Prayer warriors at Windsor church hold prayer vigil for Delaney Wadsworth
More than 100 prayer warriors at Bethel Lutheran Church in Windsor turned out recently for a 24-hour candlelight prayer vigil for Delaney Wadsworth, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at the age of 3 in July 2010.
Delaney and her parents, Jason and Brenna, are members of the church.
At least one person was in the church, located at 328 Walnut St. in Windsor, at all times during the vigil, which started at 2 p.m. Feb. 20 and lasted until 2 p.m. Feb. 21.
Soft music played in the church as more than 100-lit votive candles, a stuffed blue and pink bunny and a Kleenex box were placed at the altar.
In the entrance of the church, yellow and gray “Prayers For Delaney” bracelets along with five photos of Delaney with the heading “Live, Laugh, Love,” could be found.
Randy Blank, a Windsor resident and a member of Bethel Lutheran, prayed for Delaney at the vigil.
“Whatever God has in mind is what we’re hoping for,” Blank said. “We’re also praying for comfort for the family to get through this. I’m sure it’s an extremely difficult time. I can’t imagine. It just doesn’t make sense to us, but there’s probably a reason for it.”
Bethel Lutheran members Ralph and Linda Baldwin of Windsor also prayed for Delaney.
“We understand her condition is getting worse,” Linda said. “We’re just trying to support the family with prayers and love and however we can help them. That’s what our church family is all about I believe.”
Linda said Delaney is an “awesome little girl.”
“I never saw her cry, never heard her complain,” Linda said. “She just loved coming to Sunday school. She loved being with the kids, and I think that helped her.”
Mel Schafer, director of administrative services at Bethel Lutheran, said there was a strong turnout for the prayer vigil considering how quickly it was put together.
“It was a time to pray for not only healing, but for comfort. It’s people coming together to share the power of their prayers,” Schafer said. “Delaney’s family brought 15 on their own, but there were times when few people were in here. I saw some outpouring of emotion with people physically on the altar, and other people in the pew. For me, it was to reflect on the times we have with her and that we’re there for the family.”
Schafer said those praying for Delaney are still looking for that miracle.
“She had miracles along the way just with the community bonding and the money,” he said. “Without that, who knows where they’d be.”
Bethel Lutheran pastor Kevin Meyer said structured, organized prayer for 24 hours can uplift the family and help the community come together to remember why people gather together in the first place which is to call upon the power of Christ to change people’s lives.
“Delaney’s been what I would call a measure of God’s light in her behavior and her approach to living,” Meyer said. “She hasn’t let anything get in the way, and I would add for my own perspective that she has been Christ-like for us in the midst of something that I can’t imagine a 3-year-old really understands, but that hasn’t stopped her. She’s been a cheerleader. She sang a solo in church. She’s lived life to the fullest. Those of us who don’t have terminal illnesses generally don’t live each day fully because we figure we’ve got to save a little for tomorrow or save a little for next month. That hasn’t been her approach.”