40 years on

We are heading to Aberfan today … 40 years after the tip slide that devastated a Welsh mining village, killing 144 people and scarring families for years to come.
The reason we are going is mixed, I guess.
As Welsh people, we feel more touched than others. Coal mining was our industry (yes, I know other places mined as well) and there was a saying that Welsh men became one of three things: preacher, teacher or miner. I managed two, but not the third. However, coming from a mining village and a mining family, there has always been a close tie with those who earned their living hundreds of feet under the surface.
Joy, my wife, goes for other reasons. Her father was the Methodist minister for the area and ministered to families who had lost their loved ones. He was instrumental in much of the care that took place for years there.
Today, he has been asked to say prayers at a Churches Together service in the village. We are going as well.
We will pray for Aberfan, for all families devastated by this and other tragedies … and I will add a prayer for my mining grandfather, who was killed underground when I was just three.


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