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World News

Christian entrepreneur described as 'inspiration' dies from injuries from car crash

by Cara Bentley

One of the "brightest lights in Addis Ababa", an entrepreneur and Christian, Caleb Meakins, has died from head injuries sustained in a car crash. 

Caleb Meakins, 31, was an inspirational speaker, blog writer and creative project starter who spent time in the UK and Ethiopia. 

He performed inspirational talks, speaking about the loss of his own father in a plane crash (below) and getting over 100,000 views on a video where he got people to teach him the traditional dance of Ethiopia - the Eskista. Caleb also started 40 Days of failure, a challenge for people to risk doing things in Lent which would ordinarily cause them social embarrassment or be out fo their comfort zone, such as telling a stranger a creative story in the street.        

 

He was due to catch a flight to London on the evening of 20th February when he was in a serious car accident in which he sustained a severe head injury with skull fractures and both lungs collapsed at different times. 

The fractures were covered up and recovery was looking more likely, with many people praying and a fundraising page set up to go towards medical bills and a flight to the UK. 

His church family also came to the hospital cafeteria and sang and prayed for him. 

Caleb's brother-in-law Robbie informed friends and family on Wednesday that his situation had deteriorated as he became less responsive and had trouble breathing. He moved hospital for better facilities but was diagnosed with ventriculitis (infected fluid in the ventricles of his brain) and meningitis on Thursday. 

On Friday 28th February, the family wrote: "Hey friends,

"We come with heavy hearts to share with you all that our dear Caleb went to be with our Heavenly Father at 17:40 today and is now in glory.

"He passed away peacefully and without any pain.

"We are all still in shock. This doesn’t feel real. We are feeling such deep pain and sorrow but feel comfort that he has been reunited with his creator and is now in glory.

"Join us while we grieve and thank God for Caleb's life and the huge impact he has had on all our lives

"We love you,

"Meakins family."    

 

 

Caleb's friend Andrew DeCort wrote on social media: "Caleb Meakins was one of the brightest lights in Addis Ababa - universally beloved and respected. It is devastating to share that he passed away today.

"Please join me in praying for his family and friends. In our last conversation, Caleb told me that he was frustrated that churches and Christians are unwilling to talk about real issues and hard problems. He said that we condemn clubbing but are silent about poverty, injustice, and pain.

"As we weep and mourn, may we honor Caleb's life by committing to a deeper honesty about pain, struggle, and the radical hope we have in Christ that leads us to kindness and service.

"Caleb, we will miss you. Thank you for inspiring so many people with your kindness and creativity. I am devastated, even as I hope.

"Hug and kiss the people you love. How fragile we are.

"See you in paradise, brother, beyond all weeping."                                            
    
Caleb, who was half British and half Ethiopian, ran a youtube channel called Ethiopia In Me, co-founded Shift, a vision project "to inspire Christian friends to take the hope of Jesus into every part of society" and worked at Mella - an organisation that seeks to help entrepreneurs in Ethiopia. 

In one of his videos he speaks about losing his father:

 

 

He also preached last summer at the International Evangelical Church in Addis Abba, where he was an elder: 

 

Chine McDonald from Christian Aid wrote: "Heartbroken to hear this news. First met Caleb Meakins in the early days of threadsuk.com & last saw him a couple of years ago when we caught up in Addis Ababa while I was on a World Vision trip. We talked about his new ventures, and dreamed and schemed about how young people of faith can change the world.

"He was an outstanding young man. It's hard to explain, but he had 'it'. I can't believe this has happened. Praying for his mum and sisters. I can't imagine the pain they must be feeling."

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