Thank you, Bermuda
On behalf of myself and my wider family, I have been able to meet and personally thank the Governor, John Rankin, the Premier, David Burt, Ghana’s Honorary Consul in Bermuda, Leonard Teye-Botchway, and a number of friends and colleagues who were able to attend the prayer meeting at the Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church on Wednesday.
Although I really wanted to, I will unfortunately not be able to meet and say thank you to each and every one of you in person. Therefore, I would like to use this medium to say thank you to my employer, Butterfield Bank, the Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church, the African community in Bermuda, my Flanagan’s team and the entire Bermuda for the wonderful show of love to us during these testing times.
Through your prayer, contributions, sessions and services, as well as your messages in the condolence book, we have come to feel your love and warmth, which no doubt has helped us through this stage.
We are going through an extremely difficult time in our lives. Our wellbeing and little strength come from your words and actions of encouragement, and your messages of hope. I cannot, therefore, thank you enough for your expressions of sympathy, good thoughts and prayers. I can only wish you God’s blessings every day of your lives.
My family were my world. I have always been wondrously blessed to be with them, to sing and pray with them, to take walks together with them, to eat together with them, and to laugh and play with them.
Every aspect of my life today is a reminder of my departed family. But as I journey through this dark time of tears and desolation, I take the gifts of time, prayer and reliving the good memories rooted in the beauty, truth and goodness of my family.
I hope, one day, I will move towards a time filled with tears of consolation. I lived for them before. Today, I am struggling to live to keep their memories alive.
I am, however, encouraged by the words of Jeremiah. In the Book of Jeremiah, 29:11, God speaks to us by saying that: “For I know the plans that I have for you, plans for prosperity and not for despair, to give you a future and a hope”.
My life today is founded on this hope. That, one day, God will reveal these plans and the future that he has for me.
My daughter, Kelli, enjoyed singing and she would sing to us multiple times a day. Her favourite song was written by Michael W. Smith: Draw Me Close. But she would tell us that she wanted it as “Hold me close to you” because she wanted me to hold her close to myself for the rest of our lives.
As I live today, in my heart and my ears, that young and soft voice sings every moment:
Hold me close to You
Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear You say that I’m Your friend
You are my desire
No one else will do
‘Cause nothing else can take Your place
To feel the warmth of Your embrace
Help me find my way
Bring me back to You
You’re all I want
You’re all I’ve ever needed
You’re all I want
Help me know You are near
It is God that I want today, it is God that I want to be close to. But in reality, I wish that my wife and my children could also help me find my way in life. Because they are all I needed in my life.
In the old, old hymns, there is a song that I like singing. And every time Ryan and Kelli saw me with the hymns book, they would say to me: “Daddy, I know you want to sing that song again”.
“Which one?” I would ask them. And they would answer: “The one you say ‘Until then’.” And when I sang, they would sing along with me:
My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward
This troubled world is not my final home
But until then my heart will go on singing
Until then with joy I’ll carry on
Until that day my eyes behold the City
Until that day God calls me home
And so, brethren, until that day, that day when I stand on the lofty heights of Mount Pisgah, as I wave goodbye to this world, on the other side, there will be my wife, Carol, my son, Ryan, my daughters, Kelli and Rubi, and mom-in-law, Ann. But until that day when God calls me home, my heart will go on singing, my heart will go on singing.
God bless you all. God bless you every day of your lives.
• Paul Njoroge lost his wife, son, two daughters and mother-in-law in the Ethiopia Airlines flight that went down on March 10, killing all 157 on board
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