When I arrived at Deep Gap Shelter on Day 6 of my AT pilgrimage, Alex had already arrived a few hours earlier and was reading Doestoevsky in his tent (not kidding). Alex is a student at
Wright State University just an hour north of Cincinnati and I had sheltered with him the previous evening as well. Alex is the 3rd from the right in this photo.
The 3 gals in picture had become known as the “Gossip Girls” on the trail (they were southbound…just hiking 4-6 miles a day and enjoying the woods together).
As the sun was setting, we were all firing up our stoves and preparing various types of trail cuisine. I believe I had a pouch of beans and rice along with a packet of chicken.
We had a great time sharing some trail stories and then the conversation turned my direction. “What brings you out on the trail?”
It was the typical question you expect once you spend any amount of time with a fellow hiker and my response that evening was pretty direct. “I’m on a quest to hear from God.”
Well, what followed was an engaging, lively, sometimes tearful discussion of God and faith as 2 of the 3 “Gossip Girls” shared vulnerably about their own stories of faith, or lack thereof. I shared a good bit of my story and how I desperately needed God to nudge me in the right direction as a result of this extended wilderness experience.
The next morning, as we had breakfast and coffee together you could tell that these strangers had bonded into what we call “Tramily” (trail fam) and we said our goodbyes. But I left with a renewed sense of calling to these college-aged young adults who have varying amounts of adventure, joy, brokenness and potential to change the world as they encounter the Real Hope of Christ.
On this day (or week) of Giving Tuesday, would you consider partnering with us on this new journey with InterVarsity? Together we can see some serious transformation in the lives of college students. We can see entire campuses renewed. And churches equipped to reach nearby campuses. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do over the next few years. We’d love to have you as part of the team. Follow this link for more info on donating to this ministry. Thank You!