Thursday 9 May 2024

‘A Real-Life Hero’: Father Sacrifices His Life to Save Three Children

 Most people have at least a vague notion of the virtue of self-sacrifice.

But considering how few people in the developed world face life-or-death situations on a daily basis, how many of us could truly embody that virtue if it came down to it?

How many people would be able to put aside their self-preservation instinct and give up their own life for the people they love?

One North Carolina father, when presented with this situation, was able to rise to that calling, sacrificing his own life when his children fell into a river.

According to local news outlet WGHP, Benny Bowers Jr., a native of Surrey County, North Carolina, was out fishing with his children on April 28 when three of his four sons fell into the Yadkin River.

WGHP reported that, although the family called 911 immediately, the strength of the current forced Bowers to make that fateful, split-second decision.

He jumped in, rescuing his struggling children, but Bowers himself never resurfaced.

Rescue crews quickly came on the scene, The Charlotte Observer noting that they searched the entire day with no success, suspending the search once it grew too dark.

They ended up finding his body around 11 a.m. on April 29, near the juncture of the Yadkin River and the Ararat River in Siloam, where he originally vanished.

Tragic as the loss of this loving father was, Bowers’ children had only glowing praise for the heroic actions of their father, who wen by the name Benji, according to the Observer.

His 10-year-old son, Benny Bowers III, told WGHP “He was a brave man. And if you wanted him to help, he would be there for you.”

Bowers’ sister, Angela Stewart, told WGHP about how much her brother loved the Lord, and Bowers’ son called his father “the greatest dad I could ever have, and he’s a hero. A real-life hero.”

Friends and family shared their own tributes on Facebook, with Bowers’ cousin, Jason Johnson, writing, “I’ve been thinking about all the things I could say about Benji Bowers. If I could put it all in one word it would be Love. To know him was to love him. Always the jokester. The life of the party. God, Family, friends and fishing were what matters most.”

And Bowers truly lived up to the praise of his son, his sister and his cousin.

While too many Christians in the secular culture of the West see their commitment to the Lord as more of a social thing, Bowers clearly took his commitment to God seriously, up to and including sacrificing himself for the sake of his children.

In doing so, Bowers personified the words of Christ, who said in John’s Gospel that “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Every child deserves a father like Bowers, who was devoted to God first, and then put his family before everything else.

Benny Bowers Jr. was, as his son said, a real-life hero, animated by the words of Christ and his love for the Lord.

Bowers had that “greater love,” to “lay down his life” for his children. If America had more fathers like him, maybe that would be enough to turn the nihilistic, atheistic culture of the West back to God.

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