"The country's in crisis and in need of prayer," said Pastor Bob Kumpf as he opened the community prayer service last night at Northview High School.
A list of military men and women serving overseas or on homeland duty with ties to Clay County was read by Pastors Bob Sampson and Tony Alstott. There were nearly 130 names called out with about 20 more added during the service.
A prayer chain poster was setting on the auditorium stage. On either side were the names of people who had signed up for a specific time and day each week during which they will pray for the military personnel.
In the center were red and blue stars against a white background arranged as the American flag. The names of the service men and women will be placed on a star.
When asked how the idea came about, Pam Fischer, a Jackson Township School teacher answered.
"I was concerned about our troops over in the war zone. I was praying to the Lord one night and asked what I could do to help. He surely answered my prayer. It just came to me. The military would probably feel better if they knew the people at home were on watch, praying for them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just to let them know we really appreciate them and care for them so much.
"My friends Alyssa Rissler and Lori Hughes made this poster," Fischer continued. "A group of us sent letters out to 43 churches requesting the names of any service men and women for whom they'd like prayers.
Nearly 75 people attended the prayer service last night. Some were asked why they came.
"Because I believe in prayer," said Jan Stapp.
Northview High School Junior Jeremy Anderson came with his mother.
"I came to pray for my brother and the rest of the military," said Jeremy.
His mother, Cindy Anderson, said "I'm praying for my son, David, and all the other men and women. He's in Kuwait, moving into Iraq."
Shelly Bussing said, "I don't know anybody personally. I want to pray for the men and women that are overseas."
One young mother sat with her children Mitchell, 4, and Olivia, 7. "I'm concerned about the things going on and concerned about the world I'm bringing my kids up in," she said. "I think the only thing I can do is have faith and pray that everything's going to be all right."
Thomas Reid, from the House of Hope, said, " I'm praying for a friend of mine. He's a U.S. Marine. He was stationed in Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. They got shipped out a couple days ago."
Also from the House of Hope was Jonathan Huff.
He said, "We're here to pray and give support to the military."
There are 385 names on the list of people who will pray. But more are still needed. Anyone wanting to sign up to pray may call Pam Fischer at 442-5105 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
And the little children can also pray. Twins Grace and Ashley Nichols, 7, and brother Conner, 5, signed up to pray. Their dad, Troy Nichols, is with the 181st in Terre Haute.
Anyone wanting to add the name of a military member may send the name to the First Presbyterian Church, c/o Prayer Chain Chart, 210 N. Walnut St., Brazil, IN, 47834.
There will be a meeting at 7 p.m. April 3, at the Presbyterian board room to organize distribution of the chart to area churches. Interested parties are asked to attend.
The service men and women whose names are on the prayer chain chart will be prayed for constantly until they come home.