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  • Tom Powell, Executive Director

When you Find yourself in the Dark - Just Stop Where you Are

backpacking adventure in the Massanutten Mountains

For it is God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. - 2 Corinthians 4:6

My favorite story from the past seven months comes from the Backpacking crew on the last night of their out-trip this summer. Five middle schoolers and two seasoned counselors had been backpacking through an unusually rainy week. It was the final night of their adventure, and they set up camp just in time to dive into their tents and wait out another rain storm. A while later, the sky cleared up and promised an amazing sunset. A while later, the sky cleared up and promised an amazing sunset. With camp already set up and gear secured they hurried up the trail and traversed the rock scramble at Duncan Knob, arriving just in time for the most beautiful sunset. Afterward, they made their way back down the rock scramble and headed to their campsite. As the woods got darker, the counselors announced, “Okay, who wants to use their flashlight and lead us back down the trail?” Crickets. No one brought anything but themselves. All of their sources of light - flashlights, headlamps, emergency phones, matches, and lighters - were safely secured at the campsite somewhere below them. After they reviewed their options and attempted to find their way in the dark, they decided to just sit down, play games, enjoy conversation, and rest until daylight returned. As the sun woke them the next morning, they realized they were resting directly on the trail to their campsite. Sleepy, yet relieved, they headed down the trail to the comfort of breakfast and shelter. After a well-deserved meal and nap, they made their way down the trail and waited for the van at the trailhead. They returned tired, yet happy to the safety of camp with exciting tales of their epic misadventure! This story is a life lesson that these backpackers will remember forever and one we should all continually reflect upon. If you feel lost and you are in the darkness - just stop where you are and wait for God’s light.

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