Friday, July 16, 2004

Someday Heaven

What would you do if you were faced with a tragedy in your life that seems insurmountable?  If the unthinkable happened, would you be prepared to face it?  Would the grace be there, and be sufficient to see you through life when your worst fears are realized?
Today I interviewed a couple who, less than a year ago, were thrown into just such a situation.  Paul and Rebecca Bunke  lost two of their six children on August 4, 2003, in a traffic crash caused by a drunk driver. 
I've known Paul for quite some time, so my heart grieved for this family as soon as I heard the devastating news almost a year ago.  However, it is nothing short of amazing how God has used this tragedy to touch hearts and reach lives for the kingdom. 
Paul told me he doesn't refer to it as an "accident," but rather a crash or a wreck.  That's because he believes nothing is an accident in God's sovereign plan for our lives, and also because of the fact that it had a cause...drunk driving.
Amazingly, Paul and Rebecca have forgiveness for the man who caused the accident.  And they've turned devastation into ministry.  You can read the entire story on their website.  Also, if you live in the Rockford area, you can hear the  interview on Sunday, July 18th, at 5:30 AM on 101QFL or at 9 PM on Radio 91.
Paul will also be the special guest speaker Sunday night at 6:30 PM at Berean Baptist Church, 5626 Safford Road in Rockford.  
A book of comfort for children and parents alike...
I asked Paul and Rebecca about what things were of particular comfort to them in the weeks and months following the loss of their children, Sara and Philip.  They mentioned a book written for children, titled Someday Heaven, by Larry Libby. 
Although Paul says someone who has just lost a loved one doesn't need to be inundated with a library of books on grief, the Bunkes say they keep several copies of this book on hand to give to people who are grieving.
According to  "Explaining the mysteries of Heaven to a child can be a difficult task. But in Someday Heaven, author Larry Libby gives simple, comforting answers to difficult questions that children age 4 to 8 often have concerning heaven. "
But according to Paul and Rebecca, the book comforts children and adults alike in its simplicity.
While Paul continues his job as an investment broker, and Rebecca her job as a homeschooling mom, they hope to minister to others through their Bunke Family Ministries.   For more information on this outreach and more on the Bunke's story, go to

Here are my answers to today's Friday's Feast...join in if you like!
Appetizer Make a sentence using the letters of your favorite color. (Example: BLUE - Bob loves using eggs.) --PINK--Please ignore naughty knights?  (I know, lame....)
Soup If you were to be stranded on a deserted island and could only have one CD to listen to, which one would you want it to be?--Nope...I tried, but I just can't do it.  I couldn't get by with just one CD.  There's no way I could decide on just one.
 Salad How many people have you kissed in your lifetime?--Actually, not that many.  Definitely fewer than ten, little more than five maybe.
Main Course Someone offers to give you $2 million, but says you can only have it if you will give half of it to charity. Which good cause would you donate the $1 million to?--My church, my parents' church, other small and struggling churches,  evangelical foreign missions and agencies that help feed and care for needy and starving children, like Samaritan's Purse.
Dessert What would you like to name your next pet?--Good question.  I actually came up with the name for our German Shepherd, Stormy, because we got her during April when lots of storms were going on.  There's a possibility we may get a toy poodle.  Maybe something that would go good with Stormy.  Rainy?  I dunno.  :)  Or maybe a nod to one of my husband's favorite sports teams. 


Aaron D. Wolf said...


Thank you for telling the Bunke's story and for interviewing Paul. It seems like yesterday that Paul and I and so many others were playing basketball, cutting up between classes. Now I look to him with deep admiration and respect for trusting in his Heavenly Father throughout all of this, and in His Incarnate Son, who commands us to bring the little children unto Him, for "of such is the Kingdom of God."

When Lorrie and I first heard the sad news, and after we prayed for them and wept for them, we thought of this hymn, from Lutheran Worship, "Children of the Heav'nly Father":

Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

Lo, their very hairs He numbers,
And no daily care encumbers
Them that share His ev’ry blessing
And His help in woes distressing.

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:
Your Protector never slumbers.
At the will of your Defender
Ev’ry foeman must surrender.

We further see the hand of God's Providence at work at Berean, considering Paul is scheduled to speak such a short time after the tragic, alcohol-related death of the young Berean student. God bless you, Paul, for Christ's sake!

Aaron Wolf (Class of '91)

Paul said...

So have we replaced the resurrection with heaven now? Can't we tell our kids that if we die with the Lord we shall also be raised with Him in newness of life?

Aaron D. Wolf said...

"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:11).

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-7).

" . . . we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen" (Nicene Creed).

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