Book Five Stories
Stories behind the songs in "Echoes Of Triumph #Two"
The Story of Nickel Mines School Tragedy
The Story behind the Nickel Mines Songs
Published in Echoes Of Triumph # Five
Nickel Mines is a small village in a quiet, peaceful valley of farms, in Lancaster Co., PA. Many of the Amish families have been here for many generations, continuing on the family farms and businesses.
October 2, 2006 was a beautiful morning, as the children went off to school. The class began as normal, with Bible reading, singing and prayer. The peaceful morning was suddenly turned into tragedy and pain, when a man with a gun entered the class room. Five little girls died, and five other little girls were injured.
The day after this happened, I was asked by a member of the Amish community in Lancaster Co., if I would write a song in memory of the little girls who died. She called me because she knew some of the other songs that I had written in memory of loved ones. She and I kept in contact all fall and winter.
As I heard more about the grace and strength the Lord was giving the Nickel Mines families, I received more and more inspiration as I worked on the songs. I couldn't stop with just one song. There seemed to be so many precious things; with so many lessons for us all to learn. So many Scriptures seemed to come alive, with fresh meaning.
We began to have some contact with the other families. We sang some of the songs over the phone. I wanted to publish the new songs in our next book, Echoes Of Triumph # Five, but we wanted to make sure the Nickel Mines families felt comfortable about it. So in Feb. 2007, John and I went to PA and spent a day with them. It was a day we will always cherish. We visited the school room, in its temporary quarters; we shook hands with each of the children, and sang a few songs together. It was very touching to see these dear children, and learn each one's name.
We saw where the old school had been and where they were building the new one. We visited in some of the homes, and in the evening we attended a singing with the families, plus some of their congregation. We sang and cried together. We were touched by their sweet spirit. From bits and pieces of their experiences, more and more inspiration came to me. I came home and wrote a few more songs. The Nickel Mines Songs are not about the raw details of the tragedy but about the grace and strength that God gives to His people in times of trial.
The Story of 'Tears Of The Angel', song #14
Sing about The Tears Of The Angel. Two days after their daughter had been killed, one of the families was standing outside, talking about her death. The sun was shining, and the sky was blue, yet big rain drops were falling around them. Were the angels weeping with them? Were these the tears of an angel? Maybe they were! After all, Jesus said in Matt. 18 : 10 “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for in Heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in Heaven.” So, maybe when little children are injured, the angels show their love and concern.
The Story of 'Forgiveness sent A Light', #15
Sing about how Forgiveness Sent A Light. When the tragedy occurred at Nickel Mines School, the world was plunged into grief; but when the media reported about the forgiving spirit of the families involved, it sent a warm glow of peace through out the world, and the media said that if more people showed a forgiving spirit, it would be easier to keep the world at peace. The heart-warming message of forgiveness traveled as far as the message of the crime. In Acts chapters six and seven, when Stephen was stoned, he had a forgiving spirit, and those looking on, as he was being stoned, said that his face shown, as the face of an angel.