Word Count: 63,000
Dear Ms. Chapman,
Rachel Harker prayed for God to change someone’s life; she never imagined it would be hers.
When sixteen year old Rachel gets lost in the woods during a church sponsored hiking trip with skeptic Asher Jenkins, she expects help to come quickly. Once it becomes painfully apparent no one is coming, Rachel and Asher must take action to find their own way back. The mountain doesn’t make it easy with hidden dangers and torrential rains which cause Deep Creek to flood and cut off their only trail back down. Frustrated and injured, Rachel prays for God to save them. As the days stretch on and their conditions deteriorate, she doesn’t see Him answering.
He bent down to the ground, lungs burning from exhaustion and terror.
This couldn’t be happening. Not now. Not after everything they’d gone though.
With shaking fingers, Asher moved the ginger hair stuck to the girl’s face. He couldn’t lose her—not this girl he had grown to care about despite his best efforts to avoid it. Her lifeless body screamed to him for help which he tried but failed to give. He had done everything he knew to do, and it wasn’t good enough.
He fell back on the ground, not taking his eyes away from her. He had to do something. There had to be some way.
With all other options depleted, Asher did something he hadn’t done since he was a small boy; he cried out to God.
Early Friday Morning: Four days before…
Asher Jenkins shouldn’t have been in that church van. He was neither religious nor a church member, two qualities everyone else on the trip shared. Asher knew all too well that there were worse places he could be, much worse places, and that realization put him in the seat next to his best friend, Sid. Sid’s brother, Pastor David, drove the van filled with eight teenagers and two other chaperones, heading from small Grant, Georgia to a weekend of “hiking and fellowship” in the mountains of East Tennessee.
It had been a long ride, giving Asher plenty of time to think. When that happened, his mind wandered to unpleasant things he’d rather forget.