In 1873 S.S. Ville de Herve sunk, drowning my great, great grandfather’s 4 daughters when they were crossing from Chicago after the effects of the Great Fires.
His wife, Anna originally from Norway was found unconscious floating on a piece of wood. 9 days later she was dropped in Cardiff and telegrammed Horatio to say, only me alive. Months later he made it to Sheffield by boat and they returned to Chicago.
Horatio wrote this hymn, ‘All is Well’ whilst questioning why he lost his 4 daughters, and later his son to Scarlett Fever.
In 1881 Anna and Horatio travelled to Jerusalem to help others regardless of their religious background. During WW1 they took care of Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities, they provided soup kitchens during the Armenian and Assyrian Genocides, and an orphanage. They had two more daughters, Bertha and Grace who continued their work in Jerusalem, and it still continues with The Spafford Children’s Center, it is a magical, special place. I’ve been many times and would love to show you too.
I’ve been reading a lot to understand my family history and the words of my great, great grandfather have resonated. I cannot imagine surviving and achieving any of this in the 1800’s and feel inspired by their courage and compassion to make a difference despite such adversity.
“Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well, with my soul.”
I wanted to share his words incase they help you, and their story incase it sparks a moment of hope, courage and compassion during these challenging times.
You matter, you are braver, stronger and smarter than you realise. Something is always possible and I am here to support you. I’d love to know your history and stories too, do share.
Ps. If you feel drawn to find out more and support The Spafford Children’s Center I know they would be so very grateful like every small charity.
I’m here to support and help you, feel free to contact me here.
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