Judson Prayer Breakfast | Judson University Christian College
Judson’s Community Prayer Breakfast Recognizes Contributions of Volunteers and Explores the Importance of Vulnerability and Courage

Prayer Breakfast Lawrence Drake (ELGIN, IL – May 8, 2019) The Judson University’s Annual Community Prayer Breakfast brought together more than 150 people to the Love Family Christian Foundation this morning. The event was held at the Foundation, located on Chicago Street in downtown Elgin, as a partnership between the Foundation and Judson.

Community members, including local dignitaries, civic leaders, school administrators and others, came prepared to enjoy Christian fellowship, honor peers with service awards and hear from the morning’s guest speaker, Dr. Lawrence Drake, Judson trustee and president/CEO of LEAD, an organization focused on developing equal learning access models.

Following a welcome by retired Fox Valley Broadcasting Company president Rick Jakle, Judson Alumnus Ian Simkins, pastor of Yellow Box Community Christian Church, gave an invocation stating that Jesus demonstrated how every meal is an altar and sacred time as we break bread with one another. Michelle Osakada, one of Judson’s newest alumni having graduated on Saturday, played an inspirational arrangement of “Strive to be Happy” on the marimba.

Dr. Lawrence Drake, a global business leader and former executive from Coca-cola, gave a heart-felt address about how the recent loss of his adult child caused him to explore the intersection of vulnerability and courage as a man of faith who believes that God has a plan for everything in his life (Jeremiah 20:9-11).

He quoted Steve Goodier’s statement that “My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds.” For most of his life, Drake said, this idea reflected his belief that “what hurt him from the past, had indeed made him stronger.” That philosophy sustained Drake until a year ago, when his 41-year-old daughter lost her battle with stomach cancer.

After trying to make sense of the loss and studying all the classic texts on grief, Drake explained that his pain continued. His family and friends expected him overcome his pain, yet despite his unwavering faith, he said, nothing could touch him where it hurt the most: His soul.

“[My family] believed that I could do all these things because they know my faith. But what I know is that there is a place for me that is truly vulnerable, and more vulnerable than they realize,” he said.

“As a culture, we don’t often equate vulnerability with courage and strength,” he said, noting that men especially do not have a safe space to be vulnerable. He asked the audience: when is a good time to cry, and how do you get to this intersection of vulnerability and courage?

Drake began interviewing other adults, specifically other black men, to learn how they were coping with the loss of a child. Their stories were enlightening for him. Today, he is in the process of writing a book to help others navigate the topic.

Drake encouraged the audience to look more closely at this intersection of vulnerability and courage with those we love, those we lead and as parents. “It is important to understand this intersection so that we can strive to live a courageous life,” he said. Living that courageous life as Jesus taught and as God expects is something he is still pursuing.

The Annual Community Prayer Breakfast gave audience members a time to reflect and recognize community involvement and service.

Vivian MalyThis year’s D. Ray Wilson Volunteer Service Award recipient was Vivian Maly of Elburn, Ill. Maly has volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America, Kaneland School District, Right to Life of Kane County. Her work launching the TLC Pregnancy Services in Elgin in 1996, included serving as a volunteer executive director and raising funds to purchase the nonprofit organization’s current building in Elgin, all while providing free pregnancy tests, emotional and spiritual support and material items such as diapers, formula, clothing, and the like, to those in need. The organization raised funds to expand services to for a medical clinic that offers pregnancy tests, limited obstetrical ultrasounds and STD facilitation, all free of charge to clients. With a goal of reaching more people, Maly raised funds again to convert an RV into a mobile ultrasound unit that traveled to nearby communities offering services. In 2014, Maly wanted to offer these services to low income women and families who could not come to the Elgin office, so she worked with the board, donors and volunteers to open satellite offices in Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Roselle, Hanover Park and Streamwood. Over the 23 years of its existence and through Maly’s efforts, TLC has served thousands of low income and needy families.

When she accepted the award, Maly expressed thanks to God and expressed appreciating to the many individuals in the room who serve their community throughout the year.

Judson recently introduced the Bea Wilson Youth Volunteer Service Award to honor school-aged youth in the Fox Valley who give back to their community. The Bea Wilson Youth Volunteer Service Award includes a $3,000 annual scholarship to attend Judson University.

Kylee SiersThis year’s recipient is Kylee Siers, a junior at Westminster Christian, an honor student, student ambassador at Westminster and at Westminster Presbyterian Church, representative on Student Council, captain of the soccer team, winner of ACSI Creating Writing Contest, member of National Honors Society and Community Outreach Club. Kylee also regularly volunteers at Illinois Park School, a public at-risk preschool in Elgin. She is also involved with community service for the homeless at Vineyard Church.

Prayer Breakfast 2019

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