Missionary handed a wire his family had drowned
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 have 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. (Encyclopedia of Illustrations #5149).