Aside from the necessary survival skills, faith is greatly important to save someone’s life when tragedy strikes. This holds true to the story of a 38-year-old adventure seeker who was miraculously rescued after a treacherous journey in the wilderness of Arkansas.

Joshua McClatchy braved a solo hike in the Caney Creek Wilderness in Mena, Arkansas to celebrate his birthday. He went missing on June 1 after his mother received an S.O.S. text message from him asking for help.

Rescue teams were sent immediately to look for him through the thick forests and steep mountains. Deadly wildlife such as copperhead snakes, cottonmouth snakes, rattlesnakes, and bears could possibly endanger Joshua’s life, Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer said to ABC News.

After nearly a week of no communication due to lack of cell phone signal, McClatchy was found in good shape but he was severely dehydrated. He requested for water right away when he met his rescuers.  On June 7, under good weather conditions, a National Guard helicopter equipped with infrared technology located him about four miles off Buckeye Trail, Sawyer added.

McClatchy was packed with protein bars and bottled water while he was on the hike. He also brought a filtered straw that helped him drink potentially unclean water from rivers or small streams.

He almost died from starvation and dehydration. He told the EMS, when he was loaded onto an ambulance, that he never thought of seeing anyone again. They administered an IV on him before the four-hour trek back to civilization aboard a rescue cart. He said it made him “feel considerably better”.

McClatchy was extremely happy and said of his first sips of water as “totally refreshing”.  He thanked his family, friends and rescue team for not giving up. He also credited his faith and thanked Jesus for saving his life. He emotionally expressed, “First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t be alive without Him.”