I am always amazed when I come back from Wilderness Trail by how much joy everyone of our students has after hiking 45 plus miles through the mountains of Virginia. This trip is not a “fun” trip by any standards. It is a hard trip. But we all love it! At least when we get off the trails.
It’s an experience that in my opinion makes you realize how good you really do have it. You also realize that even if something is hard – that doesn’t make it bad and that you can still have fun.
I love watching the students come together in small groups as the body of Christ – they listen to each other, share food, wait for the slower hikers, encourage one another, try not to complain too much when it rains an entire day, push through even when the feet hurt, wonder how badly they actually do smell and attempt to figure it out, laugh as campfires are built, allow their feet to be washed by leaders and/or peers, see God all around them in mountains and meadows and at the end of their hike – they are changed. Shoot, I am changed.
I have hiked these same trails with different students for the past 6 summers – and I come away stronger, humbled and in awe of how our amazing Father works in our lives.
I am so thankful to our church for allowing our students to experience God in such a unique way!
And I am thankful that the students hunger for the stillness and beauty of God’s presence that you find while hiking in the mountains.