MU president Jody Horner

Attendees of the Fremont Area Leadership Prayer Breakfast listen on Friday morning while Midland University President Jody Horner reads a somber passage of Scripture from the book of Isaiah in the Bible. More than 600 people attended the Good Friday event.

The Fremont Area Leadership Prayer Breakfast had a little different flavor this year.

In brief remarks on Friday morning at Midland, some speakers drew attention to community-wide efforts during recent flooding.

Fremont Mayor Scott Getzschman told how churches and many nonprofit organizations worked together to provide food, shelter and hope to citizens — a mission that continues today.

“The community-wide support has been amazing, filling sandbags and sandbagging, pumping and digging mud out of many basements, providing meals, unloading trucks or giving financially — each and every one rose to the task,” he said.

Getzschman commended city and county leadership, utility and city staff, emergency management, police, fire and “an army of local contractors,” who worked in collaboration to keep a terrible situation from becoming worse.

“I truly believe Christ was overseeing the entire effort. He was there with the firefighters that night on the Elkhorn River,” Getzschman said, referring to seven men rescued after two airboats capsized while they were going to help a family.

Getzschman cited other examples of how he believes Christ helped the community, stating that the Lord was there as people stacked sandbags along Old Highway 275, pilots flew people in and out of Omaha, and people unloaded trucks with all the goods and services from across the country that flooded into Fremont City Auditorium.

“He was there with our contractors and he was with each and every family that was affected by this flood and ensured the safety of all involved in this community and across this county,” Getzschman said.

Sen. Lynne Walz, who represents District 15 in the Unicameral, talked about how she usually sees Lent — a season of reflection before Easter — as a time to get rid of distractions like television or social media and focus on a relationship with Jesus.

But the last six weeks would bring some very sad events.

“For me personally, it had to do with the passing of my mother,” Walz said.

Walz’ mother Ardis Shallberg, 90, died March 10 in Fremont.

For most people attending the breakfast, those sad events involved the devastation caused by the flood and how it affected the entire community.

With so much going on, Walz said she found herself almost feeling guilty she didn’t have the opportunity to spend quiet time with Jesus and think about what he did on the cross.

Walz was driving to work last week when she heard a sermon about missed moments.

“Initially I thought, ‘That’s how I feel,’” she said. “I feel like I’ve missed those important moments leading up to Easter.”

But the more she listened, Walz said she began to take the focus off herself and focus more on what was going on around her.

“I thought about the last few weeks and all those opportunities we had to work together to love each other,” she said.

Walz realized those moments are times people have every day to commit themselves to Christ’s commandment to love one another — even when it means sacrificing their time, thoughts and insecurities.

“We just need to love each other,” she said.

She asked attendees to think about not missing those moments.

Walz said a prayer for the community. The Rev. Mike Washburn, pastor of Full Life Church, gave the opening prayer. Jody Horner, president of Midland University, read Isaiah 53 from the Old Testament of the Bible. The Rev. Stephanie Tollefson, pastor at First Lutheran Church, gave the closing prayer.

In his comments, Getzschman spoke about the opportunity attendees had to pray for the community.

“We are truly blessed,” Getzschman said. “We also come together to reflect on Jesus Christ, the fact that he paid the ultimate sacrifice for us. God sent his son to stand in for us. In that one act of love, we are assured of salvation, our eternal place in the presence of God.”

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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