God Guides Two Teenagers

After getting lost in the desert at night, two teens make it home safely, with God's guidance.

By Brandon Alford, age 15

Categories: Guidance, Safety

This last Thanksgiving, a friend and I went riding four wheelers in Arizona where old river beds have dried up into what are called "washes." I rode mine, and he rode my dad's. My friend and my dad and I were on the main dirt road. Dad was driving the pickup, and we were following behind in the quads. Then my dad told me that we could ride down one of these washes because it would lead to where we were going to meet him with the truck. So we took one trail down, but it was a dead end. That happened about 3 times. So we got back on the main road and found my dad. He said, "See that road going up that mountain? That's what I was talking about." I asked him if we could ride it back. He told us we could go ahead. So we went up and down the mountain and then kept on going because we thought that it would lead to the road since he had said that one of the roads was connected to the earlier road.

But we ended up getting lost -- for about 3 ½ hours. We started riding about a half an hour before dark. My friend and I thought we should get calm and really think clearly about the situation. As I prayed, I told my friend to follow me up to the highest point. From there we saw lights about 4 miles away. We decided to stop looking for my dad and just head for the lights. By this time it was pitch black, and we were in the desert with diamondback rattle snakes. So we went toward the lights, and when we got there it turned out to be the sand drags (quad races in the sand)! I knew the races were going on, but I didn't know that the lights we saw from 4 miles away were them because there was so much dust that it just looked like a dirt plain with light on it. We just needed water, and my dad.

When we got there, a very awesome guy let us have some of his water. Then we went to a lady who was sitting on the tail gate of her truck. HER CELL PHONE HAD SERVICE!!!!!!! That was unbelievable because usually you can't get reception up there. So I called my dad and left a message because his cell phone didn't have service. Then I called our house, and my mom answered. She and my dad had both been praying for our safety. She assured me that my friend and I were all right and that she had already called the police. The sheriff came and got us and took us to my dad. By this time it was around 10 p.m. My dad told us that 2 police vehicles had been out looking for us. Later I found out that a sheriff was right by my dad when my mom called one sheriff (because she couldn't reach my dad since his cell phone had no service) to let him know where we were. They were about two minutes away from sending out a helicopter to look for us. The sheriff by my dad heard our location on his radio and was able to guide my dad right to us. My dad let us know that everything was okay, since getting lost wasn't our fault. We got home around midnight. We were supposed to be home an hour after dark, which was around 8 o'clock.

Throughout the entire time, I was constantly saying to myself, "Thou art ever present" and "God will guide us in the right direction." And He did. There's a Bible verse that says, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Ps. 46:1). God helped us when we were lost. God was "present" with us, guiding us back and keeping us safe.