Maybe you have read the best-selling book Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo, about his little boy’s trip to heaven and back. It has now been made into a film. Todd Burpo is a pastor of a church in the United States. When his son, Colton, was four years old, Colton very nearly died with a ruptured appendix. In the emergency operating theatre the little boy visited heaven, met with Jesus and a number of other people, and then he miraculously recovered and over the next few months Colton relates what he saw in heaven to his parents.

In one incident, several months after recovering from the operation, Colton said, “Mommy, I have two sisters.” His mother replied, “No, you only have your older sister, Cassie,” but Colton was adamant: “I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?” His parents were stunned. Colton’s mother had miscarried before Colton was born but they had never mentioned it to him. Colton described how his sister had introduced herself to him when he was in heaven, how she was bigger than him. She kept hugging him and looked similar to his older sister, Cassie, but with dark hair. His mother asked, ‘What was her name? What was the little girl’s name?’ But Colton said, ‘You guys didn’t name her.’ How did he know that? They didn’t even know she was a she!

In another example Colton tells his dad, Todd, how he met Pop in heaven. Pop was Todd’s grandfather who had died when Todd himself was a small boy. Todd showed his son a photograph of Pop, taken just before he died, but Colton didn’t recognise him. He said that’s not Pop, so Todd digs out an old photo taken when Pop was a young man, more than 50 years before Colton was born, and Colton immediately recognises him.