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World News

Christian entrepreneur's Mum and sisters praise Caleb Meakins' love for his family and God at funeral

by Cara Bentley

The funeral for Christian entrepreneur Caleb Meakins has taken place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, with his Mum encouraging those gathered to "be ready when your creator calls you."

The 31-year-old, who was described as "inspirational" and started social justice and community projects all over the world, died from head injuries sustained from a car crash on the way to the airport in the city. 

On Monday, a celebration of his life was held at International Evangelical Church in Addis Ababa, where Caleb Meakins was an elder, and watched by people over the world online. 

After a band sung 'Lord, I Need You', a passage from 1 Thessalonians was read about eternal life, followed by eulogies from his family. 

Caleb's mother recalled: "Caleb was the best son that any mother would have wanted. I'm grateful to God for the past 30 years. As some of you know, Caleb has started so many projects and I always told him, 'Son, slow down and rest, life is too short.' He replied, 'Mum, don't worry, I will work 'til I reach 30 and then rest. Your job is to pray, my job is to work.' I never thought it would end like this.

"He was my beloved son who loved me and cared for me so much. 

"I always consulted him on any big decisions. Though Caleb was hard working and busy, he always had time for God's word and works. With his short life he accomplished so many things and was ready when God called him home. Caleb would encourage you to be ready when your creator calls you, living each day as if it's your last breath. It's so difficult and painful to see my son go before me but I trust God can fill the gap."

She highlighted that the family had already lost their father when the children were young and that they had been supported then too: "As God was faithful to our family then, I know he will be faithful to our family after this. I know I will see Caleb again and I'm looking forward to that day."

 

 

Lydia, one of Caleb's sisters, praised his love for his family, saying: "My brother was not just my brother, he was a dear friend of mine, one that I could share anything with. As so many of you already know, he would always listen with a non-judgemental ear...whoever he spoke to, he would treat them with such dignity and respect.

"I wish my future kids could have a chance to meet him and be thrown in the air by him...I wish we could grow old together and complete God's work together, but sadly this is not the case. 

"It's still taking time to sink in but I have full faith that we will be reunited again and spend eternity together with our heavenly father."

Caleb's youngest sister Abi thanked her brother for helping bring her up after their Dad died, saying she felt the "deep love of a father" from him, that she followed him everywhere and "dreamt of joining Caleb's exciting adventures here in Ethiopia."

Abi credited him with encouraging her own Christian faith, explaining: "Caleb pointed me to Jesus, from buying me my first Bible that I have today - to sneaking me to Christian camps I was way too young for...I can't imagine Caleb not walking me down the aisle."

Alongside tributes from British and Ethiopian friends and worship songs, a sermon was delivered by an elder at the church in which he spoke about John's gospel, encouraging the congregation to live for Jesus as Caleb did. 

Watch the service here: 

 

Read a blog written by Revd Dr Keir Shreeves who knew him here. 

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