The death of the eldest child of the Heward-Mills’ came as a huge surprise to many across the world but even more concerning was how his immediate family would be faring following the news.
In his first public comment on the passing of his son, the Founder and General Overseer of the Lighthouse Chapel, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, said, “death makes nonsense of everything.”
He was preaching on a sermon titled, “The grave is not the end,” two days after the news of his son’s passing broke.
A few days after, his wife, Episcopal Sister Adelaide Heward-Mills, shared a long scripture from 1 Corinthians 1:8-11, which speaks about the need for Christians to look beyond relying on themselves, to depending solely on God because He is able to raise the dead back to life.
While the late Dr. David Nathaniel Heward-Mills will be buried in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, May 7, 2022, there was a Celebration of Life service held in his honour on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at the Mampong campus of the Anagkazo Bible and Ministry Training Center (ABMTC).
At the service, the mother of the late US-based psychiatrist, ES Adelaide Heward-Mills, described her son as someone who sought answers to aspects of his faith but still held on to Jesus.
Here is a full transcript of her tribute to her son, as captured in the brochure prepared for the Celebration of Life service at the Anagkazo campus at Mampong.
I now have a more profound understanding of what happened in the garden of Eden between God and Adam and Eve. God had said that they would die if they ate the fruit, that death brought separation.
I have never understood it like I do now. Death has separated me from my beloved son. I yearn to hear your voice but I can’t. I look to calling you but I can’t. I look to calling you, to ask you about your day, your work, your life, your friends and relationships, your walk with God, your battles, your triumphs, your hopes and aspirations but alas it’s impossible. In the words of John Keats the famous English poet, “my heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains my sense, as though of hemlock had drank…”
David, you are my first born, a replica of my strength and dignity as the Bible says. Exodus 13:2 “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.” You are special, set aside by God. I remember you in the maternity ward in the Geneva hospital in Switzerland, you brought so much joy to all of us. You were and remained a jolly chap, in spite of your unseen sensitivities. You were motivated, you had a vision for this life, you fought on with dogged determination in the pursuit of your professional life. You soldiered on without our promptings.
You were self-motivated and self-driven, these were stellar qualities, which in my opinion, you were endowed with by God. Great and good things lay ahead of you. I’m numbed with pain at your passing as I pen these words. You had a humongous sense of humour and you were a great tease to all and sundry. Whenever I had a concern, you would dutifully look after me and care for me with all your heart. Many would testify to your kindness, your sacrificial love and your immense devotion to the cause of the needy.
To our home, you were sunshine, you made us laugh so hard on numerous occasions. You tried to always unite your siblings, and preach peace and love to them. You were not one to put any member of the family down, even if rubbed the wrong way. You are my diamond in the rough. You may have had your imperfections, peccadilloes, frailties and foibles but you were a lovable child. I shall always be grateful to God for giving me a priceless son like you. You demonstrated to daddy and I, how the use of technology could make our lives and work easier. And we humbly obliged.
I remember we had our moments when I would tell you off and you wouldn’t be happy. Especially since you’ve been away, you would write me a whole ‘thesis.’ Sometimes, you would try to sweet talk me and it would be met with a wall of resistance to your apparent anger or charm, whichever it was.