Triumph Over Tragey

Triumph

Triumph Over Tragedy

You are looking at a touching image with an incredible story. The picture shows a small child comforting and feeding a baby. Both are orphans, yet well cared for and loved. These children, while orphans, are not neglected or in need.

We often ask ourselves why bad things happen to good people. This is the story of just such a situation, and the amazing example of triumph occurring out of tragedy.

The incredible story begins in 1873, and centers around Horatio and Anna Spafford. The Spaffords were living comfortably in Chicago, when they decided to visit Europe. Horatio had some last minute business to attend to, so he sent his wife and children on. On the way to Europe, their ship, the S. S. Ville De Havre, was struck by another ship and was sunk. Horatio’s four children died in the accident. His wife was found floating on some wood, unconscious, but still alive. She arrived in Wales 9 days later, and sent a fateful telegraph to her husband, which read, "Saved Alone, What Shall I do?".

Upon receiving the tragic news, Horatio immediately departed to join his wife. On the voyage across the ocean, the Ship Captain came to Horatio’s cabin, and notified him that they were now passing over the spot where his children had lost their lives. Receiving this solumn announcement, and while over the precise spot that the children drowned, Horatio took out a pen, and wrote the immortal Hymn, "It is Well with My Soul".

If you are not familiar with this Hymn, we share the words to it below:

It is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blessed assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

The Hymn has been both a comfort and generation to men and women of faith for many generations. However, Horatio did not simply write the hymn, and then get back to his old life. Horatio and Anna decided to serve God in the Holy City of Jeruselam. This was before Israel was a Nation. Horatio stated that "Jerusalem is where my Lord lived, suffered and conquered and I wish to learn how to live, suffer and especially to conquer". While in Jeruselam, they built the American Colony. They cared for the sick and ministered to the needs of the poor of the Holy City. They also set up the Anna Spafford Baby Home, an orphanage providing loving care for the children of the area. The image above was taken in 1925, and show the enduring legacy of the Spaffords. Their facility was still providing for children some 50 years after their tragic loss. It is a story of hope and triumph, and how one man was able to turn tragedy into triumph.

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