A tribute to Andrew McFarland

Andrew shortly after he started at KICS

ANDREW McFARLAND, a former pupil of Kilskeery Independent Christian School, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday 18th October.

By Mrs Pamela Foster BA (Hons), MEd, Principal of the school

His Funeral Service will be conducted in Omagh Free Presbyterian Church by the minister, Rev Colin Mercer.

Service will be held on Friday, 21st October at 1.00 pm.

The service will be broadcast on FacebookYoutube, and Sermonaudio.


Tuesday 18th October was a day of sadness in Kilskeery Independent Christian School when we heard that Andrew McFarland, a well-loved former pupil, whose father, uncles and aunt also attended our school, had gone to be forever with the Lord. Tears were shed by young pupils who sorrowed for their classmate, Faith, in the loss of a much loved and treasured brother; and by older pupils too, who remembered sharing their early school days with Andrew. However, the Lord ministered to us and granted comfort and peace to staff and pupils together as we sang one of the hymns often sung with Andrew in his last year as a pupil in our school:

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days, all the days of my life;

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever,

And I shall feast at the table spread for me;

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days, all the days of my life;

When I walk through the dark, lonesome valley,

My Saviour will walk with me there;

And safely His great hand will lead me

To the mansions He’s gone to prepare.

“Wee Andrew,” as he continued to be affectionately called by many of the pupils and teachers, was the most winsome and appealing of children. Andrew joined our school in September 2013 and he brought into the classroom an infectious giggle, a mischievous glint in his eye and a smile that charmed every teacher who was privileged to know him and work with him. Even when it began to become clear that Andrew would need special help and support as new difficulties were faced in the classroom, Andrew continued to exude a joyfulness that was in itself a reward for all who spent time with him. Andrew was a very special blessing to our school, in that he drew the best out of others and in his company we saw many of our pupils increase in the fruits of kindness, care and compassion for Andrew and towards one another. He was quick to pick up new words and tunes and we have delightful memories of him singing with enthusiasm and enjoyment along with the other pupils – and sometimes bursting into song by himself in the middle of a class.

When changes in Andrew’s condition meant it was necessary for him to move to Willowbridge Special School, we knew we would sorely miss a very special pupil. We set ourselves to pray that as Andrew could no longer be kept with us in the Christian school, the Lord would supply those, like Pharaoh’s daughter, with the compassion and skills to provide for Andrew’s next stage of care. Andrew’s family have testified that in the goodness and mercy of the Lord that prayer was abundantly answered. But Andrew’s teachers also asked the Lord that, before Andrew left the school and before his ability to communicate was further affected, there would be an evidence that this cheerful, good-natured little boy, who enjoyed praising the Lord and hearing His Word, was truly trusting in Christ as His Saviour. At that end-of-term Praise Service in June 2017, as the guest speaker, Rev William McDermott, in the midst of his message issued a challenge from the pulpit: “Are you saved?” pupils and teachers sitting around Andrew in the meeting heard his voice clearly raised in reply – “I am!” And when the preacher, unaware of the audible answer that had been given, repeated his challenge, Andrew again gave his testimony, “I am!” Many of our pupils and teachers, grieving at this time, remember that night with comfort and joy.

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven, Matthew 10:32.