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Community continues to support Warrior Jace at prayer meeting

A gathering of around 200 participants recently at Officer Jeff Shelton Park in Locust lifted up prayers for one Stanly youth.

Jace Thompson, 5, has continued his battle with cancer since being diagnosed with a tumor in October 2017. The rare form of cancerous tumor was found on his brain stem.

Thompson went through a month of radiation treatment at Atrium Health before joining a clinical study in Washington, D.C.

Badin UMC’s Rev. Beau Linker led the hundreds in attendance in a group prayer. (Photo by Charles Curcio).

The Rev. Beau Linker, pastor at Badin United Methodist Church, led a cloudy mid-morning prayer service in the park for Jace and his family. After taking a group picture, those assembled formed a circle encompassing a large portion of the park. Linker opened the prayer meeting and then invited others in the circle to share their prayers for the family.

Many in the circle wore green shirts with the WarriorJace hashtag on it, being known as one of his favorite colors.

Jake Bryant, who earned honors at this year’s Oakboro Fourth of July Talent Show, performed Jace’s favorite song, “John Deere Greene” by Joe Diffie. The group also sang the song “Warrior” by contemporary Christian artist Hannah Kerr.

Jake Bryant sings the Joe Diffie song “John Deere Greene” at a prayer meeting for Jace Thompson. (Photo by Charles Curcio)

“I sent a friend a text … and we had talked before about community prayer,” Jennifer Thompson said. “She said, ‘I’m on it.’ Today, seeing hundreds of people gathering to pray for our son, it’s completely overwhelming.”

She said she recognized many faces who had driven a long way to be part of the prayer meeting. Many of them may not know the family personally but still came to show their supports.

“That’s what being part of a community is all about: so many believers and people who are not afraid to step out with their faith, rally behind us. We’re blessed.”

“Through this whole process, Jace has never been negative. He has always been positive, smiles. He’s never complained and you feed off it.”

“Jace has changed so many lives. He always has a smile on his face even when you know he hasn’t felt good. He’s got a twinkle in his eye,” Linker said.

“He’s met every challenge he’s faced with joy. I’ve honestly never met anyone like that. Every time I see him, he’s been happy, in good mood even when not feeling the best.”

Linker called the Thompsons “a special family,” calling Jace’s parents, Jennifer and Eric, “phenomenal.”

The Badin minister said Jace “has turned cancer on its head” and “has one of the biggest hearts for a 5-year-old I’ve ever seen. He is so generous; he has so much goodness in him.”

One of Linker’s prized possessions is a pink unicorn given to him by Jace a few months ago. Some of the younger attendees of the event received stuffed animals prayed over by Jace.

This week, Jace and his family reported he is in the Children’s National Medical Center in the Washington, D.C. area, saying he will have another round of radiation treatment.

Linker said the one way people can be involved is through prayer.

“Everything we have done is grounded in our faith,” he said. “We need as many prayer warriors as possible.”

Regarding the turnout for the meeting, Jace’s mother talked about her hopes for the future.

“We’re ready for the healing so we can have an even bigger celebration.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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