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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Learning from Tragedy

By Ken Horn
July 6, 2014

For the last decade, the Pentecostal Evangel has been publishing an annual Surviving Tragedy issue. These stirring personal accounts have all had one message: If tragedy has struck your life, you can survive ... and even prosper spiritually. These issues have been among our most popular.

That very first issue in 2004 included one of the most meaningful stories to our staff. Managing Editor Scott Harrup wrote of his mother’s harrowing defense against an attempt on her life while on the mission field in 1975. God has used Scott’s parents greatly since that frightful time.

In 2007 we ran two “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” stories of downed planes. One survivor’s miraculous rescue from frigid Alaskan waters was tempered by the fact that those who perished knew Jesus. And there was a dramatic Coast Guard rescue from the Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty.

Our 2008 edition was the most personal and emotional for the staff of the Evangel. We had to put our words into action when Art Director Matt Key was taken suddenly from us at just 49. We included our heartfelt tributes to this man of God in the issue. His son, Lucas, continues in Matt’s footsteps on our staff. We still miss Matt.

The 2009 edition featured a fellow-worker here at the Assemblies of God national office, Tim Laffoon. Tim and his wife, Shawna, had lost their 17-year-old son, Ryan, when he drowned. They shared how they were honoring their son’s memory and finding hope after the tragic loss.

2010’s interview featured Joni Eareckson Tada, who has turned her own severe trial into a lifetime of effective ministry.

We have covered stories of people who have faced all sorts of severe trials and come out victorious. Not unscarred — but victorious just the same. Their lives can teach us about living for Christ in the hardest of circumstances. Life seems easy when everything is going right. It is when you face difficulties that you are truly tested.

May the articles in this issue encourage you and, perhaps, leave you with something that could help if you ever face your own tragedy.

Ken Horn

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