Monday, April 24, 2006

Bible Bowl 2006 - North American Division Level

With many answered prayers and the constant care and protection of God, the Triadelphia Sparks came home with a first place win after the North American Division Level Bible Achievement event!

Thursday evening we got to the Rockville train station in plenty of time. The kids had fun practicing and watching the freight trains go by.

We enjoyed a lovely supper in the diner car while we watched the Potomac River rushing past the window.

We arrived in South Bend Friday morning and the children were able to spend most of the day enjoying Clear Lake.

Sabbath morning we discovered that several of the kids, including William, had gotten very sick during the night. We kept the sick ones home from church and let them rest until the last possible minute. At 2:00pm William was finally able to get a little sleep, but by this time we needed to wake him up so that we could get him to the church by 3:00pm.

Beth and Samantha, whose tummies were queasy partook of a very light lunch before departing for the church.

We arrived at the church in time for the event, and the children who were sick were given positions where they could lean against the end of the pew or lie down.

Jackie receiving the first place certificate.

We were not able to stay for the group photos because the event got such a late start and we needed to catch our train back to Maryland. We made it in plenty of time however and gratefully collapsed in our seats to rest.

Sunday morning we discovered that it had rained quite heavily during the night and a portion of track had been washed away. There was talk of having all of the passengers bussed to their destinations, but it was finally decided that they would run a freight train over the furthest track from the washout and if it was safe they would let our train proceed. We were eventually cleared to proceed, and we inched our way at 5 to 10 mph toward Washington. When we finally came in view of the river we could better understood the need for concern. The river was significantly higher than it had been just three days before.

We were beginning to think that when the train company said that some gravel had washed out from under the tracks they had ment just a little bit. But, we rounded a corner and slowed to a crawl and we beheld out the window one entire track out over the water. There was nothing beneath it but air. The railroad ties, most of which had fallen into the river, were dangling from the sagging rails. Of course I had put my camera away, and by the time I got it out we had moved past the damage. I took this picture as soon as my camera was out, and you can see that we were on the third track from the water. The closest one to the water was the one that had been washed out.


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