Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Widow Comforted by One Thought; Twenty Years on Deaths of Missionary and His Sons Still Remembered

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Widow Comforted by One Thought; Twenty Years on Deaths of Missionary and His Sons Still Remembered

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Furler mark.furler@scnews.com.au

THE widow of Queensland missionary Graham Staines says she is comforted by the thought of seeing her husband and young sons in heaven.

Gladys Staines shared her reflection on the deaths of her husband and young sons, Philip and Timothy, on the 20th anniversary of their deaths in India on January 22/23, 1999.

Graham was born in Palmwoods and grew up around Ipswich, before working for years with lepers in India.

He and his sons were burnt alive by Hindu extremists while they were sleeping in their Willy Jeep stationwagon.

"That night changed not only our lives and the lives of extended family, but also the community in which we lived and served," Gladys wrote.

"The ripple effect extended to the whole nation of India in some way and to countless others around the world.

"We have been deeply touched by wide public acknowledgement of our family throughout India, including by many institutions and the government (even the Padma Shree Award).

"Those violent events were used by God to show his message of peace and forgiveness. We are very grateful for people's prayers and care since that time.

"I do miss my children Philip and Timothy, I miss seeing them grow up, and who they might have been. I miss my husband Graham, whom I dearly loved.

"At the funeral, Esther and I sang Bill Gaither's song "Because he (Jesus) lives I can face tomorrow. Because he lives all fear is gone. Because I know he holds the future, and life is worth the living because he lives". That is still my experience. Even if life seems hard and a struggle, when sadness and evil seem to abound, I know that I can continue to trust God to be with me each and every day. This is the hope we have in Jesus.

"I am reminded that such tragic events as our family experienced are not confined to just the past, but that there still are many people around the world experiencing trials and severe suffering through no fault of their own. …

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