Today, I am going to tell you about a famous man. His name is Thomas Littleton Harnsberger. He was born in Virginia on April 14, 1883. He was also my great, great grandfather.
Thomas, or “Lyt”, his nickname, studied at the University of Virginia. He became a Presbyterian minister. He also became a missionary and moved to China to teach the people about God and Jesus. He lived in China for many years and built over 30 churches for the Chinese people.
Lyt is significant because he was one of the three main people that helped save over four million people from a huge flood. In 1931, after weeks of heavy rain, the dam and dikes burst, flooding the city of Gauoyou and killing tens of thousands of people. Lyt raced to help save the Chinese people. He donated his own money to rebuild the broken dikes and helped to save millions of people. Today, in Gauoyou, there is a museum and monument honoring Lyt as one of the three heroes of the great flood of 1931.
Lyt sadly died on September 29, 1945. He was not alive to see the dedication of the museum but his grandson Steve flew to China and received the Chinese Honorary Citizens award honoring his grandfather. I am so sorry that I never got to know this great man.
(You may find out more about Lyt and the great flood of Gauoyou by visiting www.aboutgaoyou.com)