‘God Does Not Ask Our Opinion’

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“When God is about to do something great, a miracle, he does not ask whether we are ready; He makes a move without asking for our intervention.”  These were the words of Rev. Sando E. Townsend, moderator of the Presbytery of Liberia, delivering the funeral discourse over remains of the late ruling elder Daniel Webster Urey V on Saturday.  He explained that something had happened that changed the status quo and there is a need to return to the former glory.

The death of a loved one or family member, he said, is an obstruction in the status quo which is a difficult to accept, bringing about pain, distress and, most of all, separation.

“For you and me to be able to appreciate the Almighty God, there has to be hard and troubling days, tough times and difficult situations. There has to be a little rain in our sunshine if we are to give God the glory. If there were no difficult days, we would not appreciate God,” he noted.

“Had David not faced the giant Goliath,” said Rev. Townsend, “David would not have known the power and goodness of God.  Had Moses and the people of Israel not faced the Red Sea, they would not have appreciated all that God did to bring them out of slavery in Egypt into the Promised Land.”

According to him, death or any other serious challenge in life is a compelling reality which we are forced to face because it is part of the circle of life. In the case of death, he explained, “when the breath leaves the body, the spirit returns to the supreme Being.”

But the moderator, who is also pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia, reassured the bereaved family and Careysburg’s crowded First Presbyterian Church by quoting St. Paul: “All things work together for the good of them that love God.”

Rev.Townsend described the late ruling elder D. Webster Urey, V as a man who loved his country, his church, his family and people in general.

Many tributes were paid to the late Mr. Urey by individuals and institutions, including the mayor of the City of Careysburg, Madam Anna Phillips, the Ministry of National Security, Lonestar Cell MTN, the Presbyterian Todee Mission’s Ophelia Johnson and the Presbyterian Churches of Monrovia and Careysburg.

Also paying tributes were the family, including, the Boyce Family of Bensonville, from which the mother D. Webster V and his siblings hailed; and children, represented by their eldest sister, Ms. Emma Sofia Urey.

Emma, named after her grandmother, Mrs. Emma Boyce Urey, tearfully underscored her father’s contributions to the family both in Liberia and the United States.

Their father, who was a graduate of Cuttington (now Cuttington University), said he insisted upon them all remaining in school to ensure themselves a sound education.  He also urged them throughout their lives to be respectful children both at home and outside.  “We will miss our father in every way,” she said.

In is tribute, Mr. Benoni Urey, younger brother of D. Webster V, acknowledged a steadfast relationship with his brother over the years, from the time he (Ben) got to know himself.

Benoni explained that his brother was everything to him, including brother, father, strength, political advisor.  Ben believes that his brother blesses him even now, wherever he is.

“It is difficult to say goodbye to someone you love; it is difficult to say bye to someone you think would never die.”

Ben recalled how when his brother D. Webster was imprisoned at the Post Stocade following the coup in 1980, he (Benoni) had to find a Chemistry teaching job at Zion Academy on Benson Street because he heard that many members of the People’sRedemption Council (PRC), who staged the coup, attended there.  It was through this way that he was able to befriend one of the PRC people and have his brother freed.

In paying tribute, the First Presbyterian Church of Careysburg described ruling elder D. Webster, V as the bridge used to bring three groups of people, including the poor and the rich.

The Daily Observer was informed that the Ureys came to Liberia in 1856 from Kentucky in the United States.  They were led by several women, including their leader, Ms. Phoebe Urey.

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