I first saw Mark trekking across the rocky terrain just below the summit of Mt Baldy, not on any trails, but blazing his own trail. I made sure that I was able to cross paths with Mark because I had to meet him, and I did.
Mark is in training to tackle Mt Killimanjaro with some fellow disabled soldiers in a few weeks. When I met Mark and he told me his story, it was all I could do to hold back my emotions. In fact, I was on the verge of crying. I told Mark that he was my hero and an inspiration.
We shook hands several times and I gave him a hug. I also asked Mark if it would be ok to pray over him. He answered YES. I asked God to use this man to be an example to all for his courage and will to never give up, even in the darkest of circumstances.
This has had such an impact on me that I will be printing this picture and putting it on a key chain of a sort and it will be on my back pack from here on out. Thank you, Mark. You are truly my hero!
John Ellis is an avid hiker and adventurer. John’s love for hiking was ignited as a teen when he participated in Boy Scouts, and that love of the outdoors has continued into his adult life. John surrendered his life to Jesus more than a decade ago, and as a result, the joy of the Lord is his strength. John is always open to opportunities to share the love of God with people he meets both on and off the trails. John is currently co-leading Team Whitney, a group of hiking enthusiasts in training to conquer Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the Lower 48 states, at 14,508ft. John is also a hero.
You can follow Team Whitney’s progress on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/TeamWhitney2012.