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Failing to Answer the Rescuer

You can get a cellphone signal on the highest mountain in Colorado. If you get lost hiking that mountain, you should probably answer your phone — even if you don't recognize the caller's number.

That's the message being spread by Lake County Search and Rescue, which tried to help a lost hiker on Mount Elbert by sending out search teams and repeatedly calling the hiker's phone. All to no avail. The hiker spent the night on the side of the mountain before finally reaching safety. "One notable take-away is that the subject ignored repeated phone calls from us because they didn't recognize the number.”

The hiker set out at 9 a.m. on a route that normally takes about seven hours to complete, round-trip. A caller alerted search and rescue teams around 8 p.m., and a five-person team stayed in the field looking for the hiker until 3 a.m., when the team suspended the search. More searchers hit the mountain the next morning, but then the hiker appeared, having finally made it back to their car. The hiker had gotten disoriented in an ordeal that lasted about 24 hours.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Sadly, it is sometimes the habit of people to avoid those who are trying to rescue them. God went looking for Adam in the Garden when he was hiding in fear (Gen. 3:9). Jesus came to earth to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), and he repeatedly called the lost to come to him for salvation, but they refused to respond (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34).

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