While not quite the spectacle that was last year’s Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, more than 600 people listened, laughed, and cried along with Grammy Award-winning artist Steven Curtis Chapman, who shared his testimony on Friday.
Chapman, who has experienced his fair share of pain and loss in his life, shared his testimony not only as a speaker, but also as a musician, playing such hit songs as “Saddle Up” and “Cinderella.”
“I do all my best storytelling and speaking with a six-string [guitar] in my hand,” said Chapman.
Chapman very publicly lost his 5-year-old daughter Maria in 2008 due to injuries sustained in a driveway accident when Chapman’s son, Will, was pulling into the driveway.
Maria, along with her twin Stevey Joy, were adopted from China by Chapman and his wife Mary Beth. In total, the Chapman family has adopted three children from China and have three biological children.
Chapman spoke with a very heavy heart Friday, as the family just celebrated what would have been Maria’s 12th birthday last week. Despite the loss, Chapman says his family relies on God to help get through the trying times.
“We’ll remember not just her very short time with us here on earth, we’re going to remember, way more importantly, the promises of God and the truth that the story is so very far from over,” said Chapman.
The 22nd annual Turlock Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast not only brought the award winning Chapman to town, but also marked Mayor Gary Soiseth’s first event as the Mayor of Turlock. Soiseth, who said he first attended the event at the age of 8 when Curt Andre was still mayor, thanked all of those who have been praying for him since he was elected and mentioned how important it was that the community continue to pray for its leaders.
Soiseth added that he will continue such traditions as the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, which will remain a breakfast and not a brunch or lunch as many have joked to the young mayor, as well as having members of the community pray before Turlock City Council meetings.
Before concluding the event, Chapman reminded that not only his, but the story of those in attendance “is still unfolding.”
Mayor Gary Soiseth speaking at his first Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast as the Mayor of Turlock. 05-15-15