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“If you listen, you can hear God.” Dave Smith stepped into hiking late in life to heal the hurt of losing a loved one. The new hobby was so transformational that Smith agreed to do a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail as a chaplain for the Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church. Now he counsels others who come to the woods with their own challenges.
Smith says the tough terrain brings hikers together like family and travelers often share personal stories. It is the perfect setting for a chaplain to serve as a spiritual rest stop for fellow hikers. “I saw God’s hand in bringing folks to me and those folks coming and sharing their stories with me,” says Smith.
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