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Den Himmel gibt's echt: Die erstaunlichen Erlebnisse eines Jungen zwischen Leben und Tod
Den Himmel gibt's echt: Die erstaunlichen Erlebnisse eines Jungen zwischen Leben und Tod
Den Himmel gibt's echt: Die erstaunlichen Erlebnisse eines Jungen zwischen Leben und Tod
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Den Himmel gibt's echt: Die erstaunlichen Erlebnisse eines Jungen zwischen Leben und Tod

Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen



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Unglaublich oder erstaunlich? Urteilen Sie selbst: Colton ist vier Jahre alt, als er lebensgefährlich erkrankt und operiert werden muss. Er überlebt um Haaresbreite. Später erzählt er seinen Eltern, dem Pastorenehepaars Todd und Sonja Burpo von erstaunlichen Dingen, die er während dieser Zeit zwischen Leben und Tod gesehen hat. Er berichtet von Tatsachen, die er gar nicht wissen konnte. Coltons Fazit: "Den Himmel gibt's echt!"
HerausgeberSCM Hänssler
Erscheinungsdatum15. Apr. 2011
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Bewertung: 3.097067745197169 von 5 Sternen

989 Bewertungen136 Rezensionen

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  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    How you view this book is liable to be determined by how you are swayed by the story it tells: a four-year-old boy falls sick and eventually is hospitalized with a slow-to-be-diagnosed battle with acute appendicitis, then much worse. It's fairly similar in scope to what happened to my wife back in 1991, though her problems were caused by the procedure, rather than remedied by it…but that's a different story. A massive infection ensues, and pretty soon you're at death's door, and you have his spare key.

    Anyway, little Colton's story is just beginning, because later, after he's recovered, he starts telling his father (a Pastor at a small church) some pretty remarkable things. Things that happened to him while he was being worked on, when he passed unknowingly from life to death…something even his parents weren't aware had happened at the time.

    Now, this sort of thing has been described before, but perhaps not in this way. Colton speaks in the frank nature of one of his years, and of things beyond our ken as adults…certainly far beyond that of a child.

    But perhaps that's not true. Maybe it is easier for a child to understand this sort of thing. I always believed that you're never closer to God when you're young, and that you drift away as you age. I have a lot of theories, but this isn't the time or place. And don't worry, I won't give any more of it away, though the title should give you enough of a clue. How much of it you believe…well, that's up to you, but I think it's plenty to say this is an unusual story about an out-of-this world series of events. If it's legit, then perhaps we have something to look forward to…
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    Really liked it.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    Real life account of a small boy with a ruptured appendix who is seriously ill, not suppose to live. But he does. Over the course of 1-2 years, he talks about Heaven and Jesus that he saw, along with meeting a great grandfather who was dead before he was born and a sister whom his mother had miscarried before he was born. He had never known anything about her prior to this. I am still mulling all of this over, not knowing what to make of it.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    A friend loaned me this book, and I ended up reading it in two days. The book is written by a father whose son was seriously ill and on the verge of death at age 3. Over time, the son began to reveal that he had been to Heaven during that time. The things he told them jived with what they knew from the Bible.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    This was a very short book that tells the story of a little boy who came close to dying and later tells the story of how he went to Heaven. This is a difficult book to rate as an objective reader. It was not great literature, and the story itself could have been told in half (or less) the pages. However, the story was nice to read, I could feel for the people involved, and like many other reviews point out, it makes you think.

    I don't doubt the truth of the story told by the Pastor/Father of the boy, but it does seem to be very specific in its details for quotes and specific details that were recalled over the course of years. Do I take the story at its word? Probably not, but I also don't think the author and people from the story are lying. Do I think they are delusional? No - and I am now stuck in a place where I don't know how to explain my thoughts about the story. I am glad I read it because it made me think, but I don't think the details of the story were important to get me there.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    Highly recommend reading this book. A beautiful insight into heaven through a child's eyes. This viewpoint helps to focus on the core important things and not become bogged down with theology.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    Colton Burpo, a four-year old son of a pastor, becomes seriously ill and nearly dies. His account, as related by his father, is the premise of this book. As a pastor's son, he certainly has some religious background, which may or may not have affected his belief of what he was seeing when he was "in heaven."His account is not what my belief is of what may be on "the other side" Specific ally, that everyone has wings. A quick read, and a little glimpse of heaven through a child's eyes.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    Well, this story, or book or however you want to refer to it as, had me hooked in the beginning. However, admittetdly, I was very skeptical, and I still am.

    There are some points that I really have to question if it is truth or fiction. I would read a chapter and question the validity of it afterwards.

    Chilling that some things were mentioned by the boy that he hadn't heard of before or was told by anyone. So those things have me wondering, could it be true?

    So, not sure where I really stand on this book, by all means if it is factual, Awesome, but then, sadly a part of me in the back of my mind says, what if years from now it comes out that it wasn't all as written. Must be the skeptic in me!
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    This story is uplifting and encouraging. It gives positive hopes for what comes after we leave this life. I found the little boy's accounts to be unexplainable, with one exception. I am, personally, a religious person. I believe! I had expected to feel chills, based on my own experiences. But, this book inspires me to share my own experiences.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    Wow, what an inspirational experience it was reading this story,sometimes blinded by the tears in my eyes.Amazing!Highly recommended
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    The book Heaven Is For Real, by Todd Burpo is very touching nonfiction novel. It is an incredible novel of a boy that goes on a journey to heaven and back. The book takes place in the south. With the main character Colton Burpo, and his family. Colton, a five year old boy is a very active kid, and always has a lot of energy. He loves his family and they are all very close, his older sister Cassie, his dad Todd, and his mother Sonja. Cassie is plays part as more of the quieter one in the story. While Colton is more of the social butterfly. Throughout the novel it describes Coltons trip to heaven and back. One day Colton was having really bad cramps and was constantly complaining about it. His parents finally took him to the hospital, it took them 5 days to figure out what was wrong with him. They had gone back and forth to three different hospitals, until they found out he had a ruptured appendix. They took him into surgery, when he came out he seemed fine. It was only a couple months later when he started talking to his dad about the visions he saw in and about heaven. When he was telling Todd, Todd was asking asking him questions he would only know if he actually went to heaven, and Colton was legit. He had his dad convinced, but the rest of his family and even the world was not so sure it actually happened. It took them about two whole years to finally know that Colton was not lying.The book, Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo, is a life changing book. I was personally touched by it. It was by far one of my favorite books. I am more into the realistic/nonfiction novels, so that is why I enjoyed it so much. If you are also into the realistic/nonfiction books and have not read this book, I suggest you read it. The authors purpose was to inform the reader that there really is a heaven out there, and you should not be afraid to what's going to happen to you in the future because you are always going to be okay. After reading that book, I feel Todd Burpo has accomplished that and now I know that everything will end up just fine.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    Rated: BHeaven is as real as you believe and I believe this family was graced by God to see this reality through the eyes of their 4 year old son.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    Heaven is real. And it is wonderful.Having stated that, I struggle with the credibility of Colton Burpo's testimony. The inability of very young children to adequately recall dreams, visions, and memories combined with an active imagination of a Sunday school attending pastor's son blend together to make the perfect recipe for a questionable tale. The author even writes a chapter about how much Jesus loves the little children, in case we call the little child into question.Theologically, I'll stand with John Piper. "If books go beyond Scripture, I doubt what they say about Heaven." The only reliable authority on the nature of heaven is the Scriptures. I'm also curious as to why so many people describe seeing family members in heaven, when truly the focus of all biblical prophecy regarding the millennial kingdom and heaven are entirely focused on Christ and His glory. Indeed, the Lord strictly disallows participation in seances, necromancy, and other types of pagan activity. Even if these forms of communication were valid, they imply (as John Piper astutely notes) that what God has communicated about heaven is insufficient. Of course, this is a matter of theological opinion, but the most orthodox approach to revelation is that the canon is closed; God has given us the revelation necessary to relate to Him through Jesus.I will say this: I don't doubt Todd Burpo's integrity. I believe him when I read the book; he is telling the story his son told to him. I don't think that Colton is lying either. I don't even think that all these things are beyond the realm of possibility. I do, however, struggle with the description of heaven as given, not because I am too stubborn, but because I cannot verify his statements according to the Scripture. The Bible teaches us all to test all things to the Scripture and when I do, I'm told not to consult with the dead and given a different picture of heaven. Hence, I move forward with the possibility that little Colton received some type of wonderful, heavenly dream (a blend of the subconscious and perhaps the divine) that should point us to the sustaining, perfect, holy sufficiency of Christ.If the Burpos continue to teach the exclusivity of Christ and the gospel as the means to salvation, then more power to them.*John Piper's opinions are from a podcast called "Ask Pastor John."
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    An interesting read if you are looking for something entertaining about a child's near-death experience.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    Loved it! Will go see the movie in a few weeks!
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    (This review can be found on my blog All the Ups and Downs).

    I remember reading the child friendly version of this book to my son last year. However, I wasn't made aware of the adult version of this book until the film came out and when my cousin told me I should read the book because it was really good. I really wanted to see the movie, so I thought I'd read the book first. All I can say about this book is WOW! It was very touching and such a great read!

    I like the title. It has such a child like innocence about it which is fitting since it's about a little boy visiting Heaven.

    I love the cover with the photo of little Colton. He was such an adorable little boy! I would've liked to see a drawing of Heaven or something behind him, but the cover, on its own, does work quite well.

    I thought the way that Todd Burpo (Colton's father) sets up the scenes was done quite well. It was easy to picture everything happening in my mind. I could even picture Heaven in my mind with Colton's descriptions although I know Heaven will be much better then what I can actually imagine.

    The pacing throughout this book is fantastic. In fact, I would've read the book in one setting, but I had a husband and a 10 year old to look after, so I had to stop. However, the next day, when everyone was at school and work, I finished it then. I couldn't wait to see what little Colton had to say next about Heaven. It was just astounding!

    This book just blew my mind. It was so amazing to be getting a glimpse into Heaven thanks to Colton. The things he described whilst in Heaven were just breath taking. I believe that Colton did see what he described. Saying that, there were times I was thinking that maybe Colton could've been exaggerating especially when he would say things two years later. Perhaps he was telling the whole truth though. We'll never know until we reach Heaven. But I do believe that most of what Colton saw whilst in Heaven was and is true.

    There's no violence in this book, no sex and no swearing especially as this is a Christian non-fiction book. There is a near death experience though.

    I'd recommend this book to everyone, young and old. You will be amazed with what Colton has seen and heard. I know I was.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    I don't really know how to "rate" this, or how to even discuss it. I don't think it was particularly well-written, and, viewed from a certain angle, it was borderline creepy. But well-intentioned and reverent, and I don't know how the material could have been handled any differently.

    "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." ~ St. Thomas Aquinas
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    Have you ever heard the saying the book was better? It doesn't apply here. Yes this book is great and gives some insight to this family but in this case, guys the movie was better. When the movie came out I was pulled in immediately. The book is great from that inspirational place of reading someone else's experience but the movie was so much better. After a year old medical issues on top of medical issues Todd, a pastor and his wife Sonja are overwhelmed. On a business trip turned family vacation Todd and Sonja's life comes to a complete stop as they almost lose their 3 year old son. Almost a year later on a different vacation Colton reveals he's seen a glimpse of heaven and after more questions and months and years Todd and Sonja discover what it means to not only believe but to teach childlike faith.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    Reading this book fills me with a confidence in my faith and a comfort in God's sovereignty unknown to me before. You can doubt this story if you want to, but it only takes a little faith to be filled with the Spirit as you read the kingdom of heaven through the words of this 3-year-old child.
  • Bewertung: 2 von 5 Sternen
    I have mixed feelings about this one. It's been mega popular since it came out, so I had this idea that it offered more proof that Heaven exists. I don't really need proof, but I was curious. I didn't get the impression that any new evidence was offered, so that left me feeling disappointed.

    A little boy, barely 4 years old, experiences health issues and needs surgery and during surgery he said he went to Heaven and came back. He tells his parents what he experienced and they're questioning whether he truly experienced this. His father is a pastor at a church, so he's able to connect his son's experiences with scripture. The boy's descriptions of Heaven are typical - bright colors, nobody is old, God has a throne, etc. The boy said he met his sister in Heaven and asked his mother if she lost a baby. She's surprised by the question, because they never told him about it, but she tells him yes. The boy is also able to identify his grandfather in an old photo. I don't consider any of these facts as evidence that it happened, but it was still an interesting story.

    The storytelling is basic, nothing spectacular. At times, the father's reactions to his son's comments sound exaggerated. The father would say something like, "I was floored" or "I was stunned," but the situations didn't justify it.

    I don't want to be a skeptic or question whether somebody really experienced what happened in this book or if they made it up. The boy survived a surgery that he wasn't expected to survive so maybe that's all of the evidence that we need. I wouldn't put this at the top of your list, but it's still worth reading.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    Listened to this book while working. A story about a 4 year old little boy who doesn't actually die in surgery, but ended up in heaven and recounting a completely biblical heaven, that only very serious theologians would know, as well as personal details about his family's life (and their lost ones) that he supposedly didn't know about. His father is a Wesleyan minister.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    With simple honesty, the parents of their boy, Colton Burpo, document what their 4 year old son reported after experiencing a trip to heaven as a result of recieving a misdiagnosis of a ruptured appendix that lasted for 5 days. If you want to believe these people, you will be blessed. I would recommend keeping an open mind.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    How this book doesn't get 5 stars by everyone is beyond my understanding. Such an honest retelling of true events. This family is truly lucky to have lived this experience. Yes, very traumatic, though. I can't imagine facing the possibility of one of my children dying. BUT, wow, what they have all learned through this remarkable experience!!! The way that Colton explains some of his experiences in heaven have helped me understand certain aspects of death... How he describes the Holy Spirit simplifies all the difficulties we adults have when trying to understand these abstract concepts. If you want to be in touch with your spirituality, or if you want to renew your faith in God, pick up the book. What a breath of fresh air!!!
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    Great book! I saw the author in person last year. He autographed my copy. It's an amazing story. Some will probably doubt this, but I can't see how. How does a 4-year-old know about any of this? Todd (his dad) says that no one in Imperial, NE has ever said it wasn't true. This supposedly is going to be made into a movie, although I have no more details than that. He also has police protection wherever he goes, because some people want to attack him for this.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    A three (almost four) year old boy, unbeknownst to even doctors who examine him, has a ruptured appendix which absesses. By the time his parents get him to the right hospital he is nearly dead. He is immediately rushed to surgery and barely survives. Months later the now four year old begins talking about things that occurred during the operation--things he has no way of knowing about.This is an intriguing story. The comments made by little Colton Burpo are recorded by is father, Todd-a church pastor, and his mother, Sonja, are along with the account of the circumstances and events surrounding them.A great read of an amazing story about something that is very controversial these days. Is Heaven for real? What is it like? Read this fascinating story and decide for yourself.(This book has been made into a full-lengh feature film.)
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    What an amazing story! Little Colton Burpo gets very sick, and during an operation "dies" and goes to Heaven. It's a heart-wrenching story as Todd Burpo tells us of the family anguish of not knowing whether Colton would get better. He did, and he came out of surgery with an amazing story to tell. Whether you believe in Heaven or not, this story tugs at your heartstrings and serves to bring all of us hope and a bit better understanding of what Heaven will be like.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    I have to admit that when I first picked out this book at the library, which I put on hold and had to wait quite a long time for, I was skeptical. I opened it right to the middle and starting reading which is totally out of character for me because I wanted to skip the technical stuff and get right to the little boy's comments about Heaven. I was immediately charmed by his simple way of describing what it was like in Heaven. So I started back at the beginning.Todd and Sonja Burpo are on a family vacation when their 3-year old son Colton becomes violently ill. They rush him to the hospital and soon after find out that he has an erupted appendix which requires emergency surgery. After much prayer by Todd, a pastor, and his congregation, Colton recovers from surgery and all is well.Shortly after they are home from the hospital Colton tells his parents that during the surgery he had actually died and that his soul astrally traveled to Heaven. He tells his parents of things he learned that he couldn't possibly have known about such as relatives he met who had passed before he was born and a sister who had been miscarried. He said that he had wings and that he sat on Jesus' lap. He saw the throne of God and the gates of Heaven. This book is a fast read and I enjoyed it very much. I do feel like I have a sense of renewed faith after reading it because I don't think it is possible for little kids to make up stuff like that. It is possible that the parents read more into his visions than he proposed but all in all I believe his story.Heaven is for Real was published in November 2010 by Thomas Nelson and was on the New York Times Bestseller list.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    This book came to me highly recommended, so I read it. I want so much to believe all that this says, but sometimes, I'm just not sure. I find myself thinking about my own son, who is now 23, but who at Colton's age had an active imagination that was quite detailed. I could almost hear him make up stories about what he thought Heaven was like. If it's true, however, that he didn't know about the miscarriage and could identify the grandfather he'd never seen when he saw a picture, then maybe there is some truth to it. I want it all to be true, and the book did make me think, but I just don't know. It's a quick read - let each reader judge for him/herself.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    Fact or fiction, it is a good story. If, indeed, a four year old boy went to heaven while being operated on after a ruptured appendix, this book is an incredible affirmation of heaven's existence. It was interesting to read about the events this family went through and the offhand comments and interpretations about the boy's heavenly experience. However, without supporting evidence from other sources, it is impossible to verify any of it. For many Christians, I'm sure it is very comforting so it is useful to reasure them in times of grief.
  • Bewertung: 2 von 5 Sternen
    There are a number of other reviewers I concur with so I can be short. It is a captivating story, and for that reason you power through it. Not every book published is supposed to be of great literary value, some are destined to set their hooks in you and hold on. I enjoyed the informal conversational style. In the end, I guess it doesn't really matter to me if it is true or not, others can debate that. I am happy that it makes me think and question and wonder. I think that is enough. I will be asking my 15 year old son to read it. We don't take him to church because I was raised as a Catholic and I don't believe it is ok to pick and choose what aspects I follow. Recently he told me he doesn't believe in God because of the preponderance of scientific info, including but not limited evolution. I guess I need to challenge him to think too!


Den Himmel gibt's echt - Todd Burpo

Todd Burpo mit Lynn Vincent – Den Himmel gibt's echt | Die erstaunlichen Erlebnisse eines Jungen zwischen Leben und Tod – SCM HänsslerSCM | Stiftung Christliche Medien

Dieses E-Book darf ausschließlich auf einem Endgerät (Computer, E-Reader) des jeweiligen Kunden verwendet werden, der das E-Book selbst, im von uns autorisierten E-Book Shop, gekauft hat.

Jede Weitergabe an andere Personen entspricht nicht mehr der von uns erlaubten Nutzung, ist strafbar und schadet dem Autor und dem Verlagswesen.

Bestell-Nr. 395.278

ISBN 978-3-7751-7060-4 (PDF)

ISBN 978-3-7751-7059-8 (E-Book)

ISBN 978-3-7751-5278-5 (lieferbare Buchausgabe)

Datenkonvertierung E-Book:

CPI – Ebner & Spiegel, Ulm

© der deutschen Ausgabe 2011

SCM Hänssler im SCM-Verlag GmbH & Co. KG 71088 Holzgerlingen



Originally published in English under the title: Heaven is for real

© Copyright der Originalausgabe 2010 by Todd Burpo

Published Thomas Nelson, Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee.

All Rights Reserved. This Licensed Work published under license.

Original package design © 2010 Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

Soweit nicht anders angegeben, sind die Bibelverse folgender Ausgabe entnommen:

Neues Leben. Die Bibel, © Copyright der deutschen Ausgabe 2002 und 2006 by SCM R.Brockhaus im SCM-Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Witten.

Weiter wurden verwendet: ELÜ = Elberfelder Bibel 2006, © 2006 by SCM R.Brockhaus im SCM-Verlag GmbH & Co. KG · Witten.

Hfa = Hoffnung für alle®, Copyright © 1983, 1996, 2002 by Biblica US, Inc., Verwendet mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Verlags.

Übersetzung: Doris C. Leisering

Umschlaggestaltung: OHA Werbeagentur GmbH, Grabs, Schweiz;

Titelbild: © Familie Burpo

Bilder im Bildteil, sofern nicht anders angegeben: © Todd and Sonja Burpo;

Bild auf Seite 2 des Bildteils (Colton und Todd): The Imperial Republican, © Ian Schultz

Satz: typoscript GmbH, Walddorfhäslach

Druck und Bindung: CPI – Ebner & Spiegel, Ulm

Printed in Germany


Stimmen zu »Den Himmel gibt’s echt«

Prolog | Engel vorm Schnellrestaurant


Pastor Hiob

Colton schafft das schon



North Platte

Ich glaube, das war's

Gott, wo bist du?

Leben in Zeitlupe

Etwas andere Gebete

Verwendungszweck: Colton Burpo

Augenzeuge des Himmels

Engelhafte Wesen

Himmlische Zeitrechnung



Zwei Schwestern

Gottes Thronsaal

Jesus liebt die Kinder

Sterben und leben

Der Erste, den du sehen wirst

Im Himmel ist niemand alt

Kraft vom Himmel

Was Ali erlebte


Der kommende Krieg

Eines Tages


Zeitliche Abfolge der Ereignisse

Über Familie Burpo

Über Lynn Vincent


»Ich versichere euch:

Wenn ihr nicht umkehrt und werdet wie die Kinder,

werdet ihr nie ins Himmelreich kommen.«

Jesus von Nazareth

[ Zum Inhaltsverzeichnis ]

Stimmen zu Den Himmel gibt’s echt

Dieser ehrliche, einfache und kindliche Bericht eines kleinen Jungen, der im Himmel war, wird Sie bewegen. Er ist fesselnd und überzeugend. Dieses Buch sollten Sie unbedingt lesen. Wenn Sie bereit sind, zum Himmel zu gehen, wird dieses Buch Sie inspirieren. Wenn Sie nicht bereit sind, gestatten Sie einem kleinen Kind, Sie bei der Hand zu nehmen. Wie Colton sagt: »Den Himmel gibt’s echt.«

Don Piper, Autor von 90 Minuten im Himmel

Dann und wann landet ein Buch auf meinem Schreibtisch, dessen Titel mich fasziniert. Genau das geschah bei dem Buch Den Himmel gibt’s echt. Ich dachte, dass ich es nur mal eben so durchblättere, doch dann konnte ich es nicht mehr aus der Hand legen. Ich las es von der ersten bis zur letzten Seite. Die Geschichte ging mir wirklich zu Herzen. Dieses Buch wird nicht nur Ihre Liebe zu Gott wachsen lassen und Ihrer Angst vor dem Tod entgegenwirken, sondern Ihnen auch verstehen helfen, dass der Himmel kein Ort ist, wo wir Tausende von Jahren nur herumsitzen und Kumbaya singen; er ist vielmehr ein Ort, an dem wir so zu leben beginnen, wie es unserer Bestimmung vor dem Sündenfall entspricht. Wenn der Himmel Sie fasziniert oder Ihnen Schwierigkeiten bereitet; wenn Sie sich fragen, wie wir dort leben werden: dann kann ich Ihnen dieses Buch sehr empfehlen.

Sheila Walsh, Sängerin und Autorin von

Hinter dem Lächeln die Tränen, Jetzt bist du meine Tochter u.a.

Es wurden schon viele Geschichten von Nahtoderfahrungen aufgeschrieben, die ich einfach nicht gelesen habe, weil ich, offen gesagt, nicht wusste, ob der Autor vertrauenswürdig ist. Dieses Buch habe ich tatsächlich von der ersten bis zur letzten Seite gelesen und – vor allem – konnte ich es kaum aus der Hand legen! Warum? Weil ich den Autor kenne und ihm glaube. Todd Burpo macht uns ein wunderbares Geschenk, indem er und sein Sohn den Schleier zur Ewigkeit ein wenig lüften, sodass wir einen kurzen Blick auf die andere Seite werfen können.

Dr. Everett Piper, Präsident der Oklahoma Wesleyan University

In diesem schönen und hervorragend geschriebenen Buch macht der vierjährige Colton eine Erfahrung, während er in Narkose liegt, die man als Nahtoderfahrung (NTE) bezeichnen kann. Ich habe mehr als 1600 NTE’s wissenschaftlich untersucht und herausgefunden, dass NTE’s bei sehr jungen Kindern in Narkose vorkommen können. Selbst nach der Untersuchung einer solchen Menge von NTE’s halte ich Coltons Erfahrung für spektakulär, außergewöhnlich und eine Inspiration für alle Christen.

Dr. med. Jeffrey Long, Gründer der

Near Death Experience Research Foundation

(Stiftung für Forschung zu Nahtoderfahrungen) und Autor von

Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences

Es ist stets ein Segen zu hören, dass Akianes Gemälde einen Menschen berührt haben. Ihre Christus-Darstellung »Prince of Peace« (Friedefürst) ist immer noch eines ihrer beliebtesten Bilder. Und als Mutter eines Kindes, das etwas Außergewöhnliches und nach irdischen Maßstäben Unerklärliches erlebt hat, freue ich mich mit der Familie und an ihrer ganz besonderen Geschichte.

Forelli Kramarik, Co-Autorin von Akiane:

Her Life, Her Heart, Her Poetry

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Engel vorm Schnellrestaurant

Für den Durchschnittsamerikaner ist der Nationalfeiertag mit Erinnerungen an patriotische Paraden, leckeren Duft von Grillfleisch, Maiskolben und einen in Licht- und Farbregen getauchten Nachthimmel verbunden. Doch für meine Familie war das Wochenende vom 4. Juli 2003 aus ganz anderen Gründen ein großes Ereignis.

Meine Frau Sonja und ich hatten vor, gemeinsam mit unseren Kindern Sonjas Bruder Steve und seine Familie in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, zu besuchen. Das war unsere erste Gelegenheit, unseren Neffen Bennett kennenzulernen, der vor zwei Monaten geboren worden war. Außerdem hatten unsere Kinder Cassie und Colton noch nie den Wasserfall* gesehen. (Ja, es gibt tatsächlich die Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls!) Doch das größte Abenteuer bestand in etwas ganz anderem: Diese Reise war unsere erste, seit unser Familienausflug nach Greeley, Colorado, im März zum schlimmsten Albtraum unseres Lebens geworden war. Danach hatten wir unsere Heimatstadt Imperial in Nebraska monatelang nicht mehr verlassen.

Kurz gesagt, bei unserem letzten Familienausflug war eines unserer Kinder beinahe gestorben. Vielleicht kommt Ihnen das verrückt vor, aber aufgrund dessen waren wir dieses Mal etwas ängstlich – so ängstlich, dass wir fast nicht fahren wollten. Nun müssen Sie wissen, dass ich Pastor bin und keineswegs abergläubisch. Trotzdem hatte ein Teil von mir – ein seltsamer, verunsicherter Teil – das Gefühl, wir wären in Sicherheit, wenn wir uns daheim versteckten. Am Ende hatte allerdings der Verstand gesiegt – und die unwiderstehliche Verlockung, den kleinen Bennett kennenzulernen, der Steve zufolge das niedlichste Baby der Welt war. Also packten wir alles in unseren blauen Kombi, was wir für einen Wochenendausflug brauchten, und machten uns auf in Richtung Norden.

Sonja und ich hielten es für das Beste, den größten Teil der Strecke bei Nacht zurückzulegen. So würde Colton, auch wenn er gegen seinen Willen (Sie wissen schon: dieser »Ich-bin-schon-ein-großer-Junge«-Wille, den nur ein Vierjähriger haben kann!) in seinem Kindersitz festgeschnallt war, wenigstens die meiste Zeit über schlafen. Also setzte ich unseren Kombi kurz nach 20 Uhr aus der Ausfahrt zurück, steuerte an der Crossroads Wesleyan Church, meiner Kirche, vorbei und fuhr auf den Highway 61.

Der Abend senkte sich klar und hell über die Ebene, und am samtenen Himmel stand ein weißer Halbmond. Imperial ist eine ländliche Kleinstadt kurz hinter der westlichen Grenze von Nebraska. Mit nur zweitausend Einwohnern und ohne eine einzige Ampel ist es die Art von Stadt, die mehr Kirchen als Banken hat und in der die Farmer mit Arbeitsstiefeln, John-Deere-Schirmmützen und einer Drahtzange zum Zaunziehen am Gürtel mittags direkt vom Feld in das von irgendeinem Familienmitglied betriebene Café strömen. Daher waren die sechsjährige Cassie und Colton sehr gespannt auf die Reise in die »große Stadt« Sioux Falls, wo sie ihren neugeborenen Cousin kennenlernen sollten.

Die ersten hundertfünfzig Kilometer bis North Platte schnatterten die Kinder noch vor sich hin. Colton spielte mit seinen Superheld-Figuren, schlug aufregende Schlachten und rettete mehrmals die Welt. Es war noch nicht ganz 22 Uhr, als wir in die Fünfzigtausend-Seelen-Stadt hineinfuhren, die in erster Linie dafür berühmt ist, dass sie die Heimatstadt des berühmten Schaustellers Buffalo Bill Cody ist. North Platte würde die letzte zivilisierte Raststätte – oder zumindest die letzte offene Raststätte – sein, die wir in jener Nacht passieren würden, bevor wir weiter nach Nordosten fahren und dann über weite Strecken nichts sehen würden als Maisfelder mit Rehen, Fasanen und hier und dort vielleicht einem Farmhaus. Wir hatten schon im Voraus geplant, hier Rast zu machen, um sowohl den Tank als auch unsere Mägen zu füllen.

Nach dem Tanken an einer Sinclair-Tankstelle bogen wir auf die Jeffers Street ab. Dort fiel mir auf, dass wir an der Ampel vorbeikamen, von der wir, wenn wir links abbogen, zum Great Plains Regional Medical Center, dem Kreiskrankenhaus, gelangen würden. Dort hatten wir im März einen fünfzehn Tage langen Albtraum erlebt, und die meisten jener fünfzehn Tage hatten wir auf den Knien verbracht und Gott gebeten, er möge Coltons Leben verschonen. Gott erhörte uns, doch Sonja und ich sagen noch heute manchmal im Scherz, dass diese zwei Wochen uns Jahre unseres eigenen Lebens gekostet haben.

Manchmal kann man schwere Zeiten nur mit einer guten Portion Humor verarbeiten. Als wir die Abzweigung passierten, beschloss ich daher, Colton ein bisschen zu necken.

»Hey, Colton, wenn wir hier abbiegen, können wir wieder ins Krankenhaus fahren«, sagte ich. »Möchtest du wieder ins Krankenhaus?«

Unser Kindergartenkind kicherte in der Dunkelheit. »Nein, Papa, schick mich nicht dahin! Schick Cassie … Cassie kann ins Krankenhaus!«

Seine Schwester neben ihm lachte. »Nö-höö! Ich will auch nicht dahin!«

Auf dem Beifahrersitz drehte sich Sonja so um, dass sie unseren Sohn sehen konnte, dessen Kindersitz auf der Rückbank hinter mir platziert war. Ich stellte mir vor, wie seine kurzen blonden Haare und seine himmelblauen Augen in der Dunkelheit leuchteten. »Erinnerst du dich noch ans Krankenhaus, Colton?«, fragte Sonja.

»Ja, Mami, ich weiß das noch«, sagte er. »Das war, wo die Engel mir was vorgesungen haben.«

Im Auto blieb die Zeit stehen. Sonja und ich schauten einander an und stellten beide die gleiche wortlose Frage: Hat er gerade das gesagt, was ich denke, dass er gesagt hat?

Sonja beugte sich zu mir herüber und flüsterte: »Hat er bisher schon mal mit dir über Engel geredet?«

Ich schüttelte den Kopf. »Mit dir?«

Sie schüttelte ebenfalls den Kopf.

Ich sah ein Schnellrestaurant, bog auf den Parkplatz ab und schaltete den Motor aus. Weißes Licht von einer Straßenlaterne fiel in unser Auto. Ich drehte mich auf meinem Sitz um und spähte zu Colton. In jenem Augenblick traf mich der Gedanke, wie klein er war – ein kleiner Junge. Er war wirklich nur ein kleiner Kerl, der das, was er sagte, mit einer liebenswerten (und manchmal peinlichen), freimütig-direkten Unschuld sagte. Wenn Sie selbst Kinder haben, wissen Sie, was ich meine: das Alter, in dem ein Kind auf eine schwangere Frau zeigt und (sehr laut) fragt: »Papa, warum ist die Frau so dick?« Colton befand sich in jener kurzen Phase des Lebens, in der er noch keine Ahnung von Taktgefühl oder Häme hatte.

All diese Gedanken schossen mir durch den Kopf, während ich überlegte, wie ich auf die schlichte Aussage meines vierjährigen Sohnes, Engel hätten ihm etwas vorgesungen, reagieren sollte. Zum Schluss sprang ich einfach ins kalte Wasser. »Colton, du hast gesagt, die Engel haben dir etwas vorgesungen, als du im Krankenhaus warst?«

Er nickte lebhaft mit dem Kopf.

»Was haben sie dir vorgesungen?«

Coltons Blick wanderte nach rechts oben – ein sicheres Zeichen, dass er versuchte, sich zu erinnern. »Sie haben ›Jesus loves me‹ gesungen und ›Joshua fought the battle of Jericho‹«, sagte er ernsthaft. »Ich habe sie gefragt, ob sie mir ›We will, we will rock you‹ vorsingen können, aber das wollten sie nicht.«

Während Cassie leise kicherte, fiel mir auf, dass Coltons Antwort rasch und sachlich gekommen war, ohne das geringste Zögern.

Sonja und wechselten wieder einen bedeutungsvollen Blick.

Was ist hier los? Hatte er im Krankenhaus einen Traum?

Und es gab noch eine unausgesprochene Frage. Was sagen wir als Nächstes? Eine logische Frage fiel mir sofort ein. »Colton, wie sahen die Engel aus?«

Er gluckste über etwas, woran er sich augenscheinlich gerade erinnerte. »Also, der eine sah aus wie Opa Dennis, aber

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