Natalie Ellen Roper, 13, of Hartwell, GA was received into the glory of her Lord Jesus Christ on the evening of Sunday, July 5, 2015, at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY.
Natalie was born on May 1, 2002, in Imperatriz, Maranhao, Brazil to her parents Brian Howard Roper and Emma Brown Roper. During her life here on earth, her favorite activities were spending time with her family, reading, painting, and singing, especially psalms and hymns. She was a member of Heritage Presbyterian Church in Royston, GA.
Natalie was diagnosed in August 2014 with a rare form of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. By God’s enabling grace, over the course of the following ten and a half months, Natalie demonstrated unwavering childlike faith in the goodness of her God. Through her often intense suffering, she was a remarkable example of humble submission to her heavenly Father’s tender care and sovereign will. One of Natalie’s many prayers was that God would use her life to bring glory to His name. This prayer He has indeed answered. From the most seasoned of Christians to the most simple, all those who prayed, encouraged, supported, wept – and weep – for her, had their hearts drawn upward to give glory to the true and living God, whom to know is life eternal. For this reason, though her family and friends grieve the loss deeply, they also rejoice with joy inexpressible and filled with glory. Natalie now worships her glorious God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in perfect fellowship, and awaits with all the saints the great Day of Resurrection to come. Praise be to God.
In addition to her parents, Natalie is survived by her younger siblings Owen, Claire, Isaac, Caleb, Priscilla Mae, and baby Abigail, who is expected in early fall; grandparents Harley and Margaret Davis of Dom Eliseu, Para, Brazil, and Jimmy and Donna Roper of Mt. Olive, Alabama; great-grandmother Maragaret Berry May of Maryland.
Funeral services for Natalie will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at the Reed Creek Baptist Church; 2 Boleman Hill Road, Hartwell, GA with Pastor Mike Myers officiating. Interment will follow in the Reed Creek Baptist Church cemetery.
Order of Service
6:30pm, Thursday, July 9, 2015
Prelude Ms. Hannah Davis
Selected Scripture Readings
~Great is Thy Faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. (Refrain)
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! (Refrain)
In Memoriam – Testimonies of the Grace of God
Pastor Johnny Serafini
Mr. Mallory Davis
Preserve me, O God, for I’m trusting in You.
Yes, You are my Master, I said to the Lord;
Besides You I do not possess any good.
In Your holy messengers I take delight.
Those running to idols will multiply griefs.
I will not pour out their drink off’rings of blood,
Nor will I confess their vain names with my lips.
The Lord’s my inherited portion and cup.
You care for my lot, where the lines fell to me,
My pleasant and lovely inherited land.
The Lord who gives counsel to me I will bless,
For surely my mind teaches me through the night.
The Lord ever present before me I keep.
He stands at my right hand; I shall not be moved.
My glory rejoices, my heart is made glad;
And also my flesh will live safely at ease.
For You’ll not abandon my soul to the grave,
Your Godly One You will preserve from decay.
Life’s path You will show me; full joy is with You;
Your right hand holds pleasures for me evermore.
Preaching of God’s Word
The Supremacy of God’s Glory in Salvation
~Jerusalem the Golden
Jerusalem the golden, with milk and honey blest,
Beneath thy contemplation sink heart and voice oppressed.
I know not, O I know not, what joys await us there,
What radiancy of glory, what bliss beyond compare.
They stand, those halls of Zion, all jubilant with song,
And bright with many an angel, and all the martyr throng;
The Prince is ever in them, the daylight is serene.
The pastures of the blessed are decked in glorious sheen.
There is the throne of David, and there, from care released,
The shout of them that triumph, the song of them that feast;
And they, who with their Leader, have conquered in the fight,
Forever and forever are clad in robes of white.
O sweet and blessed country, the home of God’s elect!
O sweet and blessed country, that eager hearts expect!
Jesus, in mercy bring us to that dear land of rest,
Who art, with God the Father, and Spirit, ever blessed.
Postlude Ms. Hannah Davis
Please join us immediately following the service for the internment
Welcome and Thanks
On behalf of the Roper family, we give thanks to God for your presence with us this evening. We are grateful to our loving and gracious God for His saving grace that He has extended to Natalie Ellen. Although this is a time for mourning, we do not do so as those who have no hope. Natalie confessed that for her to live was Christ, and to die, as she died trusting in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is great gain.
For if we have been united
with Him in a death like his,
we shall certainly be united
with Him in a resurrection like his.
~ Mr. Harley Davis, grandfather
~ Mr. Mallory Davis, uncle
~ Mr. Lowell Ivey, uncle
~ Mr. Jim Roper, grandfather
~ Rev. Johnny Serafini, Sr., uncle
~ Mr. Johnny Serafini, Jr., cousin
Pastor Mike Myers
A special thanks to both Pruitt Funeral Home and Vander Plaat-Vermeulen Memorial Home for their compassionate and professional care for Natalie Ellen and all the arrangements for the funeral services.