By Stan Friedman
ESTES PARK, CO (July 7, 2011) – Eight-year-old Elaina Borden was sitting in chapel on the first day of the Feast when she heard worship leader Melissa Wall tell the gathering that a prayer team was praying over each of the chairs and throughout the building before each worship service.
Following the service, “she stood up and said, ‘I can do that, and just bolted out of there to talk to Melissa,” recalls Elaina’s mother, Diana. “Elaina hoped Wall could tell her who to speak with about joining the prayer team.”
“I just thought it was something I could do,” Elaina said. “I really like praying for people.”
Wall directed Elaina to a member of the prayer team. After the team leaders made sure Elaina understood what the prayer team was about, the girl was invited to join them.
Elaina asked that they pray over her – that God would use her. One of the members prayed for her in Spanish.
“I really liked that,” Elaina said.
So before each morning service, she would join the others in praying throughout the chapel as the worship team rehearsed. The team also gathered to pray in the evenings.
Elaina’s experience epitomized what Feast organizers had wanted for the gathering, which attracted roughly 500 people. In discussing the event earlier this year, Marti Burger, a member of the planning team, had said, “We will have opportunities to learn from each other and share our journey with others of different ages and backgrounds. Our hope is that the people who come will be able to see more of who God is through the life example of others.”
Organizers hope participants will take back to their churches what they experienced and multiply the event’s impact. Elaina said she always liked praying, but will be bringing back an even greater desire to pray for people when she returns to her home church, the Evangelical Covenant Church in Fort Collins, Colorado.
“It has been an extremely uplifting experience,” says Anna Marie Peterson of Coppell, Texas, and a regional coordinator for the Covenant’s Advocacy for Victims of Abuse ministry. Referencing the “Afterglow” events, at which attendees shared how God had moved in their life that day, Peterson added, “I got a much better understanding of how important it is for us to hear each others’ stories.”
The Feast took place June 25-28 at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park prior to the Annual Meeting.