Lana Elder

I'm believin'!

To Lana, With Love

on December 2, 2012

Hi, this is Eric Elder, Lana’s husband.  I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who came out for the visitation and celebration of Lana’s life last week.  It was one of the most beautiful services of any kind I have ever attended in my life.  What could have been a tremendously sad event was tremendously uplifting instead!

I’d love for you to watch the whole service online, which I’ve posted at the links below. To encourage you to watch, here are just a few comments from those who attended, including a friend who rededicated her life to God and asked one of my kids to baptize her right after the service!

“Wow. Feel like I have so much to say and no words at same time. Witnessed arguably the most beautiful event I’ve ever seen today…a true worship service celebrating the life of a mother of six who WON the battle with cancer. Permanently. A funeral is a very different event for those who understand this world is not their home.”

“Of all the events I’ve ever attended where the Holy Spirit was really moving, never, in my entire life, have I seen God more glorified than He was at the funeral service for Lana. Thank you and each and every one of your children for reminding me of that, even when sorrows like sea billows roll.”

“I was so heavy hearted at Monday’s visitation and upon entering the celebration of life on Tuesday. But I left that beautiful service UPLIFTED. You and the kids were able to bring us into His presence and share in the beauty of Lana’s life and her desire to share Jesus. It effected me profoundly.”

“Recently I have been questioning whether God is even real or whether we just made Him up in an attempt to answer the unexplainable and to give us comfort when things are out of our hands. I prayed that God would show me a sign that He was really here. I was hoping this sign would come in the form of Lana being healed….. A week ago, Makari texted me telling me that her mom had died. I didn’t know what to do. I just cried. I started asking the same questions I had asked when my own mother died six years ago. God did the opposite of what I was hoping for. So on Monday, I drove to Bloomington, Illinois to be there for the services for Lana Elder. It was during the funeral/celebration of Lana’s life that God gave me His sign. Looking at Karis and Lucas and Makari and Josiah and Bo and Kaleo and Eric… There is absolutely no way that there is not a God…  At the end of the service, Karis had an invitation, and I went down and talked to her about what had been going on, and I rededicated my life to God. After the dinner, Makari and I were talking and we decided that I was going to be baptized right then and there because there’s no better time than the present. So on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, I was baptized in the well/waterfall by Makari in Eastview Christian Church in Bloomington, Illinois.”

Praise God! Even in death, Lana is bringing people closer to Jesus. Nothing is wasted when we give it to God. Hallelujah!

Special thanks to Russell Pond, our good friend and film maker who came up from Houston to be with us for the service and filmed part of the visitation and all of the service for us. I’m so glad he did!  I think you will be too.

I’ve posted the service below in 6 parts, plus a montage from the visitation.  I’ve also included the order of service at the end of this note if you’d like to follow along.  (If for some reason you’re not able to watch it at the links below, or it’s too slow, I’ve also posted the entire service on YouTube, but you’ll have to endure some unusual commercials along the way, over which I have no control. But here’s the YouTube link if you want to try it instead:  http://youtu.be/pKJhbGFlbhc )

Part 1 of 6, Including: Jason’s Prayer, Gary and Lucas and Makari’s Worship, and Makari’s Scripture

Part 2 of 6, Including: Mark’s Scripture, Laurie’s Thoughts, and Johnnie’s Letter

Part 3 of 6, Including: Josiah’s Scripture and Kaleo’s Dance

Part 4 of 6, Including: Eric’s Eulogy, Eric’s Video and Lana’s Scripture

Part 5 of 6, Including: Karis’ Invitation and Lucas’ Song

Part 6 of 6, Including: Bo’s Song, a Christmas carol, Mark’s Prayer and Rockin’ Robin

Visitation Montage, Including: Marilyn’s piano music

Order of Service

Piano Prelude: Marilyn Byrnes, sister-in-law

Welcome and Opening Prayer: Pastor Jason Sniff, friend

Songs of Worship: Led by Gary Marini, friend, Lucas Elder, son, and Makari Elder, daughter

Song: “Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” by Brenton Brown
Song: “Everlasting God” by Chris Tomlin
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 40:28-31, Makari Elder, daughter
Song: “How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan

Scripture Reading: John 14:1-3, Mark Olivero, brother

Expressions of Love: Laurie Landsman, sister, and John Paul Olivero, brother

Scripture Reading: Revelation 21:1-5, Josiah Elder, son

Dance: “I Can Only Imagine,” Kaleo Elder, daughter, and nieces Shana, Tara and Erica Olivero and Rebekah Landsman

Eulogy: Pastor Eric Elder, husband

Scripture Readings: “What God Says About Fear,” Recorded by Lana Elder, with music by friends Brent Mitchell and Chuck and Lynette Giacinto

Invitation to follow Lana’s Savior: Karis Elder, daughter

Invitation Song: “It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio Spafford, sung by Lucas Elder, son

Closing Songs: “Happy New Life To You” and “O Come Let Us Adore Him,” Led by Bo Elder, son, and the family

Closing Prayer: Mark Dossett, friend


16 responses to “To Lana, With Love

  1. Connie Anest says:

    I am so glad you posted this, Eric. My Sunday’s seem so incomplete without following up on Lana. While “googling” months and months agao,I just happened across her blog when I was trying to make sense out of my 14 year old daughter having cancer. There is no sense to be made of it. I think one of the only reasons I was able to hold on to God at all was reading what Lana had to say. Her story. Her life. Her family. Her faith. Her death. Even in Colorado, she reached out. I miss her. I pray for you all and am so grateful that I get to view her funeral. I will now say goodbye.

    • Jessica Pastirik says:

      Connie, Thank you for sharing the season you are going through. Eric and Lana are dear friends of mine. I am glad God is using their journey to minister to you. Please know that I will be praying for you ‘from one momma to another’ for your daughter. Eric also has a website theranch.org that you might like to search through and read. Know there are people praying for you and yours. In Christ, Jessica

      • Connie Anest says:

        Oh, Jessica. Thank you. Another Sunday that I just had to check on the site….and there you are. How wonderful that you really knew Lana and her family. I only got a glimpse of how wonderful she must have been. I will never forget her and I never met her. I miss her. I bet you really do!. I will pray for you,also! God’s grace during hard times is amazing, isn’t it? Knowing your are praying for my daughter is so comforting. A blessing of more grace knowing that even stragers are together in Christ. I hope her family knows the extent to which Lana touched so many. Thank you a million times.

  2. Joseph Monrovia says:

    He hath made every thing beautiful in his time (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
    Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (Psalm 116:15)
    Though Lana’s death was expected to come as we all knew, yet still that didn’t stop it from being a shock to me when I heard it finally happened. He faith was and is still very encouraging.
    God bless her family.
    Praise the Lord

  3. Rose says:

    Oh Eric it is perfect. Lana is so proud and happy I am sure. She brought so much pure intense spirit to our world. I feel so lucky to have glimpsed a part of it. So lucky.

  4. Diane McMahon says:

    Eric, the video of the funeral was beautiful. You and all of the children were amazing! It was a beautiful tribute to Lana and so inspiring. Lana must have been beaming from heaven.

    • Janet Kotecki says:

      Eric,
      thank you so much for sharing this most intimate moment. I will share this all with my family so that they can see what I tried to explain to them about the services. I know that Lana must be so prould as she watches down over all of you. I told you at the service but will say it again that it was a day I will never forget and it was truly the most amazing service that I have ever witnessed. You have the most amazing children and I feel so blessed to have been introduced to Karis and then to the others as well. I continue to think about all of you.

  5. Sue & Mark Reber -Flint, Michigan says:

    Eric,
    Thank you for posting the service for all of us who couldn’t be there in person. What a beautiful God honoring service! May the Lord continue to bring His comfort & strength to you and your beautiful family in the days ahead. With love & prayers.

  6. Susan Jones says:

    Eric and family, Thank you for sharing Lana’s celebration service. She lives on in each of you and in the lives she has touch & will continue to touch. Your testimonies of God’s faithfulness are a blessing to anyone who watches this. Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord our Father! Thank you Jesus, for flowing like a river through each life in this precious family. Lord, continue to fill their hearts with your love and strength.

  7. D Oliver says:

    Eric, Karis, Lucas, Makari, Bo, Josiah, and Kaleo: The most beautiful and inspiring celebration of a life we have ever been to. Will watch this first thing Christmas morning to the praise and glory of God. Our family continues to be blessed by your family as we always have been. You are all in our hearts and prayers. Will be in touch very soon. Love, The Olivers

  8. Sheri says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I have been praying for Lana since March. What an amazing testimony and life story. Truly a celebration of her life and the person she was. I rejoice in the fact she is with our Lord and celebrate her new life. Again thank you for blessing so many of us in this world by allowing us to share in the journey.
    God Bless you all. I will be praying for you as you move into the next chapter of life that the Lord holds for you and your family.

  9. Anita, Ghana says:

    It was with a heavy heart when I read the passing away into glory of Lana. Then I remembered the scripture that says that when we are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord.

    Let us all be comforted by the fact that not too long from now we shall all meet her again in glory. May our good Lord comfort and strengthen the Elder family and let many many testimonies be birthed as a result of this event.

    God bless everyone!

  10. Susan Laiming says:

    Eric and family,
    I was in Israel visiting my daughter when I heard the news that Lana went to be with the Lord. I was so sorry I couldn’t attend the service. You have all been in my thoughts and prayers. I just finished watching the video of the celebration of her life and it really was. What a testimony to her life you all are! I just read a quote recently by Amy Carmichael..”You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” It was evident in the celebration of her love of all of you… she held you close to her heart and she always will. Praying for you this morning.. Love to you all.. Paul & Susan Laiming

  11. Dwan Avent says:

    Eric, my sincerest condolences to you and your family. Heaven has received one of it’s Angels home. I am just now getting this news, even though it was in my inbox for quite some time. Lana was always so cheerful, positive and encouraging and I only corresponded with her via e-mail or blogs. The love she had for others was even evident and poured out over the network waves. She is with Jesus and HIS love is with us forever. Her homegoing celebration was a true honor to her life. May the GOD of LOVE dwell with you all forever! With HIS Love, Dwan Avent

  12. Grace says:

    God bless you family, I often think about you all, and I listen to Lana’s recording, what God says about fear, I feel her love for us all, I didn’t know her in person, but I feel she was a sister for me,
    God is Good. Grace

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