By Nigel Boys
Kayla Jean Mueller, who was confirmed dead this month by the Islamic State, was honored at a service this week when hundreds of mourners stood outside her hometown at the Prescott, Arizona courthouse and lit candles in her memory.
The 26-year old human rights activist and humanitarian aid worker had been taken captive in August 2013 by ISIS while leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria.
Among the mourners, was her brother, Eric Mueller, who read out a letter to those gathered and declared that his sister was now in “God’s hands” because He occasionally “takes his angels home early.” He added “I love you. You can rest in peace knowing that you changed this world. I miss you so much and I’m lost without your smile,” according to the Arizona Republic.
ISIS had reported that Mueller had been killed during a Jordanian air strike on February 6, stating that she had been inside a building with no guards when the attack took place, but no proof of her death was given at the time. However, four days later, her family confirmed her death, announcing that ISIS had sent an e-mail with 3 pictures of her dead body, with facial bruising and wearing a black hijab.
During Mueller’s 18-month captivity, while they were uncertain of her whereabouts or safety, her Christian faith was the only thing which gave her family comfort, according to her parents, Carl and Marsha Mueller. Although they didn’t speak at the memorial a letter they claim to have received from her and shared reads:
“I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else… by God… by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall.”
Mueller continued with his eulogy stating that his sister was in God’s hands now and she would no longer suffer because he would protect her from harm. “Only now will you be able to see how much you really did and truly did for this world by looking down on it from above,” he added.
Telling the audience that if they saw someone struggling or upset, they should go “give them a hug,” Mueller added “Do what Kayla would do” and “make the community even stronger.” He continued, “let Kayla’s heart live on through all of us and the people that she has touched in her life.”