Lana Elder

I'm believin'!

In Loving Memory

Lana J. (Olivero) Elder

Lana on Mother’s Day, May 13, 2012

Lana J. (Olivero) Elder, 48, of Chenoa, passed away peacefully at her home on Thursday, November 15, 2012, surrounded by family and friends. Lana was born on December 25th, 1963, to John and Lorraine (Wargo) Olivero in Peru, Illinois, and was surely the best Christmas present they received that year.  Lana grew up in Peru, Illinois, graduating from La Salle-Peru High School in 1982.

After high school, Lana went on to earn a business degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in 1986, where she also met her future husband, Eric P. Elder of Chenoa, Illinois.  After college, Lana moved to Flint Michigan to work as a Systems Analyst for Electronic Data Systems.  She later moved to Houston, Texas, where she worked with Eric in the computer department of Texaco, Inc., and soon after married Eric in Houston on April 29, 1989.  Lana continued to work at Texaco until the birth of their first child, when she decided to dedicate her full time to raising and homeschooling all of their six children.

Lana was a strong believer in Christ and brought much peace, joy and hope to many people in her everyday life and through her family’s ministry at  Her smile was radiant and her spirit soared, bringing joy to everyone she met. She had a passion for studying the word of God, and always took strength from the verse that says “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31). Through her life and her testimony, many people came to know Jesus. She touched so many lives and brought so many people to know and love our Lord. Her words of encouragement, hope and love were shown through her everyday life and in her written words. Lana’s grace, strength and strong desire to live her life to the fullest was demonstrated even to the end of her battle with Stage 4 breast cancer.

Lana was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend to all. She was actively involved in several homeschool associations, encouraging other families who also chose to homeschool their children. She loved serving in the church with children and youth and was a huge inspiration and role model in their lives. To them she was always just “one of the kids.” Lana’s desire has always been that people would find comfort in the Savior who had comforted her and that they would always Believe in His love for them and His unique purpose for their life. While our hearts ache at the lack of her presence with us, we rejoice knowing she is with the Savior she loved, resting in the palm of God’s hand.

Lana is survived by her devoted husband, Eric, and their six beautiful children: Karis (21), Lucas (20), Makari (18), Josiah (14), Bo (12) and Kaleo (9).  Lana is also survived by many loving family members, including her mother, Lorraine (Wargo) Olivero of Peru; eight brothers and sisters: John Paul Olivero of Peru, Lisa Olivero of Ladd, Laurie (Steve) Landsman of Willowbrook, Mark (Laura) Olivero of Fort Wayne, IN, Linda Olivero of Springfield, Tom (Wendy) Olivero of Utica, Lucy Olivero of Chicago and Luke (Jeanna) Olivero of La Salle; and twelve nieces and nephews.  Lana was preceded in death by her loving father, John Olivero of Peru.

A celebration of Lana’s life will be held at 1 pm on Tuesday, November 20 at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, Illinois.  A visitation will also be held at the church from 5-8 pm on Monday, November 19, and again before the service from 12-1 pm Tuesday, November 20. While Lana supported many worthy causes in her life, the cause in which she most heavily invested was her family.  Although gifts are not necessary, we believe she would be most honored if any gifts were made, that they be given simply to the family of Lana Elder, 25615 E 3000 North Rd, Chenoa, IL 61726.


Service Times

Hi Beloved,

We just wanted to update you and say that we will be holding a celebration of Mom’s life at 1pm on Tuesday, November 20 at Eastview Christian Church (1500 North Airport Road) in Normal, Illinois. We will also be having a visitation at the church from 5-8pm on Monday, November 19, and again before the service from 12-1pm Tuesday, November 20. If you are able to make it to either or both we would love to see you all there! Thank you all for your prayers and notes of encouragement and love. We love you all and are praying for you all as well!

Love, Karis


Making All Things New

Hi beloved,

This is Karis, Lana’s daughter writing. Just this morning my mom passed away. And while we are mourning the loss of her being here with us, we are rejoicing knowing that right now she is in heaven worshiping before the Great I AM. Her Creator, Beloved, and best friend. Last night she was in a lot of pain, but this morning as it got nearer to the end, she became more and more peaceful. And now looking at her, you can see that she is completely at rest. Her life has touched so many people and will continue to impact so many people for the glory of God.

I wanted to share something that I wrote in my journal a few weeks ago, starting with a song by Elevation Worship called “All Things New.”


As You rise, we come alive.
The grave has lost, the old is gone.
You are making all things new.
And we are free.

I’m listening to this song that has been abiding in my spirit for weeks now since I first heard it. Mom isn’t doing well physically as the chemo and cancer have taken over her body. She is in so much pain and just physically weak. But I keep hearing echos in my spirit, God whispering this to my heart, “I am making all things new.” One day all things will be fully made new. But right now it is in the making process. We see the process but God sees the entire thing. He is from beginning to end and one day ALL things will be made new.

Hope is found, You are here
Our hearts forever sealed
By this love that came for us
Now we are Yours

We are His forever. Called to a place where there is no more pain, no more tears, no more sorrows. Where God’s light is overwhelming and we finally will see all things made new. The resurrection gives us hope, the glory of God. How can I not be overjoyed that Mom will BE with Jesus soon? In a new body without pain, worshiping the Creator and Lover or her soul? To be here is to walk by faith, to be there is to be with Jesus face to face, finally seeing clearly what we now only see dimly as through a glass. To be home with the Lord.

Although the death of our physical bodies is inevitable, no matter if it is this week for her or hopefully many, many years ahead, already she is alive in Christ. She was dead but now is made alive in Christ. Jesus already conquered the grave when He died on the cross and rose from the dead. It has already been defeated and the grave will not hold her. So we rejoice in either outcome. The healing of her body physically, knowing that our God is a miracle-working God, or we rejoice in her passing, knowing that when she passes, at that moment she will be with her best friend, lover, creator, and Father. How could we not rejoice, albeit with tears knowing that she will not be here with us. But. We will see her soon. Because in light of eternity this life is so short. So soon, soon and very soon, we all will pass and be with Jesus. Overjoyed and in awe in His Presence. Worshiping our glorious Creator who is forever worthy of all praise, glory, and adoration. All glory, honour, and power belong to Him forever and ever Amen!

Your love never ending,
Your grace never failing,
Redemption is calling us home.


Thank you all so much for your prayers and encouragement and support throughout this whole season.  I know that you all will miss her as much as we do, but our hope still rests in the Lord.  Just like Mom’s did.

I know many of you will want to know that we plan to celebrate Mom’s life Monday night and Tuesday afternoon next week at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, Illinois.  Though we don’t have all the details yet, we’ll let you know when we do.  Thanks again.  I know Mom’s heart is that everyone would put their faith in the Lord and keep believin’ in Him.

Rejoicing knowing that she is with Him,


A Big Thank You!

Dear friends,

Thank you so much for your prayer and concern for us! It has been a busy couple of weeks, but we’ve been encouraged by your cards, letters, emails, and gifts. They really do encourage us and give us the strength to carry on.

In my last blog update, I asked you for prayer for my blood platelets to increase, but unfortunately they’ve been going down.  The doctors have been giving me more platelets over the past few weeks.  That has helped the platelets increase for awhile, but then they go back down again.  In fact, I was at the hospital last night getting another platelet transfusion.

The doctors say that my blood work is not strong enough to take any more chemo, and I’m not eligible to do any clinical trials or experimental drugs either because of my blood work being so low. The up side of this is that I won’t have to have any more side effects of the chemo.  The down side is that the cancer will continue to take over the good cells.

The doctors say this puts me “between a rock and a hard place.”  But the truth is, I’m just “resting in the shadow of the Almighty,” as Psalm 91 says:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
   will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
   my God, in whom I trust’” (Psalm 91:1-2).

I still believe God could heal me at any time.  But my hope isn’t just in healing.  My hope is in God.  He’s been so good to me, and I’ve been so blessed even in the last few weeks.  My kids have all been home this week to spend some time here with our family.  Here’s a picture of us all from a couple days ago.

I wish the news was better medically, but I have so much to be thankful for.  I truly have no worries about the future, as I know that God has it all under control.  Please continue to pray for me and my family as we go through this.  And thank you for going through this with us, too, by your prayers and encouragement.  We really appreciate you being there for us in so many ways.

With much love,