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Drunk Driver Plows Into Church Van Full Of Children

Roddy Turner says, “I get to the accident site and I’ll never, ever forget what I saw. The van’s over in a ditch. It’s all torn in, bashed in. And I just begin to weep.”

Roddy Turner pastors a church in the small town of Martin, Georgia. For years he has trusted Audrey Cowles with the van ministry, driving children to and from church each week.

Audrey says, “When somebody wants to come to church you’re going to try to make a way. It’s something to reach the children and they wanted to come and so and it’s a good place to come, you know, to serve God.”

The week before Easter 2015 Audrey drove a van full of children home from church when they were hit by a drunk driver.

Audrey says, “We start flipping, flipping—I guess it had been 2 or 3 times or more. And then we landed in the grass all the way on the other side of the road. And the only thing I can say, ‘Lord, when is this going to stop?’ “The turning and the turning and the turning.”

One child had been ejected from the vehicle as it rolled. Her condition and the condition of the others was unknown.

Audrey says, “So she was out the window under the tire. Everything was crashed, all the windows was busted out. I thought, is the kids all right? They were back there hollering and screaming. I told them to calm down, calm down, everything was going to be all right.  I didn’t see no blood and I didn’t see anything, cause I couldn’t hardly turn to see what was going on in the back. But I was just praying that everything would be all right.”

Meanwhile pastor Roddy got a call about the crash. He raced to the scene and saw the wrecked van.

He says, “I can barely see part of it, but I can see it’s caved in. I can see the roof is pressed down, broken glass and parts of the truck and parts of the van all over the road. It really looked terrible. I thought somebody had died. Our Sheriff was there and told me that they had already airlifted some to other hospitals out of town.

One helicopter was still at the scene with a little girl inside

“And so I walked up to look into the helicopter and spoke to the girl and called her by name,” Says Pastor Roddy, “and reached up and put my hand on her and prayed with her and told her everything was going to be okay and that was traumatic, I didn’t know if she was going to life.”

Soon after, Pastor Roddy gathered the church deacons together to pray.

He says, “All I had was a lot of unknowns. I knew there were injuries. I didn’t know how many were life threatening. And we just –we just prayed. We just prayed.

Later that day and into the next, information about the condition of the children was released.

He says, “By the next day, everybody had been released from the hospital. Everybody had gone home. We had a broken finger and we had a broken arm. That was the severity of the injuries. The only way I can see it is that it was divine protection. There were People should’ve died there.”

Audrey says, “That day I knew there was a God. I knew that He can do anything.  God, you know he had it. He had everything in his hands.  And if you got God on your side, you don’t have to worry about anything. Cause He’s going to take care of it.”

Just a week after the crash the church celebrated Easter with their annual children’s production.

Pastor Roddy says, “We call it the Martin Miracle. And that’s what it is. God gets all the credit. To Him be all the glory and the praise.  But all the children that were in the van, plus our other children in the children’s choir, were right up here on this stage singing for Jesus. Amazing! And their parents were here and family was here you talk about celebrating. We cried, we thanked the Lord, It was beautiful.

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