On July 18th 1919, Abraham and Elizabeth Petkau fled to their flour mill as shots rang out with the red and white armies battling close by. As they sheltered, a cannonball flew into the mill and exploded...three people were killed instantly and they found Elizabeth lying on the floor. Though she had lost both her legs, she remained conscious. Aware that she was dying, Elizabeth asked those gathered around her to sing “Nearer My God to Thee”... The family members could only stand there in shock, so Elizabeth sang, she sang herself to heaven. Ever since and for generations afterward, the family sings this song at funerals. Welcome to Still Speaking Episode 9 hosted by Conrad Stoesz from the Mennonite Heritage Archives in Winnipeg.

When Mennonites were able to leave the Soviet Union in 1929, they gathered for a worship service in a new land and sung “Nun Danket Alle Gott”, Now Thank we all our God. You can enjoy Sill Speaking Episode 9 and a recording of “Nun Danket Alle Gott” below.

You can listen to Still Speaking Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 12:40pm