The two have been seen on the news in other parts of the country, and they said that they can be found on Facebook by searching for Disciples of Jesus Horsemen.
Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122. Follow us on Twitter: @SampsonInd