By Kelsi Peace, Staff Writer
In a gesture of Christian community, Gaye Ribble began a prayer chain for Cody Veteto at Lakewood Church of Christ in Lakewood, Colo., that is now being continued at ACU.
The ACU prayer chain began Sunday and will continue until Saturday, concluding a two-week period of constant prayer for the Vetetos.
The original prayer chain began at the Veteto’s home church, Park Plaza Church of Christ, in Tulsa, Okla., and lasted 48 hours.
When Ribble heard Veteto’s story, she decided to take action and initiated a 36-hour prayer chain at Lakewood Church of Christ. The chain expanded when Veteto’s father, Ken Veteto, posted information on the Veteto’s blog instructing people to contact Ribble to join the chain.
Ribble then contacted the Spiritual Life Core to oversee a prayer chain at ACU. The Spiritual Life Core responded by printing pictures of Veteto, blog updates and information, along with providing sign-up sheets and pens for the booth.
Ribble said she estimates about 700 different people are praying for the Veteto’s, and ACU’s prayer chain should increase numbers to about 1,500.
Of the participants in the prayer chains, Ribble said about 300 people know Veteto personally.
“To me, the story is just how this Christian family comes together,” Ribble said. “It doesn’t matter if you know people or not.”
Participants have responded positively, said Ribble, who receives e-mails in the middle of the night when a prayer slot concludes, reporting the blessing the prayer time was. Riddle said many people across the country have had their belief in prayer restored.
Veteto should return to Tulsa for rehab Wednesday, which Ribble and other participants in the prayer chain see as a direct result of their constant prayer.
“We definitely, without any question in our mind, see a direct correlation,” Ribble said.
At ACU, many of Veteto’s friends have taken a time slot, said Ryan Jones, Veteto’s roommate and freshman Bible, missions and ministry major from Tulsa.
“I know that everyone is pretty busy since it is towards the end of the semester, but I think that overall participation has been good,” Jones said in an e-mail. “Everyone who takes time out of their schedule is doing a great thing for the entire situation.”
Ashley Carr, student adviser for the Spiritual Life Core and sophomore psychology major from Abilene, said on Sunday only six slots remained empty. However, Friday and Saturday remain relatively open.
Carr said faculty and staff have also signed up for a 15-minute slot.
ACU students are not the only representatives of ACU who are participating, Ribble said.
Parents who have heard about Veteto’s situation from their students have contacted Ribble to participate in the prayer chain, as well as ACU alumni who are living in various places across the country. ACU alumni at Pepperdine University have participated in the prayer chain with many people in Oklahoma.
Students who would like to sign up for a prayer slot can do so in the Campus Center throughout the week.