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#397: “Tornado!”
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Matthew 1:18-25

18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us." 24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Luke 2:1-20
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

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“Tornado!” is episode #397 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by John Fornof, and originally aired on March 28, 1998.


A tornado hits Odyssey, and the Rathbones lose their home. Mandy wants to do something to help, but the rest of the town is more reluctant.


On a rather blustery morning in Odyssey, Cryin' Bryan Dern is filling in for the regular Saturday morning disc jockey when Melvin Steward, radio newsman, warns that there is a huge storm which is spawning thunderstorms and tornadoes is headed toward Odyssey. While Connie prepares for the storm at Whit’s End, Bart Rathbone holds a tornado sale at the Electric Palace, refusing to go home because he wants to make money by overpricing and cheating storm-panicked people.

Four tornadoes strike Odyssey, leaving the Rathbone house in ruins, but doing little damage to the Straussberg's house next door. Bryan continues to report on the damage from the Red Cross shelter in the Odyssey High School gymnasium. When he reports that the Rathbones have lost their home and business and have no insurance, a group of citizens who had been ripped off by Bart prior to the storm demand that the Rathbones leave the shelter, even though he has nowhere to go.

Mandy Straussberg makes a picture for the Rathbones because she has heard that everyone is mad at them and won't help them. She knows that Jesus would want people to help them. On the way to deliver the picture, Mandy and her mother stop at J and J Antiques and Mandy secretly sells her precious doll, Polly, to Jack Allen in exchange for money to give to the Rathbones. Mandy and her mother find the Rathbones staying at the Electric Palace and Mandy gives them the picture and $50. Jack makes an announcement about a fund he has set up because of the compassion Mandy (who he keeps anonymous) showed and urges citizens to come to the shop to participate. Jack gives $1,000 to the Rathbones and tells them people all over Odyssey have volunteered to help repair their house. A big package, without a note or return address, comes in the mail for Mandy containing her doll. Doris Rathbone sees a charge on their credit card bill from J & J's Antiques, but when she asks Bart about it, he sheepishly says it must be a mistake.

Discussion Questions

  1. Was it right for the people at the shelter to be mad at Bart? Why or why not? What action would you have taken if you were in their place?
  2. Mandy said she didn't really like Mr. Rathbone very much. Then why did she want to give him some money for a new house?
  3. Can you think of any other times when the action of one person inspired many others to take action?
  4. Who do you think gave Mandy's doll back?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Bart Rathbone Walker Edmiston
Bryan Dern Corey Burton
Connie Kendall Katie Leigh
David Straussberg Jeff Ellison
Doris Rathbone Pamela Hayden
Electric Palace Customer Katie Leigh
Jack Allen Alan Young
Mandy Straussberg Aria Curzon
Melvin Steward Corey Burton
Rachel Straussberg Diane Michelle
Rodney Rathbone Steve Burns
Stephen Straussberg Nathan Carlson
Willis Corey Burton

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Casey Parker Bryan Dern
John Whittaker Connie Kendall
Eugene Meltsner Connie Kendall
Katrina Shanks Connie Kendall


  • Mandy's mother says "I'm sure Mr. Allen would give you your money back." Mr. Allen didn't take money from Mandy; he gave her money in exchange for her doll.


Bryan Dern: Melvin Steward, our intrepid newsman, looks like he's about to have a stroke!

Bryan Dern: Good morning! Well, it was a good morning until my boss dragged me out’a bed to do double duty as – that's right – your Saturday morning talk show host. It’s me, Cryin’ Bryan Dern, with you... all morning.

Bart Rathbone: There's no protecting our house as long as Rodney's living there.
Rodney Rathbone: Thanks, Pop!

Rodney Rathbone: That tree went right through my room! I hope my stereo's okay...

Doris Rathbone: My brother's as reliable as you are, Bart.
Rodney Rathbone: Uh-oh. We're in big trouble...

Mandy Straussberg: Polly wants to meet Abraham Lincoln.

David Straussberg: Whoa! Runaway garbage can!

Stephen Straussberg: Ah-ha! <flips light switch> And there was light. <thunder cracks> ...And there was darkness.
Rachel Straussberg: The first day, and it wasn't good.