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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Lifeguard (11/09/06)

TITLE: The Surprise Trip
By Esther Phillips


As I was sleeping in our pick-up overhead camper, I kept hearing unusual noises. It sounded like vehicles climbing the hill in this Texas campsite, then stopping and backing up. I finally couldn’t stand my curiosity any more, so I climbed out of the camper to see what was happening. I walked down the hill and then I saw the frightening sight. The river that we had driven through the night before was flooded. The cars were coming to the edge of the river where they had also crossed and found they couldn’t get through. They were stopping and then backing up. They turned around and went back to where they had been.

By this time, my husband joined me and asked, “What is going on?” I showed him that the river was flooded and cars couldn’t get through. My anxiety kicked in and said, “What are we going to do, we can’t get back out of this park?” You see, we were on a family vacation for a week. Yes, we had plenty of provisions, but I didn’t want to be stuck in one place for the whole week. After all, my three kids were looking forward to exciting adventures.

My husband went around to some of the people there and found out that a flash flood had come down through the hill country during the night. It came so quickly that some people barely got out with their lives and all their belongings went tumbling down the river. We saw a Winnebago that had been washed down the river and was smashed into a bridge about a mile from us. There was debris everywhere.

The night before when we arrived in the park, we drove up and down the river looking for a place to camp. We wanted to be on the water’s edge. We couldn’t find a campsite anywhere. We finally pulled up on the hill in the playground area and that is where we parked. Now, that we saw what had happened, we were so grateful that we couldn’t find a camp site along the river.

We were told that helicopters had come in during the night and rescued some people. I couldn’t believe we slept through all of that! God rescued us. That is what is recorded in Psalm 25:20-21 “Guard my life and rescue me, let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.”

Later that morning, we learned that some people had found a way out of the park up through the hills. We got on the dirt road that had now turned to a muddy mess and slowly made our way out the back way, too. My husband skillfully drove us out of there and onto dry ground. As we climbed the hills, slipping and sliding, we were blessed to see many different kinds of wild animals grazing. It was truly a miraculous trip.

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Member Comments
Member Date
dub W11/18/06
Pretty good piece. A wonderful experience to repeat with a youth group or even an adult group. Thank you for posting.
Phyllis Inniss11/19/06
We set out on journeys expecting the ordinary and God provides us with the extraordinary. An interesting adventure you experienced.
Marilee Alvey11/23/06
This would make a good devotional. You slept with chaos all around you and were gently protected from that riverfront campsite. Praise God!