View Sunday Morning Sermon from Bill Johnson, "Transitioning in Hope"
Olive Alayne Heiligenthal, age two, passed away unexpectedly on December 14. Over the past week, the Bethel Church community, both local and global, has come together at the request of Andrew and Kalley Heiligenthal to pray for her resurrection. We have done this in accordance with the Bible, the basis for which is modeled by Jesus in the New Testament. As a church, we have been contending for, singing about, and witnessing God’s power to save and heal for over fifty years. It is normal for us to ask, trust Him, and then glorify His name regardless of the outcome.
At this time, the family has chosen to move towards a memorial service for Olive. To help cover funeral and living expenses for the family, a GoFundMe page has been set up by friends and co-workers of Kalley and Andrew with all funds going directly to the Heiligenthal family. They are incredibly thankful for the prayers and support that the community has shown as they and thousands of people have been believing for a miracle.
We continue to stand with and support the Heiligenthal family through this time of loss.
Full Statement from Bethel Leadership:
Since learning the news of two-year old Olive Heiligenthal’s sudden death, we have sought a miracle from God to raise her from the dead. We realize this is out of the norm, but that’s what a miracle is—it’s outside the box of nature and our power. As the Bible testifies, God is the God of the reasonable, probable, and possible, as well as the God of the unreasonable, improbable and impossible.
In this process, we have been asking God to fulfill our hearts desire to see His kingdom manifested in great power. When you are a friend of God and know that He is your heavenly Father, you trust Him and ask for big, outlandish miracles. As a church, we have been contending for, singing about, and witnessing God’s power to save, heal, and deliver for over fifty years. It is normal for us to ask for things, trust Him, and then glorify His name regardless of the outcome. This is what life with the King is all about.
In this situation, grief has not been avoided, as we have all been grieving from the moment we heard the news. Faith isn’t denial of the facts or of our emotions, it is knowing that God cares and intervenes in the midst of them. Here is where we are: Olive hasn’t been raised. The breakthrough we have sought hasn’t come. With the same heart of utter confidence in God’s goodness, we receive the comfort of the Good Shepherd as Andrew, Kalley, and Olive’s big sister Elsie, their family, and our church walk together through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23). And so, we are moving towards a memorial service and celebration of her life.
Our community is being deeply impacted by the tragedy of Olive’s death. As we have gone through this difficult time, we are grateful to see that faith, hope, and love have been the response. The Lord wastes nothing. He will bring beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3). The joy of our faith is that, though we haven’t seen the miracle of Olive being raised, she is alive in the presence of God. Her mom and dad will see her again, and we too will join her in resurrection one day. Believers know that heaven is full of homecomings, reunions, celebration, worship, and joy. He is good, all the time. Thank you for your continued prayers for the Heiligenthal family.
Many of you have joined with us in prayer and intercession for the life and resurrection of Olive Heiligenthal. Many of you have also asked important questions on that journey. Here is an update from Pastor Bill which paints a picture of our heart and focus during this important moment in our church family.
In the early hours of December 14, the Heiligenthal family experienced the unexpected loss of their youngest daughter, Olive Alayne (2 years old), after she stopped breathing. 911 was called immediately, and resuscitation attempts were made by medical professionals at the family’s home and at the hospital, but she was eventually pronounced dead. Her body has been at the Shasta County Coroner’s Office since it was transferred from the hospital on December 14.
That evening, the child’s parents requested that friends, family, and others from the church gather to pray for a miracle of resurrection, the basis for which is modeled by Jesus in the New Testament of the Bible. Bethel Church believes in the accounts of healing and physical resurrection found in the Bible (Matthew 10:8), and that the miracles they portray are possible today.
Since that night, and at the continued request of the Heiligenthal family, Bethel Church has hosted prayer and worship gatherings which consist of singing and prayer (this is the first-ever public gathering of prayer for resurrection that Bethel has hosted). As a church family, our hearts are with the Heiligenthals, and we are both praying for Olive and walking with them through their deep grief and sorrow. Bethel leadership is committed to caring for and serving the Heiligenthal family during this difficult time.
Founded in 1954 and previously a part of the Assemblies of God, Bethel Church is a non-denominational church in Redding, California with a congregation of almost 10,000 people (including members, regular attendees, students, and children) in a city of approximately 91,000. To learn more about Bethel, we invite you to read our statement of faith and core values, discover our weekend service times, and listen to recent messages.
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