Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Tonight at church we had our monthly Mom-to-Mom. Around 90 women came! The evening began with a salad supper and ice-cream (in a flower pot) for dessert. After dinner we watched a slide show of our children (so adorable!) and saw a video clip from "Kids Say the Darnest Things", a show that used to be on t.v. back in the 60's if I recall. What a hoot! Incidently, when our own Mindy arrived from Korea, I had my camera all ready to take her picture as she came off the plane. But guess who came off the plane first?? Art Linkletter, the host of that show! I snapped a picture of course!

Janelle Shoenwald was the speaker for the evening. For those of you reading this who don't know who she is, she is from the Wichita area. Her children attended Berean Academy. I'll try my best to sort of recap her story. I can't justify how well she told it, but here is my attempt at it.

A year ago in February, her family was traveling to Colorado to go skiing when they were involved in a horrible accident. Their car hit a trailer pulled by a pickup and went across the median and was hit by a semi. Her husband and 2 of her children were killed instantly. She said it happened at dawn - "darkness always comes just before the dawn". Often, we go through the darkest times don't we, before we see the dawn.

Two of her daughters, who are twins, survived the accident. Janelle was thrown from the vehicle and landed in the median. They said her head was only a foot away from where the semi drove past when it crashed into their car. God left her for a reason. One of the daughters recalled hearing the loud crash of the accident and then the sudden stillness. No one responded to her calls but she said she heard God speak and was certain of His presence. The other twin came out of her
unconsciousness and they spoke to one another until the responders came to take them to the hospital. When the responders came, one of the girls told them "It's ok. We're Christians." She didn't mean it was ok, but it was, because even if no one survived, she knew they would all be with Christ. One of the twins was taken to a different hospital and for awhile, she did not know if any other member of her family made it. "It's just You and me, God" she said. Janelle challenged us that the most important, most loving gift you can give your child is to introduce them to Christ. These children were assured of God's love for them.

The healing time was not easy. At first she said that it felt that a black gauze covered the world. It was dark and everyone seemed to be distant. How difficult it was for her to tell her girls that her husband and 2 of their siblings did not survive. But what hope to know that they are with Christ.

Janelle wrote a song and I asked her for the words. Here is what she said and the song she wrote:

"When my children were very small I was overwhelmed with the responsibilities of raising a family. I wanted nothing more than to know my children "walked in truth", but at times I felt inadequate to see that happen. I sought God's help and I wrote a song, a prayer actually that I sang often. This was my prayer:

Lord, give me wisdom
Lord, give me peace
Lord, give me courage to ward off defeat
Lord give me patience and strength for the day
Lord, give me the right words to say:

To mold these young lives to become more like You
I want them to know You, to love You and serve You
When my life is over, may my reward be
To see all of my children with Thee.

Make me an example
A pure shining light,
Give me the courage to do what is right.
Make me a reflection of all that you are
But Lord, you must give me the power:

To mold these young lives to become more like You
I want them to know You, to love You and serve You
When my life is over, may my reward be
To see all of my children with Thee.

When my life is over, Oh Lord, let me see, all of my children with Thee.

Two of my children are with God right now. I look forward to the day I can worship around God's throne with all my children."

That is what is most important! Pray for your children, just as Janelle did, that God would draw them to Himself, that they would grow up to love Him and serve Him.

Robyn Stucky did videotape this evening, so for those of you who missed this, you can maybe ask for a copy.


The Sieberts said...

i am sad i missed yesterday evening. we were at Sesame Street Live. It sounds like she has such a ministry-i can't even imagine the pain. Isn't it so wonderful that we have God! i can't imagine going through something like that without the assurance of Christ. Thanks for sharing about the evening!

Joel Smith said...

Wasn't that an AMAZING night? I was just in awe of her strength and perspective.