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Moms reach out through prayer

The women are part of Moms in Touch International, a group that

was started 15 years ago as a way for moms to "get in touch with God, their

children, their school and one another through prayer."

With the new school year just beginning, groups in the Riverview

and Snoqualmie Valley school districts are again gearing up to pray together

after the summer hiatus.

"It strengthens the [children] to know that it's not only their

parents that pray for them, but that other women love and pray for them

too," said Rhonda Solberg, a member of the Tolt Middle School prayer team.

Right now Moms in Touch have groups for Cedarcrest and Mount

Si high schools, Tolt and Snoqualmie middle schools, and Carnation

Elementary. But the women involved hope that one day all Valley

schools will be covered.

In fact, a national goal has been set to have a group at every school

by 2003. There are currently 907 Moms in Touch groups in Washington.

"You need at least two moms, and from there, it can be as many as

your house can fill," said Jeanne Hunter, the "contact mom" for the

Riverview School District.

Moms in Touch groups across the world (there are meetings in 85

countries) dedicate one hour a week to get together for a time of prayer,

which the mothers say isn't a burden, but a blessing for them.

"There's so many things vying for our time. But I thought, `What's

the best way to help my daughter out?'" said Angie Olson, who is part of

the Tolt Middle School group.

She decided to devote her time to the weekly meeting to pray for

the needs of her child and other children in the schools. At the meetings

there are no refreshments, no unnecessary chitchat, just one hour of pure prayer.

"It makes it nice to know it'll be an hour and you know what to

do," said Wendy Godfrey, who has two children at Cedarcrest High. "It's

easy to say, `Yes I can fit this into my schedule.'"

"And it keeps you on task because we know what we need to pray

for," Solberg added.

Through the years that the prayer group has been in the Valley,

the women have seen miraculous changes in their children, schools and in

other areas.

These mothers pray for everything from math tests, to how to handle

bullies in school. Common prayer requests at the elementary level

include praying that their child would be matched with the right teacher

and friends, and that their child would develop good study habits.

When the children reach middle school, the moms focus their

efforts and pray that their children can emotionally and academically adjust to

the new school environment.

Then as the students move on to high school, the moms ask for

protection while they drive or play sports and that their children would be able

to make the right decisions for their future.

One answer to prayer, Hunter recalls, was when her son was about

to enter middle school and she was worried about an infamous part of

town called "The Underground." It was a place off-campus where local

teens congregated and used drugs.

So she took her concerns to prayer, and later, crews bulldozed the area

and destroyed the teens' hiding place. It was an answer to prayer, Hunter said.

And sometimes, prayer is all that these women can count on.

"You can't go to bat for your child," Solberg said. "Prayer is a

wonderful defense for my child without my being there."

"Prayer changes things. It's the best defense for any problem,"

she added.

For more information about the Moms in Touch group in

the Riverview School District, call Jeanne Hunter at (425) 333-4732. In

the Snoqualmie Valley School District, call Sharon Suver-Jones at (425)

831-0122.

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