Last September the Lincoln Northside Seventh-day Adventist Church hosted a benefit concert to support medical costs for four young adults who were involved in a tragic vehicle accident that took place earlier in the month.

The accident happened on Friday night, September 17, 2021, on Highway 2 in Lincoln, where the vehicle carrying Allen Stafford, Anna Wood, Tegan Smith and Marcus McConaghy was involved in a high-speed head-on collision with another vehicle that had veered into their lane. According to reports from local news agencies, the occupant of the other vehicle died on the scene. The four young adults, three of whom attend Northside, sustained significant injuries and were taken to area hospitals for surgeries and other forms of medical treatment.

There was a huge outpouring of love and support at the concert, and many wonderful items of music. The attendance on that evening looked like a full Sabbath morning, and over $7,000 has been raised to help those who were in the accident. Another highlight of the evening was the opportunity we had to publicly thank some of the first responders. The crowd gave them a standing ovation as those representing the team came forward, and we expressed our appreciation and prayed for them.

Two of those who are recovering from the accident were able to attend the concert for a while, and their mothers, Andrea and Misty, came up and spoke on their behalf saying how much they had been blessed by all the community support their families have received since the accident. Andrea, thinking about that night when she heard the news from their home in Yakima, Washington, said, “For us it was stressful, but God gave us peace through the night.” Although they wanted to head to Lincoln right away, she now recognizes a blessing in their brief delay. “Because we didn’t rush out, we were able to be on the phone and hear what was going on during the surgery, otherwise we would have been flying and not knowing.” Misty also recalled lots of students and faculty members from Union College being present in the hospital lobby throughout their first couple days there, as well as members of the Northside Church preparing meals for the families. “It’s been a hard experience but a really good experience in a lot of ways, and it increases your faith in the Lord,” Misty shared.

Marcus, another of the young adults who is back home recovering in Colorado, joined us briefly by video chat during the concert to share his experience and gratitude. He spoke of the presence of angels on the accident scene, and while they were waiting for first responders to arrive, he said, “What we did was we prayed, and we also sang.” Reflecting on his own state of mind in the vehicle that night, Marcus shared, “The one thing that kept me through the entire ordeal is the promise that God has a plan.”

Three of the young adults are currently students at Union College, and the other, Anna, has graduated from Union. Although the healing journey will be long, all four are expected to make a full recovery.