A Celebration of the Life of Lana Jane (Olivero) Elder
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. While the service was filled with tears, it was tremendously uplifting as well! 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 (recorded the night before). I’ve also included the program from her service at the right if you’d like to read it here or follow along. Here’s Part 1 of 6, which includes:
Welcome and Opening Prayer: Pastor by Jason Sniff, friend Songs of Worship: led by Gary Marini, friend, Lucas Elder, son, and Makari Elder, daughter Song: “Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” written by Brenton Brown Song: “Everlasting God” written by Chris Tomlin Scripture Reading: Isaiah 40:28-31, read by Makari Elder, daughter Song: “How He Loves” written by John Mark McMillan
Here’s Part 2 of 6, which includes:
Scripture Reading: John 14:1-3, by Mark Olivero, brother Expressions of Love: by Laurie Landsman, sister, and John Paul Olivero, brother
Scripture Reading: Revelation 21:1-5, by Josiah Elder, son Dance: “I Can Only Imagine,” by Kaleo Elder, daughter, and nieces Shana, Tara and Erica Olivero and Rebekah Landsman
Eulogy: by Pastor Eric Elder, husband Eric’s Hope: Video by Neuvelle Vie Scripture Readings: “What God Says About Fear,” Recorded by Lana Elder, with music by friends Brent Mitchell and Chuck and Lynette Giacinto
Here’s Part 5 of 6, which includes:
Invitation to follow Lana’s Savior: by Karis Elder, daughter Invitation Song: “It Is Well With My Soul” written 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: by Mark Dossett, friend
Piano Music: by Marilyn Byrnes, Eric’s sister