“Coming Home” Prayers Answered

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When Cheri Vande Werken, 16, left home without a trace in August, her parents and brother did everything they could to find her, contacting friends, family, working with law enforcement, and even creating a Facebook page leaving messages they hoped she would see.

In November, Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Oak Lawn, Ill., hosted a “Coming Home Prayer Service” for all the churches in the region, giving people an opportunity to pray together for family members who were missing physically or spiritually.

Participants wrote the names of about 35 different “missing” loved ones on pieces of ribbon and tied them to miniature “trees” to symbolize their desire to have those people come home.

 “I am amazed every day at the strength I have with everyone praying for me,” Laura Vande Werken said. She felt that God would use the experience for good. “I’ve been able to help people in similar circumstances. I know that God has a plan to bring Cheri home.”

Just a few weeks after the prayer service was held, Laura sent out a jubilant email, announcing that her daughter had returned home.

About the Author

Ruth Moblard DeYoung, a former Banner news correspondent and teacher, writes children's books. She is a member of Hope Christian Reformed Church in Oak Forest, Ill. 

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