Christian couple seeking to resurrect 2-year-old daughter plans her funeral after church raises $60K on GoFundMe
The child's parents decided on the funeral a week after Olive's death, who stopped breathing at their home in Redding
The Christian couple, who sought to resurrect their two-year-old dead daughter through faith and prayer, has finally decided to move forward with Olive Alayne Heiligenthal's funeral arrangements, reports state.
The child's parents, Andrew and Kalley Heiligenthal, reached the decision a week after Olive's death, who stopped breathing at their home in Redding, California on December 14. Paramedics reportedly rushed the child to a nearby hospital, where she was declared dead. According to a spokesperson from the couple's church, Olive's body was transferred to the Shasta County Coroner's Office, the Daily Mail reported.
In a heartbreaking Instagram post on December 22, Kalley had called for "bold, unified prayers from the global church to stand with us in the belief that He will raise this little girl back to life. Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for. It's time for her to come to life," she wrote to her 240,000 followers on Instagram. The post garnered swift support from the congregants at Bethel megachurch in Redding, where she is heavily involved with the church music group.
The couple, however, received criticism online after church leaders set up a GoFundMe campaign on the couple's behalf to raise $100,000 for the ritual, with many calling it "a scam". The GoFundMe page has raised over $61,700. The fund campaign had been set up "to help cover unknown expenses for the family during this time and any future expenses for Olive."
A Bethel Redding church spokesperson, in a statement on Friday, said: "Over the past week, the Bethel Church community, both local and global, has come together at the request of Andrew and Kalley Heiligenthal to pray for [Olive's] resurrection. At this time, the family has chosen to move towards a memorial service for Olive," the statement read, noting that the family is "incredibly thankful for the prayers and support that the community has shown as they and thousands of people have been believing for a miracle".
Hundreds of people had gathered at Bethel Church on December 17 night for prayer at a ceremony called Olive's resurrection. A spokesperson for the church said this was the first time the institution had witnessed a public gathering hosted by the church for a resurrection prayer.
The church's Facebook post, on December 20, however, stated that the Heiligenthals had decided to put an end to their resurrection prayers and begin funeral arrangements for Olive. "In this situation, grief has not been avoided," the post added.