Chugiak-Eagle River students rally, pray for area schools
Students from throughout Chugiak-Eagle River came together for a rally at Community Covenant Church in Eagle River Sept. 25 in preparation for gathering around their school flagpoles in prayer Sept. 28 at area See You at the Pole events.
About 150 elementary, middle and high schoolers representing Chugiak, Eagle River and Anchorage schools and homeschool programs participated in the rally to build anticipation for SYATP.
Alliance Christian Fellowship Youth Pastor Josh Talbot encouraged participating students to pray for their teachers and schools.
“It makes an impact. It really does,” Talbot said, adding SYATP presents an opportunity for the students to talk about their faith and why they would gather at the flagpole before school to pray.
“I vividly remember participating in See You at the Pole in high school, and it’s something that stuck with me,” Talbot said, whose own children participated in SYATP at Eagle River Elementary School in 2015. “You’re seeing generations participating now and seeing impacts on people’s lives.”
According to SYATP.com, the event began in 1990 when a handful of teenagers from Burleson, Texas, gathered to pray at their local school and has since grown to include about 3 million students from more than 20 countries praying annually before school at their local flagpoles for their friends, families, schools and nations.
Keryl Korzon, a sophomore at Eagle River High School, said she would definitely be participating in the SYATP event at her school this year.
“I think it’s impactful and makes a difference,” Korzon said. “You don’t know who out there is struggling—even struggling silently.”
The 15 year old said she hopes those who need help will be reached through the prayers of their classmates or even participate in SYATP because the opportunity was presented for them to do so.
“I think anytime you bring God into something, it makes a difference,” Korzon said.
Chugiak High School junior Sam Barnlund said there’s nothing in the world that can make a difference in schools the way God can.
“I honestly believe our schools need to get prayed over,” Barnlund said. “I really think this will impact the social system and will make a difference.”
Mike Alverts, Community Covenant’s high school and young adult director, participated in SYATP for the first time last year at Palmer High School and said the coolest part of the event was seeing students gather together as God’s family.
“I just love the idea of getting together and praying for my school,” said Kayleigh Meneses, a Gruening Middle School seventh-grader. “It’s a good way to get together with people who believe the same things I do and love their school and want it to have a good future.”
Alverts encouraged rally participants to “fight the good fight” as followers of Christ by believing in who they are and living lives as people who know God loves them in the deepest parts of themselves and during the hardest times in their personal stories.
“I just care about believers living like they’re loved,” Alverts said. “God is right here. I can pretend that He’s not and ignore Him, but He doesn’t ignore me.”
Alverts encouraged SYATP participants to ask God for new eyes to see those around them, to have new love for their classmates and to live in a manner that can help repair what may be broken in their schools, their lives and the lives of others.
“You’re creating that image of yours right now in your mind and your spirit,” Talbot added. “If we have Jesus in our lives, we see the glory of the Lord—or at least we should be.”