Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 71
  1. #1
    Long Trail '04
    Join Date
    04-09-2004
    Location
    San Francisco (PCT country)
    Posts
    708
    Images
    9

    Default Church for the AT? Article on 'AT Servants'

    Hmmm...


    Hikers find mission in mountains Backpackers often eager to unburden
    By Bill Osinski
    The Atlanta Journal - Constitution
    February 27, 2006

    Oftentimes, the heaviest thing carried by hikers of the Appalachian Trail is a burdened soul.

    To lighten those loads, Craig and Suzy Miles have created a ministry called Appalachian Trail Servants. Their brand of evangelizing comes after they and their volunteers have passed out buckets of trail mix and boxes of foot medicine to weary long-distance hikers.

    "Most of the people who walk the trail are at a transition point in their lives," Craig said. Typically, they are young people recently graduated from college, or adults facing a crossroads such as retirement or divorce.

    "They start off with questions like, 'What is my purpose in life? What am I going to do with myself now? It can be pretty scary," he said.

    Surprisingly often, Suzy Miles said, people who started out seeking solitude in the wilderness will openly talk about such spiritual questions with someone they've just met.

    "When you've walked through the same rainstorms with someone, and have been kept awake by the same person snoring at a campsite, then you're not really strangers," she said.

    The Mileses spoke about their ministry Sunday at their home church, Mountain East Community Church in Lilburn. Their unusual mountain ministry started about three years ago when a brief prayer turned into a life-changing moment.

    Craig, who grew up in Snellville and graduated from South Gwinnett High School, said he was praying for some direction in his life. At the time, he was working as a technician for an information technology company. He wanted to do something more in line with his education --- he has master's degrees in both philosophy and divinity studies.

    At the end of his prayer, he glanced at a table. On it was a magazine with a cover story about missionaries who minister to hikers in China.

    For Craig, the article was an answer to his prayer for guidance. He and Suzy, who was a college student at the time, decided to turn their pastime of hiking into a ministry. Rather than China, however, they chose to stay closer to home.

    Suzy, a native of Dahlonega, had hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail with Craig. They'd been married only about a year, but she said she did not hesitate to support Craig's vision.

    They developed a 50-page plan and presented it to officials of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. They received an endorsement, but were told they would have to raise funds on their own to make the ministry a reality.

    The couple spoke at dozens of churches along the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail, seeking financial support and volunteer workers.

    This year, the third of their ministry, Craig and Suzy will leave their home near Cleveland and do a "through hike." That involves walking all way from Springer Mountain in North Georgia to the trail's northern terminus, the peak of Mount Katahdin in Maine.

    Besides walking and talking with fellow hikers, the Mileses will work with the volunteers who support their ministry. These "trail angels" staff the way stations set up by Appalachian Trail Servants, usually at spots where the trail crosses a road. They offer food, drink, medical supplies, and conversation --- if it's wanted --- to the hikers.

    Craig said the deep wood is an ideal setting for deep conversations.

    # # #

  2. #2
    Registered User kyhipo's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-19-2005
    Location
    ky
    Age
    48
    Posts
    676
    Images
    14

    Default church for the AT

    I think its great and good luck to you all.ky

  3. #3

    Default

    just a coupla more jesus freaks scamming their way through life

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mingo
    just a coupla more jesus freaks scamming their way through life
    Hey, it's a tax write-off and the American way!

    Best of luck to them, it's just not my thing. I consider long distance hiking therapuetic and spritually fulfilling in itself without the need for outside intervention and guidance.

    YMMV.

  5. #5
    Registered User Singe03's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-14-2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Age
    52
    Posts
    265
    Images
    4

    Default

    Ugh, being "ministered" to by people who want to "save" me is one of the things I try to escape in the woods. I'm polite, I respect people's points of view, I'll cheerfully join in a prayer at a hostel, I had a number of conversations where the topics of religion or spirituality came up that went rather well, enjoyed talking with Rusty and a few other quite religious people along the trail, but none of them were pushy about things.

    If they are as respectful of my beliefs as I would be of theres, I have no problem with it but I've encountered far too many street preachers, people with "missions" and born again zealots to not get nervious when someone uses the word "ministry" regarding my favored method of escape.

    If they plan on making it known they are there to talk and just being there for people to approach, more power to them, it means they understand people are out there for different reasons and having time to reflect and sort things out on your own is a very common one. If it is going to be an in your face, active ministry, like the ones I used to see outside of concerts at the Axium and Fitgeralds in Houston, I really hope they decide that thru hiking is not their cup of tea and find another way to push their beliefs.

  6. #6

    Thumbs up

    I Love Yeshua and His Freaks...Excellent !!! Rock On !!!

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by napster
    I Love Yeshua and His Freaks...Excellent !!! Rock On !!!
    Jew for Jesus?

  8. #8
    Registered User kyhipo's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-19-2005
    Location
    ky
    Age
    48
    Posts
    676
    Images
    14

    Default church for the AT

    Quote Originally Posted by mingo
    just a coupla more jesus freaks scamming their way through life
    God bless ya!freak on!!!

  9. #9
    Lifetime Wanderer fishinfred's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-16-2004
    Location
    royal oak,mi.
    Age
    61
    Posts
    493
    Images
    2

    Default

    I met Craig in Hiawassii last year ,after reaching Dicks creek gap in a driving COLD rain ,it was my first Trail Magic ! Nothing like coming out of the woods ,freezing and soaked to see a couple guys with BAGS of fruit ,soda,and BOXES of cookies ,not to mention a free shuttle to town .There was no preaching or anything like that and I think its AWSOME what they are doing .Glad to hear that they will be hiking this year !
    GOOD LUCK!
    Anyone who goes out of their way to help a stinky hiker is an ANGEL in my book!
    Happy Trails !
    Fishinfred
    FISHINFRED

    MY STUFF

    MY STUFF ON EBAY

  10. #10
    Long Distance Hiker Chef2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-19-2004
    Location
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Age
    55
    Posts
    225
    Images
    6

    Default

    I certainly was not at a "crossroads" in my life when I decided to hike, it was the only the only excuse I could come up with to take a year off and screw around.

    Plesase do not preach to me, I will not listen.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-30-2005
    Location
    NW MT
    Posts
    5,468
    Images
    56

    Default

    This reminds me of that cult in New England that provides shelter to the weary, in hopes that some will fall into their clutches. For anyone who is hiking the AT in order to find answers, it seems to me somewhat nasty to cut the process short by having someone pop up and say, "Hey, don't look any further! I've already figured it out! Follow me!"

    And there I was yesterday (Sunday) morning, looking out over the Piedmont from my stealth camp along the Foothills Trail, thinking to myself how much more uplifting to my spirit it is to be in the woods than to be in a church.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  12. #12
    I hike, therefore I stink.
    Join Date
    12-13-2004
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    1,553
    Images
    25

    Default

    I guess my idea for "Backwoods Servants of the Dark Master Ministries" isn't so crazy after all!
    If you don't have something nice to say,
    Be witty in your cruelty.

  13. #13
    Spirit in search of experience. wacocelt's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-07-2002
    Location
    State of Flux
    Age
    49
    Posts
    527
    Images
    9

    Default

    Trail preachers are a great way to get me to do big miles and get out of thier vicinity. It bothers me how often a polite refusal to discuss religion only incites more discussion of religion.

    I support and cherish freedom of anf FROM religion of all kinds. Be well.

    Puck
    Everything is exactly as it should be. This too shall pass.

  14. #14
    Registered User Singe03's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-14-2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Age
    52
    Posts
    265
    Images
    4

    Default

    I guess my idea for "Backwoods Servants of the Dark Master Ministries" isn't so crazy after all!
    I'd wear the T-shirt so long as it wasn't cotton!

  15. #15

    Default

    My experiences on the Trail with religious discussions et al have been positive - no one was disrespectful or forcing one's own viewpoint as the only revealed truth in the universe. Last year I met 2 young Baptist ministers who were truly a delight; I noted such in my trail journal.

    On the other hand, I was hitchhiking to start a day-hike/slack pack along Rt. 58 east of Damascus and I was picked up by a born-again preacher who hit on me (religion-wise) within 2 minutes. I'm comfortable talking about my faith but by the time the ride ended, our discussion had devolved such that he may have kicked me out. It wasn't sufficient to him for me to affirm my faith - I had to use his words of being "born again." When he asked me in so many words if I was "born again," I responded that I had faith in God's grace that I'd attain salvation. Don't think that was good enough for him, nor was it when I tried to explain the context of Jesus's "born again" statement (in response to a question from Nicodemus).

    If I had known L. Wolf at the time, I would have sent this guy to his house!

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    61
    Posts
    31,206

    Default

    Hell I probably know him, I may drink beer with him at Dot's. Them born agains are hypocrites.

  17. #17

    Default

    I cannot even beging to express my contempt for this type of thing. It's a long story, but it makes me so mad that I can't linger long on this thread.

  18. #18
    Geezer
    Join Date
    11-22-2003
    Location
    Portsmouth, NH
    Age
    73
    Posts
    2,964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Spice
    I cannot even beging to express my contempt for this type of thing. It's a long story, but it makes me so mad that I can't linger long on this thread.
    What type of thing? Two people who did trail magic, found pleasure in helping others, and made it a life's work?

    Is the Blueberry Patch included in your contempt?

    The two about whom the article in Post #1 was written arranged for a shower trailer, normally used for disaster relief, to be at Trail days last year to provide free showers. (L. Wolf will remember - it was parked across from his house.)

    No one likes being preached to, but before going bonkers and condemning people for being one way or another, why not first see if they are really that way?

    So far, everyone has posted his pet peeve. Lots of the posts include my peeves, also. I consider myself spiritual, but not religious in the organized religion sense. I don't like religion pushed at me at all. I dislike the intolerance some highly "religious" people exhibit.

    But to attribute these things to a pair of missionaries without cause is wrong.

    I've met Craig and Suzy a couple times, and found them to be a pleasant young couple. Had it not been for the free showers, I would not have been aware of their mission. By the way, they were at SoRuck. Anyone have a problem there? Did you even know they were there?

    Lately some of these threads have gotten pretty wild, and disrespectful toward hikers and now trail angels. Must be something in the water. Another reason for treating it, I suppose...
    Frosty

  19. #19
    with a case of blind faith
    Join Date
    08-06-2004
    Location
    Pulaski TN/Huntsville AL
    Age
    64
    Posts
    493
    Images
    35

    Default

    ...reminds me....a couple of years back I hiked a few days around a couple of preachers from South Carolina. Maybe saw them once a day, for 5 days or so. Camped at same spot a couple of times. Didn't know they were preachers until about day 5 and that was only due to a chance conversation between one and another hiker. They came to hike. Good folks with a different occupation......

  20. #20
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-30-2005
    Location
    NW MT
    Posts
    5,468
    Images
    56

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    What type of thing? Two people who did trail magic, found pleasure in helping others, and made it a life's work?

    Lately some of these threads have gotten pretty wild, and disrespectful toward hikers and now trail angels. Must be something in the water. Another reason for treating it, I suppose...
    Sorry if I seem to jump to conclusions, Frosty, but there are more than a few people in Charlotte who attempt to make every interaction a confrontation between good (them) and evil (everyone who doesn't believe exactly what they believe). Just this morning, while I was collecting the mail at the P.O., I noticed a pickup truck for a company that builds residential decks. However, much larger than the company name, was the quotation "And God so loved the world..." And this is someone who builds decks. I am instantly suspicious of, and hostile to, missionaries. Missionaries who are taking a holiday to hike the AT are one thing; missionaries who are combing the AT for lost souls...it gets my hackles up.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •