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This is an InstaRead Summary of Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo and Colton Burpo.
Below is a preview of the earlier sections of the summary:
Prologue: Angels at Arby’s
Todd explains that on July fourth, 2003, he and his family were en-route to see his wife’s brother and his wife and their two-month old baby. The Burpo family was traveling from Imperial, Nebraska, a small farming town, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is the first time his family has gone on a trip since the previous March, when they went to Greeley, Colorado, which ended up being a nightmare because one of the children almost died. Todd and his wife, Sonja, decide it’s best to leave at 8 p.m., so Colton, their nearly four year old son, will sleep most of the way.
Ninety minutes into the trip, they stop for gas and food in North Platte, and Todd notices that they are near the Great Plains Regional Medical Center where they’d spent fifteen horrific days the previous March praying for Colton’s life. He jokingly asks Colton if he wants to go back to the hospital, to which the child replies that they should send his sister, Cassie, instead. He also says that he remembers the hospital because that’s where the angels sang to him. Intrigued by his comment, Todd asks what they sang to him. “Jesus Loves Me” and “The Battle of Jericho” are the songs Colton remembers with great clarity. Todd and Sonja exchange glances while Todd wonders if his son is remembering a dream. He asks his son what the angels looked like, and Colton says that one looked like his Grandpa, Dennis. He adds that the angels sang to him because Jesus asked them to, because he was scared. Colton says that he sat on Jesus’ lap and also that he looked down and saw the doctors working on his body and his mom and dad in separate rooms both praying. Todd and Sonja look at each other in shock, wondering how their son could know exactly where they were and what they were each doing while he was in surgery. Though he is a pastor, Todd has to wonder if what is son is telling him could possibly be true.
Chapter One: The Crawl-A-See-Um
It’s March, 2003, and Todd has a board meeting in Greeley, Colorado. Since the previous August, his family has been dealing with months of injury and illnesses including a shattered leg, two surgeries and cancer. The string of bad luck and ill health has taken a toll on their bank account, even though they have an overhead garage door business and a small pastor’s salary to rely on. By February things were starting to get better, so he and Sonja decided to turn his business trip into a family trip to help the family rejuvenate. Sonja had found a Butterfly Pavilion/Invertebrate Zoo located in Denver which she thought the kids would love, and they do...