Walter Master’s message is simple. “Jesus loves you.” He’s been saying it to people in a profound way since 1996. That’s when Masters felt God calling him and his wife, Tammie, to share the good news.
“I wasn’t sure at first how we were to minister, but I knew it wouldn’t be in a traditional way,” Masters said. “It wasn’t until 1999 that I picked up the cross and started carrying it.”
The Masters and their two daughters, then 4 and 5, started on a journey that would take them through 30 states, mainly in the southwest United States.
Walter carries the cross, and Tammie serves as support person with a camper and truck.
“Our family discouraged us. They felt we should serve the Lord in a church. But we felt God called us to the streets,” Walter said.
The Masters took a leap of faith and struck out to share the gospel. The couple ministered in parking lots or wherever they could. They felt strongly called to minister to youth during spring break. They continue to go to South Padre Island where they spend two to four weeks each year. There is no preaching or condemnation.
“We just share the love of Christ with them, and this year there were kids lining up for me to pray for them,” Walter said.
This is the third year the Masters have traveled on Highway 83. They began at Brownsville, Texas, and stayed the night in Stapleton with Pastor Eric and Dawn Mockaitis.
“Joe Salisbury called me to tell me about this man carrying the cross on the highway and I just had to find out more,” Pastor Eric said.
The Masters shared the night in the Mockaitis home and enjoyed fellowship before heading out on the highway again Tuesday morning, September 12. Their final destination will be the Canadian border.
“Carrying the cross opens a lot of doors,” Walter said. ” It’s exciting how God works. Some people wave and others stop. Our prayer is that in some way we touch their lives. We rarely get to hear the rest of the story.”
The Masters have seen amazing things happen, not only in the lives of others, but in theirs as well.
“One thing I asked the Lord was if I should have full coverage on our vehicles,” Walter said. “Four years ago our truck and trailer were completely destroyed due to a generator catching fire. We lost everything. Within six days a couple blessed us with the trailer we have now. With insurance and donations we were able to purchase a truck.”
There are many other stories about their years on the road.
“When we were in Los Angeles, our daughter’s bikes were stolen. We told the girls we would pray for the people who stole them. There were two new bicycles for the girls,” Tammie said. “God has always provided. Every time we lost something we gained something better than before.”
Cookies were baked and sold to finance a trip.
“The girls ended up selling $1,000 worth of cookies for several weeks,” Tammie said. “It’s amazing what you can earn by selling home-baked cookies.”
The Masters do not have a home. Everything they own is with them on the road.
Averaging 10-15 miles a day, Walter says he keeps his head down and pushes through the steep grades.
“The image of the cross is powerful. I pray they see Jesus and not me,” Walter adds. “Christ is the only one who gave it all, and our prayer is the Lord touches their hearts in some way.”
The Masters agree they have been truly blessed. We are in a position where we have to trust the Lord, and that’s a good place to be.
You can follow Walter and Tammie Masters and their “Carrying the Cross” ministry on Facebook at Master’s Ministry.
“Thank you for praying for us,” the Masters said.
Their T-shirt sums it up. Why? Because Jesus loves you! Taking the cross to the lost.