See You at the Pole: Students living on prayer


Caitlin Trude

Participants in See You At the Pole join hands at Foothill to pray. Photo by Caitlin Trude of The Foothill Dragon Press.
Participants in See You At the Pole join hands at Foothill to pray. Photo by Caitlin Trude of The Foothill Dragon Press.

It starts out at approximately 7 A.M. with four students and two boxes of doughnuts. The air is bitingly cold, and there is almost no one else in sight.

The small group consists of Eileen Miramontez, Joseph “Joe” Malach, Hannah Padaoan, and Angela King. They take hands, form a small circle, and while closing their eyes, begin to say some soft-spoken prayers.

On September 22, See You at the Pole is the day when students  from all over the nation come together with their peers to pray at their campus’s flagpole.

However, meeting at Foothill’s flagpole would have blocked traffic, so the circle settles comfortably in front of the media center.

Words about the school, its students and staff, the military, and the future can be heard. Between each prayer, there are a few minutes of silence until someone else takes the floor. Both Miramontez and Malach can be counted on to say a prayer when the silence grows long.

Some might wonder – is this a Habakkuk club event? Foothill junior and Habakkuk leader Miramontez responds, “ It is a Habakkuk event, but it’s open to those who don’t attend.”

At this time, the students take a short break from praying to greet Renae Schultz, a junior, as she comes to join the group. It is clear – as indicated by the coffee mug in her hand – that it required some dedication (and freshly-brewed coffee) to be here this early. But she is here to make a statement: Schultz believes that that there is something missing within the school – “a lack of passion for God” among Christian students.

Malach, also a Habakkuk leader, searches for the right words to say: “[This is] a place where we can get together as a nation, praying for everything we are and everything we can be. We can be together as one in a nation under God.”

As quickly as the group broke, people join hands again. Malach speaks; “I pray that we may be lights upon this campus…and turn the other cheek to those who hate us…I thank You for all the people here…”

Miramontez hopes that “people will know there are Christians on campus and they’re not alone when it comes to being a Christian, and also that they will come to Habakkuk and be in with other followers.”

It is also her hope that people become curious as to what all this prayer is about. Some that walk by do stare curiously for some seconds but others do not seem to notice. More and more people slip quietly into the circle. By the time the bell rings, there are about twenty-one people praying together.

When asked if this year’s turnout surpassed last year’s, Miramontez enthusiastically replies, “Oh yeah, definitely!”

What do you think?