Memorial service for Akeem Lawal: Saturday 11th June 2016
Akeem was a familiar face in the Cathedral Office and on Friday mornings and he became the focus of considerable support following renal failure, the need for regular dialysis and the plan to get a kidney transplant. Fund-raising events not only raised money, but brought people who would not have known one another in the normal course of life together: from Nigeria, and the African continent, Asia, America and Europe. Once sufficient funds had been raised he went to India in preparation for a kidney transplant; his sister, who was to be a donor was to follow but very sadly he died of heart failure in India before his sister arrived.
His Memorial service at the Cathedral also brought a breadth of people together from “his family in Bahrain.” Several people reflected briefly on his life, Fozia, our Administrator, and Esther from Kenya, who organized an early fund-raising event, read Bible passages and Jon Lavelle who had co-ordinated fund-raising for Akeem, preached reflecting particularly on the experience of Job and the mystery of suffering, but also highlighting the vision of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21, from which people from every nation were drawn into. Pastor Joshua, from a Nigerian church community, led some prayers and the President of Nigerians in Bahrain thanked all who had given Akeem support, both individuals and organizations. Perhaps the most moving part of the service was the singing, without accompaniment, of How great Thou art.