Four Thousand Miles with Jesus
Walking Lessons

How far have you walked?  How far could you walk? 
Could you walk across America?  How long would it take? 

Judy Howard Peterson can answer these questions. On May 11th 1998 Judy started walking.  One year four days and eleven pairs of shoes later she stopped.



"I had traversed more than 4,000 miles across mountains, plains, and valleys, across interstates, highways, and city streets. I made it. I didn't get run over, abducted, or injured. I never ran out of money, even though I began with only $400. I camped out only four nights, even though I began with just twenty contacts across the entire United States.

Jesus and I made it against all odds. Many times throughout the journey people said, "A young woman cannot walk across America alone." Many people told me it was impossible. Even 150 miles from the completion of my journey, a four-year-old child boldly walked up and stated, "You're gonna die, you know."

"Why you ask would a 28 year old woman set out to walk across America by herself, right in the middle of some of the most "profitable" working years of her life? To find something even more profitable, a journey worth traveling. A journey that continues to remind me that you see more of life when you get out of the fast lane and try on a 4 mph, pace. A journey that taught me that it may be the most productive decision of a twenty mile day to stop and talk to the person at mile-post three. A journey that taught me that with every mountain top there is a valley and that there is a whole lot of South Dakota in most of our lives. A journey that revealed to me that simplicity makes me a nicer and far more generous person. A journey that taught me the importance of discipline; of getting up to walk my twenty miles" no matter how many blisters I have on my feet. And most importantly a journey that taught me that you can't get to Miami overnight...that is, unless you fly...and then you miss out on the purpose of the trip...being a fellow-traveler, being human with other humans, and actually living rather than just getting by."


Join us Saturday evening June 15th.  Judy will visit Country Covenant and share her story.  The evening will start at 5 PM with a pot luck dinner (bring a dish to pass).  Following dinner Judy will share her Walking Lessons with us.  We invite everyone to join us for this special evening.

Judy will also present the message during the Sunday morning Worship Service. 


Newspaper articles about Judy written during her walk.

Lexington Ky Herald-Leader 

Scripps Howard News Service

Thisweek Newspapers Burnsville, MN



Biographical Sketch

Judy was raised in Apple Valley Minnesota. She attended college at North Park University in Chicago where she received a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology. Judy's passion to share Christ's love with others led her to spend a year teaching troubled youth in inner-city Chicago through Central Baptist Family Services. She also served as a missionary with Merge Ministries in San Juan, Texas working with Hispanic youth.

Judy Howard Peterson has had an exciting few years as she and Jeff Peterson were married in September 2000 and she graduated from North Park Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in May 2001. During her time at North Park she was well known for her gifts in evangelism and was a two-time recipient of the Leighton Ford Scholarship for young evangelists, completing her final two years of seminary on full scholarship.

On May 15 1999, Judy completed a year-long walk across the United States. This 4,000+ mile journey which counted as her internship towards her degree allowed Judy to focus on two primary principles which she feels are essential to the Christian walk. The first is BEING with Jesus. Judy candidly states that, "If we don't know how to be with Jesus we have no business doing Christian things, too often Christians are "doers who have never been".

The second focus of Judy's journey across America was evangelism and the commitment to walk with whomever the Lord placed in her path. When people on the road asked her why she was walking, Judy stated, 'I figure Jesus never set up shop in the temple, asking people to make an appointment. He walked into their lives. I figure if I claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ I had better learn how to walk."

Judy is passionate about communicating Christ in everyday language and continues to travel across the U.S. speaking to both Christian and secular audience about a God who travels with us every step of the way. Judy currently co-pastors Arbor Covenant Church in Madison, Wisconsin where she continues to walk out her faith in everyday ways.