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Arrived Safely Home

A friend of mine visited Portugal some years ago on an evangelistic tour. He was delighted to find many believers who were “spiritual giants,” among them a missionary from Great Britain named Eric Barker. He had spent over 50 years in Portugal preaching the gospel, often under adverse conditions. During World War II, the situation became so critical that Barker was advised to send his wife and eight children to England for safety. His sister and her three children were also evacuated on the same ship. Although his beloved relatives were forced to leave, he remained behind to carry on the work. On the Lord’s Day following their departure he stood before his congregation and said, “I’ve just received word that all my family have arrived safely home!” He then proceeded with the service as usual.

Later, the full meaning for his words became known to his people. Just before the meeting, he learned that a submarine had torpedoed the ship and everyone on board had drowned. He knew that because all were believers they had reached a more “desired haven” (Ps. 107:30). Although overwhelmed with grief, he was able to rise above the circumstances by the grace of God and keep on working for the Lord. The knowledge that his family was enjoying the bliss of heaven comforted his heart. - Henry G. Bosch

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