Eight years ago today Haiti was hit with a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake. This earthquake devastated the country, and there were estimates of 160,000 people who perished in the disaster.
Among the dead was one of many wonderful people, Ben Larson. Ben was a student at Luther, two years my junior. He was a friend, a member of Nordic Choir with me, and just an all-around wonderful man. He was such a musical person, selfless, kind... just one of those beautiful souls who you meet and know that you just want to be a part of their life. Although he was my junior, I looked up to him in many ways. He was the type of person everyone should strive to be.
Ben, a theology student, studying to be a pastor, was with his wife and cousin in Haiti, where they were helping to build a church. Renee and Jonathan both survived.
A couple years after the earthquake, another dear friend of mine at Luther, Josh Shank, who is now a well-sought-after choral composer, was asked to write a tribute song for Ben. It was premiered by "The Singers: Minnesota Choral Artists", conducted by Matthew Culloton. The approximately 20 minute composition is just beautiful. The theme throughout spells out Ben's name, and the text was taken from Ben's wife, Renee.
Please listen to this composition, absorb the words, and learn of the life of one of the most beautiful people God took from this Earth too soon!
The song: https://soundcloud.com/joshuashank/sets/he-was-singing
Recalling the earthquake day: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2010/02/08/loss-in-haiti
Rest In Peace Ben. You are loved by many! Thank you for being part of, and influencing the lives of so many people.