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Olivia Ancil at music therapy

Cedarville Stories Podcast: God Makes a Way Through Tragedy

by Clem Boyd, Communication Content Manager

Alex Arent and Olivia AncilCedarville alumna Olivia Ancil and her fiancé, Alex Arent, could not have predicted the long-lasting repercussions of the events surrounding a stroll in Holland, Michigan, last May. But the Lord has redeemed it and keeps redeeming that tragic day.

A vehicle traveling 70 mph in a 35-mph zone careened into Olivia and Alex. First responders did not expect the young couple to make it. But they stabilized them at the scene and transported Alex by ambulance and Olivia by helicopter to a nearby hospital. 

Olivia’s injuries were extensive: severe traumatic brain injury, five spinal fractures, rib fractures, skull fractures, cranial nerve damage that affects her vision, and a lung contusion. “People don’t just survive accidents like that,” commented Olivia, a 2019 grad.    

The process of recovery has been long and difficult, and Olivia has been tested beyond what most will ever experience. But the Lord has reminded her over and over about the lessons she learned at Cedarville: He is faithful, and she can trust Him. 

Olivia is still in therapy, and she prays the Lord will heal her completely. But even in the midst of the trauma, she is also looking forward to a future with Alex, who proposed to her after the accident. 

“We know that surviving this together doesn’t mean life will just be rainbows and flowers moving forward,” she said in a Cedarville public relations story. “Being able to love the Lord, love each other, and work toward this next step has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.”

To listen to Olivia's podcast, click on the play button below:

To hear more Cedarville Stories podcasts, click on the link below:

Cedarville Stories logo and play button

More to the Story

Olivia’s story can be found on the Cedarville University website and on the KLOVE/Air1 website.  

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about Cedarville University, visit

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