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Vantage point


Surviving tragedy

I, like many others, have always found it difficult to understand why some people seem to be abundantly blessed and others go through lives of tragedy and difficulty. But one thing is clear — anyone who goes through tragedy can not only survive but also come through to victory.

Ephesians 6:13 advises, “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground” (NIV).

Surviving tragedy makes me think of several people. One is my friend Steve Humann. While a collegiate basketball coach, Steve underwent brain surgery that went terribly wrong. He lost functional use of every limb except his left arm. His speech became slurred. Following this tragedy, Steve committed his life to the Lord and became an inspiration to everyone who knew him. He even returned to coaching.

Then there is Kc Kopaska, the relief and development project director for Convoy of Hope. As a teenager Kc was badly burned over 60 percent of his body in a jeep accident. Kc lost fingers and, temporarily, even his eyesight. But the Lord helped him to triumph and today he is a minister who serves others in times of disaster.

Ken George was just 19 years old and pastoring his first, small AG church when the car he was driving was hit head-on by a drunken driver. His young wife and unborn child died instantly and Ken was hospitalized with severe physical problems. God helped Ken, and today he serves as the superintendent of the New Mexico District of the Assemblies of God.

We recently told the story of Fory VandenEinde in our pages. Fory’s wife and a son lost their way in a snowstorm and froze to death. Today VandenEinde is the director of Mission America Placement Service for Assemblies of God U.S. Missions.

Unlike these examples, some people go through tragedies of their own making. But God is just as gracious in those circumstances if those people will call upon Him.

This issue presents five gripping stories of tragedy … and the victories that God ultimately brought.

Ken Horn

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