Prayer Breakfast Provides Thrilling Emphasis on God’s Blessed Grace | Judson University Christian College
Prayer Breakfast Provides Thrilling Emphasis on God’s Blessed Grace

Community Prayer Breakfast Audience 2017(ELGIN, IL – May 10, 2017) Judson’s Community Prayer Breakfast took a number of thrilling turns today as author and magician Jim Munroe weaved his story of faith with entertaining skits that involved audience interactions.

Even before he made it to the stage, Munroe began walking by tables and chatting with audience members. He eventually selected a few people to come on stage. After having one person select a phone number from a telephone directory, another to write it down, and a third to reveal a pre-written number, Munroe picked up a huge table that revealed the very same phone number printed across taped pieces of paper. And, another person used her phone to call that number, and the responding voicemail mentioned Munroe.

Right away, the 315 people gathered at Lindner Fitness Center knew this wouldn’t be a typical prayer-and-food event. No, this prayer breakfast with a “Blessed” theme would be enthralling, thought-provoking and eye-catching, like when Munroe broke a fork’s prongs by looking at them.

But the morning breakfast affair wasn’t about being amazed by a person; it was about being amazed by God.

Using wit and whimsy, Munroe spoke of an amazing life transformation – when it he needed it most. His marriage was on the rocks; his best friend had committed suicide; and he had received news that he had a rare form of leukemia. “Some people think life is random; other think it’s purposed. The reason I think we’re happy in spite of what can be thrown at us is the belief in a loving God.”

Munroe shared how he needed a bone marrow transplant and the bone marrow registry only found one match, and how that 19-year-old woman agreed to save his life. After playing with the idea of having female blood running through his veins, Munroe said he now celebrates two birthdays, his day of birth and the day he underwent the transplant.

He couldn’t help but to draw parallels between his story and that of Jesus Christ providing us all with a “perfect match.”

“No matter how terrible things get, God’s grace is overwhelming,” said Munroe, who reports that he is now cancer free. “But he couldn’t have done it before he flipped my life upside down.”

A former University of Texas baseball player, Munroe investigated magic and the supernatural following a debilitating sports injury. His subsequent curiosity opened a door to his passion for magic and a new belief in God.

Soon, he was a sought-after magician. He has toured many cities and entertained throughout the country. He is the author of “The Charlatan: The Skeptical, Mysterious, Supernatural True Story of a Christian Magician” (Thomas Nelson, 2013) and a prolific speaker at conferences, corporations and events. His story is featured on the I Am Second website, which represents a movement meant to inspire people to live for God and for others.

Munroe’s show, “The MAZE,” has become one of the most efficient tools of the National Bone Marrow Registry’s Be the Match recruitment vehicle.

The program also included a purposeful pause, led by Judson President Dr. Gene Crume, to honor the memory of Beatrice Joy (Daffer) Wilson, wife of the former Judson Trustee D. Ray Wilson, for whom Judson’s Community Volunteer Service Award is named. Mrs. Wilson, who passed in March, was remembered as a beacon of hope and jewel of enormous service and hospitality.

Henoch FuentesThe D. Ray Wilson Volunteer Service Award is given annually during the prayer breakfast to the candidate who has contributed to the greater good within the Fox Valley community by voluntarily serving others' physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual needs.

The 2017 award winner was Henoch Fuentes, pastor of outreach for the Evangelical Covenant Church of Elgin. Fuentes was born in the south of Chile, where he earned a degree in business administration. He came to the United States on a scholarship from the Central Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. In 1991, he graduated from North Park University with a Master of Divinity degree and was later ordained. Over the past 10 years, he has served as a chaplain and counselor in DuPage and Kane County jails. He also helped to form the Woman of Grace and Dignity service group, and successfully led nine Elgin firemen to his homeland of Chile, following an 8.8 earthquake. The team brought fire trucks and equipment to the region. Pastor Fuentes has led fundraising efforts at his church to assist in Chile. He was instrumental in opening a home for medical services in Chile called CASA AMEN. The first year, it served more than 1,000 people. He has also served as a Bible teacher with Judson’s Spanish-English Ministry Studies (SEMS) program, and he leads a street ministry in Chicago and has worked as a volunteer community chaplain with the Elgin Police Department for 20 years.

“Above all, I just give God all the glory,” Fuentes said as he accepted the honor and recognized his wife and members of the Elgin Fire Department.

Other nominees included: Leon and Carol Miller; alum Tammy Wheatley ’87 and Carrie Zaccaria.

Riley Elmore 2017During the prayer breakfast, Dundee-Crown High School junior Riley Elmore performed two songs, including a jazz-tinged rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” and an uplifting version of Hillsong’s “Beatitudes.” Elmore was a Top 20 finalist on season 11 of “The Voice.”

The event opened with a welcome by Christy Anderson of Judson’s Adult Education Program. The invocation was given by Pastor Raul De La Matta of Maranatha Worldwide Ministries in Elgin. A “Blessed” video provided a powerful message by University Ministries Director Chris Lash. The community prayer was presented by Faith Community Church Pastor Darryl Jenkins, a Judson adjunct professor. Rick Jakle, the retired/former president of the Fox Valley Broadcasting Company, emceed the prayer breakfast.

Judson University, Shaping Lives that Shape the World