Such a Beautiful Spiritual Retreat!

I attended the most beautiful and wonderful funeral service ever today!

Yes, a funeral service, where you get spiritually comforted and uplifted by the Spirit of God.

Aboyie Hadegu Belay, a father of six children, went to be with the LORD last weekend and today was his funeral service. Three of his kids, Seble, Meheretabe and Muse, are with us here in the metropolitan area.

Belay came from Eritrea in 2017. I first met him in church, in the International Ethiopian Evangelical Church (IEEC) where we worship God. Seble, my dear beloved sister, introduced me to her dad. Then I later introduced him to my husband, Berhan. I said to Berhan, “Hey Baby, meet Ato Hadegu, Seble’s dad.” Berhan shook his hands and asked, “Who’s dad?” I said, “Seble, our church worship leader? He is also a father of one of our deacons, Meheretabe’s dad too,  Muse’s dad,” and Aboye Belay took it from me and said, “And I’m your dad and his dad too.”

We all laughed and Aboye Belay hugged us. He was such a squishy hugger, a joyful, peaceful and sweet soul.

And the video I am sharing with you today is just a clip of the funeral service where I personally felt like we were worshiping the presence of God. The one you see leading the worship is our beloved sister, Seble Belay, the man next to her is her husband, Gezi. Seble is singing and praising God in front of her dad’s cascade. Praise God!

You see, even if her sweet and loving dad, who had raised his six kids all by himself since 2014 after his late wife had passed away, is not going to be with her anymore and that she is going to miss him terribly, she is rejoicing in the hope she has in Christ, that she will one day soon will meet her dad in glory, not only Seble but we all are going to meet him and others in heaven and we sing together.

This is the way a funeral service of a born-again Christian should be.

Paul writes: “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13

We do not grieve like the rest of mankind who have no hope because we do have hope in Jesus. If a person has no Jesus, he cannot have hope and his grief will be deep but for us who have hope, our grieve is temporary and light. Praise God!

The word of God says:

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”” Revelation 21:1-4

Amen! What a glorious hope we have in Jesus Christ!

Paul writes: “Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:18 NASB

With what words? If we read the above passage starting from verse 13, we read about the hope we have in Jesus, how we are going to live with Jesus Christ forever and ever. Because of Jesus Christ, death is no more a scary chapter of life for us. It is “the boat” that takes us from this life to the next eternal and glorious one, to be with Jesus Christ forever and ever.

Knowing and believing this truth of God, Seble and all of us rejoiced today before God while our beloved brother’s body lay in a cascade in front of us.


“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NASB

I still feel like I came back from a spiritual retreat, not a funeral service. Praise God!

Yes, we cried and we are going to miss Abyoi Hadegu Belay. I personally miss his smile and squishy hugs. Many people in our church would say the same thing. But he is in a better place. We will one day worship our Lord, Jesus Christ, together with him, in heaven, leaving this old tent behind and receiving our glorious body from our God. Praise be to our Lord, Savior and God, Jesus Christ! Amen!

One last note to Seble, my beloved sister: Oh, Seblyei, thank you so much for being such a great example for me and many people. I love and appreciate you and your beloved husband, Gezahegne! You two are precious gifts to us, especially to us, Berhan and I. Thank you for praying for us while we were going through tough times probably 18 years ago. You guys are such a great and precious gifts, given to us directly from God. Thank you and may God continue comforting you and your whole household! We love you! ///