The Free Press, Mankato, MN


June 27, 2013

Heaven is for Real event held Friday in Mankato


“In a 4-year-old’s way of communicating, he told us that I was praying while his mother was talking on the phone,” Todd said. “After we had left Colton, I did go back to the pre-op room to get our things. Realizing I had the room to myself, I shut the door and prayed. Sonja went to place calls asking for prayers in Colton’s name, activating our local prayer chain.”

Then, Colton began sharing his experiences in heaven. One evening while Sonja was completing the household finances, Colton told his mother he had “two sisters.”

Oddly enough, Colton claimed the other sister had brown hair and was slightly younger than his older sister.

“Prior to almost losing Colton in surgery,” Todd said, “Sonja’s miscarriage was our lowest moment as parents.”

The couple had been two months along and just about to announce their upcoming pregnancy when Sonja lost their second child over Father’s Day weekend in 1998. ‘

“We became pregnant with Colton soon afterward so we tried to focus on having the next child,” Todd said. “We just never had that conversation with him. How do you tell a 4-year-old that babies can die in a mother’s stomach without scaring them?”

During a drive to place a bid on a job for Todd’s overhead door company, a business he operated on the side of his responsibilities as a pastor, Colton calmly asked his father if he had a “grandpa named Pop?”

Within moments Colton added, “He’s really nice.”

The man Colton spoke of, however, died in a car accident when Todd was 7 years old. Back at home, Todd showed Colton the last picture he had of Pop, specifically saying this was how he remembered his grandfather. The picture displayed a 61-year-old man with glasses. Todd remembered Colton staring at the photo but there was no recognition upon his face. Instead, the boy handed the photo back saying, “nobody’s old in heaven” and “nobody wears glasses.”

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