This is the story of one man going to the ends of the earth – literally. His journey has been a symbolic, prophetic and intercessory call from God. In all my years of ministry, I have had some interesting and sometimes unusual friends and colleagues, but Pastor John Halvorsen has to up there at the top of the list.
Let me tell you his story. I first met John and his wife Sandy back in the mid-1980’s, when I was ministering in Cambridge, Minnesota, and John was in Duluth. Even then, he was doing unusual things. Some ten years earlier, he had canoed across the Arctic Circle, no small feat. It was on this trip, which was dangerous to say the least, that he became a believer.
Across the years, he was involved in a variety of ministries, including a drug rehabilitation center in Duluth. It was at that time he took a group of ex-drug addicts and broke the record for canoeing down the Mississippi River. He also pastored various churches in the area, as well as in Northern Ireland. Eventually, he and his wife Sandy ended up living in the Twin Cities, and he was an Elder at Antioch Christian Fellowship, where I was the pastor.
HIS FIRST PRAYER WALK
In 1998, he came to see me in my office at the church to share with me a calling he had to Prayer Walk America. Both Dorothy and I felt good about it. I introduced him to a friend of ours Ron Olson, who in turn greatly helped John with the logistics of the walk.
In the Fall of 1999, he began the walk at International Falls on the Canadian border. A carload of us drove up to be with him as he began this epic journey. He followed HWY 61, The Great River Road, down the middle of the country and eventually arrived at the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. He felt God had shown him that America was facing great difficulties and it was time to turn back to God and pray. This was in the days prior to the attack of 9/11.
HIS SECOND PRAYER WALK
The second Prayer Walk started from the Pacific Ocean in Oregon and went east across America to the Atlantic Ocean. I flew out to be there at the start of this long walk. Day after day, week after week, month after month, John walked across America. Sandy and another helper followed along in a camper van. Many exciting events took place along the way, including being able to walk across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, where pedestrians were not allowed to walk under any circumstances. Ron Olson worked hard to see it happen and God stepped in to perform a miracle. More about this in a later Langstaff Letter.
Eventually, John arrived at the Atlantic Ocean. Once again, I flew out to be with him at the end of this journey. John at that time was linked by phone to Bill Bright’s Prayer Conference, and he had the opportunity to share right then with literally thousands and thousands of people what God was doing in the prayer walks and that God was calling us to pray for America.
PRAYER WALK EURASIA
Years later, I will never forget the day John came down from Duluth, where he was then pastoring Great Lakes Church, to meet with Dorothy and I. Ron Olson had told me ahead of time about him coming, and John’s message included the words, “If you don’t witness to this, I won’t do it.” I didn’t know what he had in mind, and it sure put pressure on me to know how to reply. It wasn’t until a short time before John arrived at our home that God spoke to me and said, “Trust John. He has heard me before, and he is hearing me again.” I knew that whatever it was John felt God wanted him to do was right.
He arrived, and Dorothy and I sat down with him in our family room anxious to hear what it was. He had the vision to walk across Europe, beginning in Portugal and eventually walking through the middle east into Asia and on to China.
So in 2008/2009, John, accompanied by his wife Sandy and later joined by his son David, began the long journey. It was not without its challenges, and at times there were great difficulties to overcome. John walked through many countries with different languages. They had a short excursion around Christmas to Jerusalem. Eventually, they arrived at the border of China, but John was not permitted to walk across China at that time. So they crossed by train before returning to America.
John, accompanied by his faithful wife Sandy had virtually circumnavigated the earth. What an achievement.
John went back to pastoring Great Lakes Church in Duluth, Minnesota. As a matter of interest, I installed John as pastor of this church twice. This was the only time I have ever installed the same pastor twice in the same church.
TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
John was impressed to go to a small island in the Pacific called New Ireland, which was not too far from the equator.
There the next journey was revealed to him. He was to go the North Pole which did in 2016 on a Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker. He unfurled an “Appeal to Heaven” flag at the North Pole. But God was not finished with John. His next assignment was to go to the South Pole. This he achieved in December 2017.
GOD PROVIDED THE FINANCE
John never asked for money, although obviously, people knew about his plans. As John said, “God provided all the money I needed.” In case you are wondering, it cost $49,750 to go to the South Pole, and he had to make the final payment a week before it was time to leave and he received the final money just in time. Once again, he unfurled the flag “Appeal to Heaven,” and once again he prayed and prophesied as he had done at the North Pole.
There is a prophetic significance in what John has done. John himself puts it this way, “When I look back, I realize that there has been a unique call on my life right along to take the Gospel to ‘the ends of the earth.’ And are there really any more extreme ‘ends of the earth’ places than the North and South Poles. Shortly before heading out on this last jaunt, I had what I would call an ‘Ah Ha’ moment. The Bible clearly states that once the Gospel permeates to the ends of the earth, the age of the Gentiles will wane and a new day will dawn for Israel. Well, I believe we are alive to see such a time.”
Pray for John. You never know what God may have in store for him next.
To contact John Halvorsen, you can email him at Jchalvorsen@aol.com.