It began as a childhood dream. He would travel the country on horseback – for a cause. Now Doc Mishler’s boyhood fantasy has become reality as his effort to raise public awareness of childhood hunger has taken him across the country. His current journey began in began on March 14 in Florida, up to New York and now through the Midwest.
“When everyone gives what they’ve been given, everyone receives what they need,” Mishler commented. “This is my gift to the world’s hungry children.” Prior to this journey, Mishler rode from Montana to California and then to Washington, D.C. While in the nation’s capitol “I brought Jesus’ message to Congress” about feeding the hungry children.
“We all have a common commandment: Feed the hungry children,” Mishler said. “That’s what it’s about. A journey without purpose is meaningless.” He prays he can continue on his journey through eternity.
Planning one day at a time, Mishler enjoys traveling and meeting people. He helps bring people together and has often witnessed folks slowing their hectic lives to enjoy what is before them.
Friday morning, Mishler trotted his horses up to Grand Falls Casino Resort outside Larchwood in hopes of finding food and a short rest. He found much more. People were willing to do whatever it took to find him a place to stay along with his horses. Averaging twenty miles a day, he often camps out when he is on the countryside, but Grand Falls provided Mishler a room free of charge and a local farmer offered a barn for his horses. People were more than willing to pay for his meals and a constant crowd gathered around to hear his story.
Mishler explains his mission in a letter of commitment he hands out to people. “I pray each day I’m used. We can do so much if we join together. This journey is about awareness. When we depend on affluence and financial security, we tend to give out of surplus. There’s so much more we can do. Every four seconds a child dies of hunger or a hunger-related illness. This is totally unacceptable if we believe Jesus.”
Mishler is a member of the Church Communities International, a group that has been united with the Hutterites in the past. However, the Hutterites have broken away so Mishler is visiting with the colonies in the spirit of unity with the common commandment of feeding the hungry children.
His home is where his hat is. “I feel very much at home right here,” he said as he ate his omelet at Grand Falls. “If you’re looking for peace you find peace. If you’re looking for trouble you find trouble.”
Mishler knows trouble. In Madison, WI he tied up his horses near a restaurant and a bystander was worried about the animals because they were thin. He spent two nights in jail while a veterinarian checked the horses. Mishler was released with an apology from the prosecutor after the vet cleared the horses with a healthy status. Mishler replied, “This journey is about love and forgiveness.”
“The gifts we receive from God do not belong to us,” Mishler wrote. “The food we waste and the money we greedily hoard and spend frivolously belongs to the hungry child.”