All summer long, Alice and John had planned a little trip for their children, Ann and Eddy. It seemed there was no end to the situations that presented them from taking this little family outing.
Another week passed, and Friday evening, Alice whispered to John. “John, if I can manage to get a picnic together again, do you suppose we could take the children this Saturday?” “Well, the Lord willing, and the creek don’t rise, we can give it a try. Just don’t tell Ann and Eddy until everything is packed and in the car. They have been disappointed too many times.”
Saturday morning arrived, and it was a beautiful day. The skies were azure blue, and the sun was slowly rising over the far away hill country when the little troop started out on the outing which had been in their planning for so very long.
The children chattered like magpies in the back seat, and bantered back and forth with each other and their parents, excited about the wildlife they were beginning to see scurrying here and there.
At last they reached a spot where many trails began towards the hilly region. The children were begging to go and explore while Mom got the picnic ready.
Ann was given orders to be careful where they walked and stay close by the path. Ann was the little mother of a whole 7 years of age, but seemed to be very responsible. Eddy was a sweet, adventuresome, 4 year old. Ann took hold of Eddy’s hand and they headed joyfully down one of the paths, watching the birds, and other little animals scurrying around. Eddy caught sight of a small baby rabbit, and began to chase it. He thought that it would be a perfect pet. Ann cried out, “Eddy, come back and stay on the path.” “I’se got to catch this bunny,” Eddy called back. Ann began to run after Eddie and the rabbit, oblivious to the fact that the path was now out of sight.
The rabbit disappeared from their view, and Ann said, “Eddy, we’ve got to find our path.” As they searched and searched, no path was to be found and they discovered they were quite a distance in the hills. Eddy began to cry. Ann looked up and saw a small opening in the hill they were approaching. In hopes of calming Eddy, she said, “Eddy, maybe your bunny went in there.” Eddie dashed inside, and Ann squeezed in to get him.
They headed for the little streak of light that shone through the little cave, and suddenly, the dirt and rocks began to fall, filled the little opening, and they found themselves in deepest darkness.
Eddy began to cry, and Ann began to try to dig away the debris, but each time she would move some earth some more would fall, and Ann and Eddy both began to cry and call for their parents, but they were too far away to be heard.
The noon sun poured down on the little picnic sight and Alice and John began to call for their children. Getting no answer, John started up the trail that the children had begun to climb, calling their names, but there was no answer. After searching for nearly an hour, John returned to the picnic sight, where Alice was sitting and crying. “Where are the children, John?” Trying to be comforting, John put his arm around her and said, “I don’t know, Alice, we need to pray and get some help.
A search party was organized as the sun began to go down in the west.
In the cave, the children clung to one another. It was so cold. Ann said, “Eddy, we need to talk to Jesus” and she began to pray. In trembling voice, Eddy prayed, “ Jesuth, I’se so scared. I’se sorry I chased that bunny, please help my mommy and daddy to find us.” The children cried until, exhausted, they fell asleep.
Eddy awoke first, and was crying, cold, and hungry. Ann could only try to comfort him and wondered if they would both die. Didn’t Jesus hear their cry?
At last, they could hear dogs barking, and began to call out for their parents. They were heard, and men began to dig through the debris. At last there was sunshine again.
It was noon, on Sunday, and this vacation had been the worst 24 hours this family had ever experienced, but God had answered prayer.
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