Prayer vigil held for healthcare workers

About 75 people gathered at Weisiger Park in downtown Danville Thursday evening to show their support for local healthcare workers.

Brent Godsey, family minister at Indian Hills Christian Church, said the idea was brought to his attention by a local leader who saw the idea online as other communities held similar events. The leader asked to remain anonymous, and said she wanted to help because of heart-wrenching stories she had heard from friends who work in healthcare.

“God put it on my heart, and I reached out to her,” Godsey said. “I called several churches. It was nothing very formal, but we got online and tried to put the word out that way. We wanted it to be a community of faith thing.”

Godsey said people had been praying prior to the event, including some who were at home, and others at local schools including Danville Christian Academy. He said DCA had also been making signs Thursday for the event.

“We just want to lift things up to God because we believe prayer works, and we wanted the healthcare workers to know they aren’t alone, and there are people standing behind them,” Godsey added.

Godsey, joined by Gary Johnson with First Baptist Church Second and Walnut, led prayers for healthcare workers, as well as the sick and their families, and also for the community.

Following prayer in the park, the group walked to Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center and lined the sidewalk in front of the hospital. Many held signs encouraging healthcare workers, and almost all waved and smiled to those inside.

From inside the hospital, the healthcare workers showed their thanks by waving back to the crowd and holding up impromptu signs made on notebook paper with messages saying, “We love you, too,” and “Thank you.”

Mike Crowe, executive pastor of Indian Hills Christian Church, said there were several local churches represented at the prayer event. Crowe said from where he was standing he could not personally see the signs held by the healthcare workers inside the hospital, but he heard positive comments from those who did see them.

“That was really neat. I didn’t get to see those, but it was very touching from those that did get to witness that,” Crowe said. “The hospital was very supportive, and I know Brent (Godsey) called the hospital ahead of time, and they evidently got the word out throughout the hospital that we were doing that, and that created the opportunity for those inside to respond.”

Crowe said he was very impressed with the number of people who turned out for the event given that it was organized on short notice.

EMRMC officials also appreciated the event and the support shown for staff members and patients.

“We were very appreciative for the community supporting our patients and healthcare workers with this prayer service,” said Jeremy Cocanougher, director of marketing with EMRMC. “It was a blessing to our staff and an inspiration to them and our patients.”