This is a longer than usual post for this blog, but bear with me. I think it's a story worth reading!
Yesterday at MDO was plugging along quite well - busy, but not that insanity like Monday when we were missing busses. Then 10:45 hit and hit hard. My cell phone rang and it was one of my Summer Safari teachers. (Summer Safari is a summer school-age program for K through 5th grade children, operated during our normal MDO hours. We split our time between on-campus and field trip activities, with the on-campus time used to try to disciple kids in a fun day camp-like atmosphere. This is my fifth summer to be involved in the Summer Safari administration, two as an assistant and three as the primary go-to person. Now, back to yesterday...) I heard those dreaded words that anyone in charge of a field trip fears the most, "There's been an accident..." You can probably imagine the thoughts running through my head, the uppermost of which being the realization that this was Olivia's teacher calling me!
August quickly reassured me that no one was hurt and the van wasn't even really damaged. In fact, she wouldn't have even known she'd been side-swiped were it not for her son, a classroom helper, who had been sitting by the window right where the other car had run into them. Come to find out, a sweet elderly lady had become momentarily confused when a garbage truck blocked her way. Thinking our van was further down the road than it was, the lady merged into the van's lane, scraping the side of the van with her mirror.
The police were called, but it took three phone calls and an hour and fifteen minutes for them to respond. August used this time to try to discover what had actually happened, only to find that the lady in the other car was flat refusing to admit responsibility, insisting that August had run into her! August's co-teacher (a sub - of all days to have a sub!) stayed on the bus monitoring the twelve amazing children, Olivia included. After the police finally arrived, they determined that the children could not leave until everything was processed, and it was another hour and fifteen minute ordeal trying to ensure that all twelve children were entered into the system and verified and trying to establish what actually happened.
This is where the story gets neat. This is where it shows how incredibly God is trying to work with these children this summer. (Remember my post about Monday with the two Olivias in my van?) August came back to the van in a pause just to check on things, and the children were very curious as to what was going on. So, August decided to let them know what was happening. She informed them that the lady had a choice to make - to do the right thing and tell the truth, or to do the thing that might make things easier for her and continue to lie. To understand the significance of this, you have to realize that our whole summer is based on a program called Truth Works where children are learning how to make right decisions! ALL SUMMER! They are learning lessons about choosing the right thing in areas of love, purity, honesty, and many other real aspects of their lives. They are being taught to consider their choices, compare them to God, commit to His way, and count on Him to provide and protect them once they have decided to follow Him. They had just finished the lesson on honesty.
In the end, after a two-and-a-half hour wait, August came back to the van and was able to tell these children that this sweet woman had finally made the right decision! She admitted fault, even though it will be difficult for her to deal with the consequences. The children were able to see a real-life example of how hard it can be to make the right choice sometimes, but since they were on the receiving end of this choice (it was the best thing for THEM, but they had no choice in the matter), they were able to see how their choices don't just affect themselves, but many people around them.
They finally left there to get their much-needed lunch (it was 1:15!), and ended up having a much shorter time on the field trip than their friends in the other two vans got to have. As tired as they all seemed at the end of the day, none of them complained. I was so incredibly proud of those young ones - oh, and let me tell you, they were all six and seven years old!
God is working, and it's a beautiful thing to see. He's working even when things seem to be just not flowing right. In fact, He's working because of the things that aren't working right. We just have to be willing to open our eyes and ears and see His mighty hand!