Westmont Magazine Partners in Prayer
When Ken ’87 and Jill Hanson ’88 Thomas became Prayer Partners with two Westmont students two years ago, they didn’t know how much the experience would touch their lives.
“It has been a great thing for both Jill and me,” says Ken. “It’s really nice to know that you have someone praying for you, as well as confiding in you and asking for prayer.”
Adds Jill: “When I heard about Prayer Partners, I just thought it was a nice way to help and give something back.”
Jill and her partner, Alyssa Springer ’00, have corresponded since Alyssa’s first year and have built a close relationship.
Jill remembers her first year as a difficult one, she says. Adjusting to the new academic environment was tough, as was the emotional and spiritual change she experienced. In corresponding with her prayer partner, Jill feels she helped smooth some of the rough spots for Alyssa during that time.
While Jill and Alyssa mostly write letters and talk on the phone occasionally, Ken and his partner, Forest Rankin ’00, communicate almost exclusively on line.
Ken says e-mailing oftentimes allows people to be more honest, and also facilitates a more focused discussion. He and Forest share a number of things in common: they both grew up attending the Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Los Angeles, they have mutual friends, and both love soccer.
The Thomases, who are chapter leaders for the San Diego Alumni Chapter, see their partners at least twice a year when they come to campus for alumni events. Jill and Ken also organize the annual send-off breakfast in San Diego for Potter’s Clay. Alyssa and Forest first met at that event in 1997. Now good friends, they attended the winter formal together this year.
More than 400 alums participate in the Prayer Partners program, which matches students and alumni who want to support each other through prayer.
Ken encourages anyone who might be interested to sign up. In a sense, it has allowed Ken and Jill to relive their Westmont experience, he explained.
“It has really connected us to Westmont, in a very personal way,” Ken says.
To sign up or get more information, contact Liz Lawrence in the Alumni Office at (805) 565-7350 or email@example.com.