In what could be a line from St Paul, neither perpendicular middle fingers, banners cut down nor screamed abuse from passing hoons has been enough to deter our magnificent Freedom Team volunteers from chasing every last vote.

It’s the sheepish thumbs up from those too scared to be too demonstrative that keeps these heroes going.

The same-sex marriage political movement has marched to a beat that has drummed out all questioning of its agenda as bigoted, hateful and homophobic – intimidating millions into silence.

But decked out in their high vis “It’s OK to say No” vests, thousands of Coalition for Marriage foot soldiers have stared fear in the face to become the visible heart and soul of this campaign – one that draws to an end next Tuesday.

It’s been my privilege to blow in to regional centres in Albury Wodonga, Wagga Wagga, Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Gold Coast, Maroochydore, Bendigo and Geelong over the past seven days to touch base.

Their determination, resilience and joy is inspiring.

Only eternity will know how many people they persuaded to Vote No simply by their courageous public witness to the truth about marriage.

There is a crystal-clear realisation that win or lose the marriage plebiscite, the fight must go on.

Australia didn’t just arrive at this crisis overnight.

Activists have been planning and preparing for change to family and education for decades while we have been sleeping.

They are not going to go away. But neither is the Freedom Team.

A sleeping giant of concern about where our nation is headed is stirring.

The Freedom Team has now been blooded in the most challenging of political campaigns.

We are battle hardened.

We know how to use an app for political persuasion, we have the courage to hold banners in public places, we know how to door knock strategically, we know how to staff call centres and we know how to stay on message.

We all realise that our fight goes on after the result is announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics at 11:30am on Wednesday November 15.

We know that we can no longer take our nation for granted and trust that politicians will protect our most basic and bedrock institutions.

We’ll have a rest when the result is announced.

But we’ll be back.