This week in history… April 17, 326 AD was the recorded death date of Alexander of Alexandria; a priest and patriarch of the Church who survived the persecutions under Emperor’s Galerius and Maximinus, and who first opposed the heretical teachings of Arius. April 18, 1521 was the date of Martin Luther’s trial at the Diet of Worms where he spoke the most famous words of the Reformation “My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant, for to go against my conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me. Amen.” Also, on April 18, 1985 our family was blessed with the birth of my great-niece, Anna Elizabeth O’Connor. She is now with Jesus, but her brief life was incredibly influential. April 20, 1999 was the date for the Columbine killings; what a tragedy that was. Do you remember where you were when you heard the news? On April 20, 1889 Adolf Hitler was born. What a horrible day for this world; may God severely judge his soul! These are only a few events that have made this week in history a week mixed with blessing and horror. However, there is one more date to consider: April 15, 1912. It is the infamous date when the Titanic sank and 1522 people aboard perished. (I don’t think you remember where you were on this one.) Christian History magazine tells the story of one of the passengers by the name of John Harper. He was an evangelist from England invited to preach a series of messages at Moody Church in Chicago. When the ship hit the iceberg and began to sink, he put his six-year old daughter (he was a 39-year-old widower) into a life boat, gave his life jacket away, “and then ran through the ship warning others of the danger and talking to them about the eternal destiny of their souls. When he was finally forced to jump into the icy water, he clung to a piece of wreckage…” The October 1928 issue of The Latter Rain Evangel (published by The Stone Church, a historic Assemblies of God congregation in Chicago), recounted the following story of John Harper’s last convert. Three or four years after the Titanic foundered (1912), a young Scotsman rose in a meeting in Hamilton, Canada, and said: “I was on the Titanic when she sank. Drifting along on a spar in the icy water on that awful night, a wave brought John Harper of Glasgow near to me. He, too, was holding on to a piece of the wreck. ‘Man, are you saved?’ he shouted. ‘No, I am not!’ was the reply. He answered, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved.’ The waves bore him away; but strange to say, a little later he was washed back alongside of me. ‘Are you saved now?’ ‘No!’ I replied, ‘I cannot honestly say that I am.’ Once more he repeated the verse, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.’ Then losing his hold he sank. And there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water underneath me, I believed. I am John Harper’s last convert.” [For a very powerful video presentation of this see Justin Taylor’s blog at http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/04/15/john-harpers-last-convert/] The history of the world rolls on and rolls out tragedy, heartache, and horror. Yet, in the midst of this darkness our Sovereign God does His greatest work. Perhaps our birth or death will not be remembered in the history books, but let us never discount the influence of our little lives. Though we may feel like we are just hanging on, we can speak a word that can affect the destiny of someone forever.