The Lord brought Joe Shortino to Oxford, Miss., today, as part of his newest trek in a nomadic life that began 14 months ago.
Shortino, 39, said he gave up $180,000 a year in the oil fields of Texas to walk with the cross. So far, he has made his way through nine states with no money, according to his own account.
“The Lord put in my heart that he would build a cross and I would carry it,” he said. Shortino said a retired pastor named Nicodemus built the cross for him. He received the American flag on July 4, and said that even though he believed he should leave it behind, by July 5 the Lord told him to keep it. The MIA Vietnam Veterans flag, he said, is from a veteran in California. He also carries a shofar, a ram’s horn instrument traditionally used in Jewish synagogues or at one time as a horn that signaled war.
He walks for three months at a time. His latest journey started in Memphis, and has since taken him through Mississippi towns, including Southaven, Batesville and now Oxford.
When asked what brought him to Oxford, his quick reply was “The Lord.”
“I can get three states in at a time. I take a bus back to Colorado and I’ll rest,” he said. Missionaries allow him to stay in the bottom level of their home for a few weeks between journeys, and he spends that time praying about his next trip.
“I don’t go anywhere the Lord doesn’t want me,” he said.
Tonight, he has a professional photo shoot in Batesville for old-time Civil War pictures, he said, that will be placed on tins. According to his Facebook page, Shortino has received numerous gifts in recent months, including meals and gifts such as Under Armour clothing.
Shortino is fitted out with a GoPro camera and uploads his videos to YouTube and is on Facebook.
– Gretchen Stone is HottyToddy.com associate editor. Gretchen can be contacted about this story at Gretchen.Stone@HottyToddy.com
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