After a week of prayer by believers worldwide for the resurrection of 2-year-old Olive Heiligenthal, Bethel Church held a funeral for the toddler who died earlier this month.
On Friday, December 27, 2019, Bethel Church and its community gathered for the funeral of Olive Heiligenthal.
The daughter of worship leader Kalley Heiligenthal died on December 14 after she stopped breathing. Following Olive's death, Kalley put out a call to believers worldwide asking for prayer for the resurrection of her daughter.
Another Bethel worship leader, Jenn Johnson, announced the funeral had taken place in an online post.
"Yesterday our community buried little Olive Heiligenthal," Johnson wrote.
Johnson says that despite the tragedy of the past few weeks following Olive's death, she has felt the peace and presence of the Holy Spirit.
"We worshipped God for who He is together as a community. Not so He would raise her but because He's worthy," she says.
Despite Olive not being raised from the dead, Johnson says the actions of Kalley and the church furthered the work of Christ.
"God had resurrection power & we had Faith," she says. "Why she didn't come back is a mystery and we surrender that to Him. AND we continue to do what He said, 'pray for the sick, raise the dead.'"
In a tribute posted online, Kalley spoke directly to her daughter.
"Olive, we miss you, love you so much and we’ll see you soon. We know now more than ever that King Jesus is good and His every word is worth believing and following at any cost. That’s the song we’ll sing until we’re with you again and we finally sing it together. We cannot wait," Kalley says.
View this post on Instagram
Olive, we miss you, love you so much and we’ll see you soon. We know now more than ever that King Jesus is good and His every word is worth believing and following at any cost. That’s the song we’ll sing until we’re with you again and we finally sing it together. We cannot wait. It’s a new day, and we’re awake for it. This is a victory story 🌿
The California church announced it would be holding a memorial service to celebrate Olive's life last week in an online post.
They also further explained its decision to petition for Olive to be raised from the dead, noting that the Heiligenthal's have not been avoiding their grief over the loss of their daughter in the process.
"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," Bethel posted online.
Many have reached out online to Kalley and Bethel Church, offering condolences on Olive's passing. At the time of posting, Kalley's post had garnered over 6,000 comments, most offering support and words of encouragement.
View this post on Instagram
Kalley has been a major influence in my life, through her worship and her words. However these past few weeks, the Heiligenthal family has redefined what worship really is. I watched a mother & a father take Jesus at His word in a time where most would shrink back. I watched a church community contend for the resurrection of Olive Heiligenthal, in a time where most churches would stay silent. I know a lot of people didn't get it, & a lot of people think we’re crazy, but a lot of people haven’t been in a room where faith is tangible. I am honored to raise my song in the symphony of the awakening bride. I am blessed that mere prayers no longer satisfy my hunger for the greater things He has promised. I am eager to see Jesus get His full reward. #IAMAWAKENED #olivewewokeup