I am including a handful of short thoughts by the Burpo family from our travels last weekend to Imperial, Nebraska (My last installment!):
We asked town people about the Burpo family and found lots of good comments. One business person said that near Christmas time 'anonymous' $$ arrive at two dozen needy homes. "But we know it is from the Burpos!," he said.
How does Colten get along in high school? He is a sophomore this year. Dad said, "They call him 'heaven boy'. Better than me when I was in school. They called me 'belch guy' (Burp - O)!"
Colten's photo was in their weekly paper last week. He is part of their school's Show Choir and they had gotten good ratings at a recent contest. Colten was named Outstanding Male Vocalist.
I asked Colten if his dad was planning to stay at their current church (Crossroads Wesleyan) with attendance of 60 - 100 on Sunday mornings. Their family has been there for 18 years. Very active congregation. "Don't know why we'd be any place else," said Colten's response.
Dad (Todd) said, "If God can use us (this church, this town, in the middle of western Nebraska), why would we be any place else? We have to run to keep up with what He has in mind for us." He said God has given them a bigger platform than most mega-churches.
When invited, they do "Heaven is for Real" events which includes a 9-piece band (not all from their church, some are professional musicians), lots of praise and worship, some comments from Todd and the Burpo family. There next one is in Brazil; Colten said he liked their trip to Singapore the best.
Christian missionaries are not allowed/invited to China. They are invited because they are 'authors'.
Before we left, Todd gave us two of their books. One was for Molly, our nine-year-old granddaughter; it was a junior version of "Heaven is for Real" and includes some pictures from the movie. Inside the front cover, he wrote, "To Molly: thanks for visiting our church. Plan to see you in heaven some day.' Todd.
Featured in one of the photos of her book is a picture of Colten at a book signing four years ago (he would have been 11), inside the front cover is the typed words "Heaven is for Real" and under it in 11-year-old cursive, Colten had written, "...you are really going to like it!"
As we were ready to walk out the door, Todd (knowing why we had come to Imperial) asked to pray with us, asking God's blessings on our journey home and for comfort and growth as our family adjusts to the loss of a husband, dad, and grandpa.