Nora Hannah Goertz: Memorial Service (25 January 2023, 10:30am)

You can watch a Livestream of Nora’s Memorial Service at this unlisted YouTube link at the time of the service or after. You can download a PDF of Pastor Joe’s Order of Service and Message here.

The following was read to our church family on Sunday morning, 22 January 2023 (PDF).

I’d like to take a few minutes before I pray to ensure everyone is aware of our dear friend’s Joey, Murni and Maya’s trial. A trial given to them by their Heavenly Father.

I’ve written this out so I don’t get lost in my emotions and say something unintended…

We have done our best to inform as many as possible over the phone on Thursday. However, I know that wasn’t possible for everyone. Some of you will be hearing this for the first time this morning.

At 3:44am Thursday morning, Murni gave birth to Nora Hannah at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. She went into labour not long before this at home. She was rushed to Women’s Hospital by ambulance as they were not able to detect a heartbeat here in the Rolleston Birthing Centre.

Sometime in the night, Murni experienced what is called a Placenta Abruption, where the placenta pulls away from the baby therefore depraving her of necessary oxygen, etc. Nora did not survive this and was born stillborn.

Our Heavenly Father, Who is infinitely wise and unceasingly good in all His ways, took Nora to be with Himself.

There would be few experiences in life which bring with it such a massive emotional swing in such a short amount of time. A couple goes from euphoric, emotional bliss to deep sorrow in moments! The mother has the additional pain of huge hormonal swings with no baby to hold and nurse!

As a Christian we face this sorrow in a way that makes it in a sense even more sorrowful and troubling. Life begins at fertilisation. Nora was a person from the moment of fertilisation. She lived for nearly nine full months in her mother’s womb. A child, created in the image of God, has died.

I love children. Our Heavenly Father loves children even more. I do not presume to understand God’s enteral and good purposes.

In God’s infinite wisdom, He has sovereignly determined for the display of His glory and the good of His people not to allow Nora to experience life in this world outside her mother’s womb.

There are and will be specific questions which we will not have answers to in this life. Yet, in faith we look to our Saviour and know with confidence, sorrow will not have the final word.

Please pray for Joey, Murni and Maya. Don’t forget Maya in this. She understands more than you might think and will be grieving as well.

Please do not be afraid to give them a hug, tell them you love them and express your sorrow. Cry and let them cry. Weep with those who weep. To look at death and be unmoved is to be unlike Jesus.

Please do not say things like – you can try again, you’re young you can have another child.

Please don’t ask them how this happened, or why this happened, or if this could have been prevented, of if they could have known sooner.

Don’t even say things like “all things work together for good.” Even truth spoken at the wrong time can be hurtful rather than helpful.

Try not to ask them to let you know if they need anything. To try to think of things they need and then remember who offered to help can be an additional burden when someone is suffering. If there is something you would like to do to help then as a family either just do it, offer to do that specific thing, or ask myself or one of our ladies if we know whether what you are thinking to do would be helpful.

In general, be quick to hear and slow to speak. Do a lot of listening.

Something simple like – “We love you; we are so sorry for your loss; we do not understand fully but we know your Heavenly Father cares for you with everlasting love!”

Finally, I hope you received the notice for Wednesday’s service, if not please be sure to get one after our service today. There will be a service for Nora and the family Wednesday morning at 10:30am at the Springston Cemetery. You are all invited and welcome to attend.

Let’s pray to our Heavenly Father…

Our Father in Heaven, may you be honoured and glorified as you work your perfect will in your perfect way in the lives of your precious children.

Oh, dear God, this is a painful providence. This is a troubling trial. This is so hard. There is such sorrow, such loss, such pain.

Dear Heavenly Father, we know you love Joey, Murni, Maya and Nora eternally more than we ever could or could ever even imagine.

Can perfect love be accompanied by such pain and sorrow? We say “yes”. Not because we understand how or why or for what specific purpose. We don’t understand. We say so in faith for we trust you are perfect in all your ways and glorious in all you deeds.

We trust you and we entrust our dear friends to you and your powerful care.

Please dear Heavenly Father shower Joey, Murni and Maya with your love and mercy giving comfort that is beyond explanation. Wrap them in your powerful arms, hold them fast and firm. May they cry to you with all of their questions and sorrows and trust you even, especially, when there are no immediate or specific answers.

Please dear Lord sanctify us as a church, as your people, by the truth of your word. Make us more like Christ in our compassion, in our sacrifice for one another, in our trust in our Heavenly Father.

We love you and we know you love us.




Order of Service for Wednesday, 25 January 2023, 10:30am (PDF).

You can watch a Livestream of Nora’s Memorial Service at this unlisted YouTube link at the time of the service or after. You can download a PDF of Pastor Joe’s Order of Service and Message here.