Now at rest: Br. Stevan Barat

Now at rest: Br. Stevan Barat

The following was received from Ben Barat, regarding the passing of his father, Stevan Barat. The family may be contacted care of the Victoria-Tasmania Field Office.

It is with sad heart and eldest son's responsibility I bring you the news of the passing earlier this evening of my father, Stevan Barat.

Stevan was the husband of Latza, father of Benjamin, Elizabeth, Rebekah and Esther, father-in-law of Martha, Matthias, David and John, grandfather and great grandfather of many, and also a retired shepherd in the ministry of our church.

He devoted his life to his beliefs, to the point where he was tortured for his beliefs and stood steadfast. He went on to become a minister of religion and missionary to many countries.

Sadly he was getting old and feeble, eating less and less and losing strength in the last few weeks. Tonight he passed away at 6:40pm in my arms as I was putting him to bed at home, surrounded by family. He simply faded away, his breath failing before his heart – he just ran out of energy to live any further. He closed his eyes peacefully and breathed his last breath, with no pain or struggle.

We are encouraged in the belief that he strongly looked forward to a future life where there is no death, no sorrow, no poverty and guided his family in that belief, even praying his last prayer for his grandchildren by name. His last wishes were for my mother to have a little extra rest each day and not work too hard looking after him.

I am reminded of ancient Abraham, “Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.” Dad was 86 years old and had a full and interesting life.

While we grieve and have good memories of his life, we also hold fast to the promises of a resurrection and to be reunited in the future. I also am certain that his eternal heavenly burden of many stars in his crown as a result of his missionary work in many countries will be offset by the joy of seeing his many friends in the future world.

The word of apostle Paul are apt:

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
              – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-18

He rests without a care any more. Our life continues and the memories are left behind for us that remain.

Any message of condolences would be appreciated in email format rather than SMS or telephone calls for the next day or so to allow for us to complete arrangements for his funeral.

I’m sure you will understand.

Ben Barat

PS: If you have any photos, videos, or stories about my father, we would welcome them to add to a compilation of his life history that could be prepared prior to the funeral.

UPDATE: Venue for the funeral has changed. Funeral arrangements have been finalised for Br. Stevan Barat. Details as follows:

Funeral Arrangements
Date & Time Location Flowers
Thursday, 29 September, 2011 at 11 a.m. St Bernard’s Parish Hall adjacent to a church at 61 Lerderderg St, Bacchus Marsh. Pedestrian and vehicle access is available from the rear at 39 Manor Street (click for map). Interment at Maddingley Cemetery on Griffith Street, followed by refreshments at St Bernard’s Parish Hall. Br. Stevan specifically requested that people considering purchasing flowers for the funeral should instead donate the amount for the expansion of the medical missionary clinic work by the SDA Reform Movement in Australia, through your local church or a donation box to be provided at the funeral chapel.