Friday, June 24, 2011

grace during tragedy

Our little town suffered a major blow Wednesday night. We had just finished our prayer services and about 12 of us were still in the parking lot visiting when we got a call that a church van belonging to one of  our sister churches in our area had just been in a terrible accident. And that there were fatalities. The church van had just left their church loaded with 9 children and 2 adults after their Wednesday night services to take them home. The van left the road on the drivers side, hit a concrete culvert and flipped around causing extreme damage to the van and the passengers.  

We immediately headed to the site to be available for our friend and his wife who pastor that church and for the families of those involved. I have never seen anything so surreal in all my life. There were more red and blue lights flashing than I thought existed. There were ambulances and police cars and helicopters overhead and the sounds were almost unbearable. My heart was just torn in two for those involved and I was almost paralyzed with fear for what was to come. My first reaction was to call my mom to get her to pray. She was just leaving her church in Shreveport and there were still some people around so they immediately stopped to pray for all involved.

As I began to see the funeral home cars arrive, all I could do was cry out to God to send His sweet Spirit of comfort and peace. At times when there are no thoughts to be formed, God in His Sovereignty knows. Our precious Jesus intercedes for us and the Holy Spirit gives us utterance. We serve an awesome God.

We lost 5 precious people in the van accident. But praise God, all of them had personal relationships with the Lord. Even the little 4 year old girl did because she was secure in His Grace. There are 6 children and teenagers still in the hospital. Most have suffered many broken bones and have had surgery and still have more surgery to come. One young man has suffered brain trauma and needs our prayers desperately. Please lift up all these families to the Lord. 

I love our little town. I have never experienced the outpouring of love from so many people as I have from the   folks that make up our small community. People loving people. People loving God. People willing to sacrifice of their own for others. 

As we had children in 3 different hospitals in 3 different cities and even 1 different state, my husband and a few other pastors stepped in to help relieve the burden from the pastor of the church. We had a chance to minister to several different families and God just showed up in those visits and gave us the opportunity to share Him in a powerful way. He is so good.

As our town is still in shock over this tragedy, continue to pray that we will give God the praise for His goodness. Pray that we won't lose sight of our purpose here on earth. He is still faithful. His purpose is still Sovereign and Good. He is still on the Throne.  He is still God.

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through
Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present,
nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other
creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"
(Romans 8:37-39)

Even in the face of tragedy God has a plan. He has been gracious to those in need and has enabled His love to be shown to those that needed a glimpse of who He is. May He continue to wrap those families up in His loving embrace and dispense His mercy and grace to their spirits. May He lavish His love on each person that they feel an unspeakable peace and presence of Him in their hearts. 

Pray for those in the hospital: 
Kierra Wilcher
Olivia Oneal
Dalton Williams
Samantha Thornton
Jake Thornton
Aaron Copes

Pray for families of those who lost their lives:
Emma Adams (4)
Brittany Thornton (12)
Kaitlyn Thornton (19)
Portia Thornton (53) 
Joey McKann (30)


SusanD said...

Oh Beth, My heart aches for these families. I first learned about this accident yesterday from my blog peep, "Penny." ( @ Fearfully, Wonderfully Made. Do you know her? I'm sure you know some of the same people.

I continue to lift up these families.

Blessings, SusanD

Denise said...

Having walked beside our dear friends who lost both a son and daughter in a horrific crash - the heartache is palpable. Praying for God's sustaining grace, strength and love.

Terry said...

That's a terrible situation. I'll be praying for everyone.

Wanda said...

Oh Beth, my heart is so saddened with this terrible news, but encouraged that those dear ones that passed from this world to the arms of Jesus are safe.

Will be praying for all the families involved.

NanaNor's said...

Hi Beth, Continuing to lift these up-wasn't it so much like the Father to have you and your hubby nearby so you could go be there. Praying for peace and grace moment by moment for each family.
Hugs, Noreen

Thena said...

Such a heartbreaking accident. My first thought when I read it was His ways are not our ways.
I couldn't help but notice that several had the same last name. So I'm assuming they may have been from the same family. How devasting that has to be. Prayers for strength today and in the days ahead for all those affected.

Heart2Heart said...


Knowing in all things that God will use even this tragedy to bring good out of it all. Praying for strength and comfort to those families affected and for those that will never be the same after this. Psalm 91!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Sonja said...

My heart hurts, for each one of these families. I know God had you right there and ready to minister, and I am sure He used you to comfort many hearts. I know your own hearts are aching too. I will be praying for all of these dear people. Each name you listed had a life's book on earth, and now their heavenly story has begun. It is such a reminder of how brief this life is, and how uncertain. I'm so thankful that they are with Him today.


Edie said...

Praying through tears for these and their families. What a had thing to endure.

God Bless you and your husband for your service and love to others. ♥

Edie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edie said...

I meant to say "hard thing to endure."
(sorry) ♥

Felisol said...

I'm praying.
It was a good thing that you mentioned all the names.
I have brought them before His throne once more.

Every Day Blessings said...

What a very sad thing. I will be praying for the families and for those in the hospital.Blessings!

Loren said...

Truly cannot imagine the pain these families and church are going through. I said this the other day but it is only Christ who can truly bring the Peace and Strength they need to get through each day and I would only imagine there are times they are struggling just to get through the next hour!

Praying with you for all.

IN HIM... Love you

Christi said...

Beth, I had heard about this through a friend of a friend on facebook. I am praying for the families and the community.

Yolanda said...


I am still praying for your beloved little town and these families.

My heart breaks for each one, but as I read the list of those in heaven now....three in the same family, wow....Lord Jesus please pour out Your comfort. POUR LAVISHLY.


"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

How saddened to hear of such a tragedy...all will be in my prayers.


Pia said...

oh beth... prayed for those in the hospital for healing and fast recovery. prayed also for the families of those who passed away in this tragic accident. may they find peace and comfort in the Lord.

i am in agreement with you in prayer, beth.

*The Old Geezer said...

I added them to my prayer list. I pray that God will give you and your husband wisdom as you minister to these hurting family's.


Jamie said...

I am so sorry to hear about this tragedy! Will pray for the families.

Penny said...

Hi, Beth! Thanks for the update for this. It's such a sad time for our community.

I'm actually Judith. ;) Penny is a nickname. My parents are Wayne and Kathy McDaniel. They go to Beulah Baptist.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Such profound sadness. I am so sorry for all of you.


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