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Thank God, not everyone lets the negatives of life keep them from accomplishing what God wants them to do.


On June 18, 1999 Gary and Gloria Sloan, Southern Baptist missionaries, who had been on the field of Mexico only six months, were enjoying a birthday celebration for their daughter, Carla, at a popular swimming spot on Mexicoâ's Pacific coast. With them were two other young missionaries from the United States, Joy Murphy and John Weems.

Due to a strong undertow, Carla began to be pulled out to sea. Gary Sloan and the other two missionaries rushed to save eleven-year-old Carla, but were overcome and drowned, as did she.

When Carlaâ's body was brought to shore, Gloria doubled over in agony, unable to breathe. But it was then that she felt the physical presence of Jesus. Gloria said, "I felt such a strength and power and control. I looked down at my daughter, and I had such a peace" (The Commission, a publication of the International Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, pg. 29).

A large group of people gathered to watch this unfolding tragedy. And before long, four bodies lay in the sand. But what happened next is truly amazing. Gloria stood over the bodies of her dead loved ones and gave witness to the saving power of Christ. She told the people, "The pain I felt because of the loss of my husband and daughter was not as much pain as I felt for the true lostness of those standing around me" (Ibid, pg. 29).

Gloria Sloan then told the people that her daughter and husband were standing in the presence of God. And then she said, "What if you were the ones laying here? Would you know you would be in God's presence" (Ibid, pg. 31)?

Gloria's husband and daughter were buried in Mexico. After their funerals, she went home to Texas to heal. And believe it or not, after almost six months, Gloria packed up her remaining three children and went back to Mexico to finish the work that she and her husband had begun.

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