For twenty four years the late Theoline Crystal Sonpon held the notion that if she could help another, particularly a child, her life would not be in vain.
Fulfilling her dream, Crystal Sonpon organized a humanitarian organization that provided support to young women and children to help make them productive members of society.
As Crystal’s family and hundreds of mourners participated in a solemn celebration of her life and holy Eucharist at St. Thomas Episcopal Church Saturday, they were reminded that with God nothing is impossible.
“Is there anything difficult for Christ?” asked Rev. Fr. Michael Tuan Sie, rector of the St. Augustine Episcopal Church. He urged the family to take solace in the Lord Jesus Christ.
He noted that though Jesus Christ surely could have healed Crystal of her sickness and following thousands of dollars spent to regain her health, “there was a reason for her death.”
He urged the family to remember that in times of distress, “when we think that we have no hope, God makes us stronger.”
Crystal’s death at age 24 “is too difficult to understand why,” Rev. Fr. Sie admitted. “But,” he insisted, “We must have the reassurance that Crystal is free from all her pain.” The mourners were also reminded that Jesus Christ is the resurrection and life and those with faith in Him shall have life, even though they die.
Using the story of Jesus’ raising of Lazarus from the dead four days after his burial, Rev. Fr. Tuan Sie told the parents and dear ones not to lose hope, but to wait on the Lord. “Your pain will be eased by God alone and no one else,” stressed.
“Don’t be discouraged,” he shouted, as video images beamed Crystal’s beautiful pictures on a screen, directly adjacent to the pulpit.
Rev. Sie said God could have kept Crystal with “us for a season,” but since that did not happen, “it was her time.” He reminded the family and friends that neither death, nor sickness, or anything else should sever their relationship with God.
“Place every trust in God and hold Him as their foundation, despite the heart wrenching experience of losing Crystal,” he told his audience, encouraging the youth to remember their Creator in the time of their youth, because no one knows how short one’s life will be.
The congregation consoled each other with several solemn hymns, including “On the Resurrection Morning Where the Soul and Body Meet Again,” “I’m Pressing On to Higher Ground,” “My Faith Has Found A Resting Place” and “My Times Are in Thy Hands.”
Before interment at the Brewerville Cemetery, the gathering sang, “When We All Get to Heaven,” encouraging one another to press on in spite of their loss.