Barker's Family "Safely Home"
Eric Barker was a missionary from Great Britain who had spent over fifty years in Portugal preaching the gospel, often under adverse conditions.
During World War II, the situation became so critical that he took the advice to send his wife and eight children to England for safety. His sister and her three children were also evacuated on the same ship. Barker remained behind to conclude some mission matters.
The Sunday after Barker's loved ones had left, he stood before the congregation and said, "I've just received word that all my family has arrived safely Home." He then proceeded with the service as usual.
Later, the full meaning of his words became known to the people. He had been handed a wire just before the meeting, informing him that a submarine had torpedoed the ship, and everyone on board had drowned. Barker knew that all on board were believers, and the knowledge that his family was enjoying the bliss of heaven enabled him to live above his circumstances in spite of his overwhelming grief.
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How do people of faith endure hardships?How do people of faith face death?People of faith feel the pangs of anguish, they struggle at times with questions and yet, mostly they face such circumstances with hope. They trust that God is good, all knowing, all powerful, and that he will take theses painful times and bring wonder from them. And it is with such hope that they continue to walk in abundant life despite their crushing circumstances.
Leader ask several people to read these verses on hope.
2 Corinthians 5:1
1 Peter 1:13
Now have your readers take their verse and have them pray their verse as a thanks. For example: Revelation 21:4 says, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. "So you could pray: We thank you Lord, because you have wiped our tears.And that one day there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. We thank you for the new day that is coming. Amen.