Pretoria - Blisters on his feet and the overwhelming friendliness of strangers along the road - that's what Dawie Liebenberg, a church minister, will remember about the first day of his journey bearing a cross all the way to Greytown.
Liebenberg, 53, a minister at the Danie Theron NG congregation in Eikehof in the south of Johannesburg, took to the road on Monday with a large wooden cross over his shoulder.
His goal is to reach Shalom, Angus Buchan's farm outside Greytown, on 13 April, three days before the Mighty Men conference starts there.
During his second stint on Tuesday, between Heidelberg and Balfour, he spoke about the various purposes of his journey. For him it's a personal journey with the Lord, a time during which he wants to grow spiritually.
Hope and peace
It's also a journey during which he will pray for the country and spread the message of hope and peace symbolised by the cross.
He's also praying for members of his congregation. After his sermon last Sunday, in which he said they should lay their burdens down before the cross, his congregation wrote prayer requests for him to take on his journey.
When people stop him to chat along the way he talks to them about the gospel.
He also tells them about Compassionate Mission Care, a children's home where 75-year-old Muriel Sigasa cares for 31 children without any State assistance.
On Monday, during his first stint, someone offered to donate flour to the children's home every week, said Liebenberg.
He has to watch out for the big trucks on the road, but he has encountered many friendly people so far.
Two of his friends will join him later: Pastor Kenny McLoun from the Faith Revival Ministries and Arthur Afrika. They will hold spontaneous services wherever they stop.
The cross he's dragging is 3.6m long and 1.8m wide, said Liebenberg. According to researchers, these are the dimensions used by the Roman authorities during the time when Jesus was crucified.
Two wheels are attached to the bottom of the cross so it can roll along easily and take some of the weight off his shoulders.
As an experienced runner who will be participating in his fifth Comrades marathon this year, Liebenberg knew how to take care of the blisters on his feet on Monday night.
On Tuesday he wore a different pair of shoes and started his next stint on a high note - filled with courage to take on the rest of the 500km to Greytown.
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