Legion Hospital prayer vigil

Jennings American Legion Hospital staff members joined church members for a prayer vigil Wednesday in the hospital’s parking lot. Participants filled the lot to show support and love for the heroes on the front lines of the pandemic.

JENNINGS– One local church in Jeff Davis Parish is finding a unique way to gather and pray for health care professionals and patients battling the COVID-19 pandemic while following social distancing guidelines.

More than 75 members of Bethel Church in Jennings gathered Wednesday in their vehicles in the parking lot outside Jennings American Legion Hospital to pray for the nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers and patients who are the heroes on the front lines of the coronavirus.

As of Thursday, Jeff Davis Parish has 30 COVID-19 cases with two deaths reported.

“We just wanted to let them know that we love them and support them even though we are not able to be with them,” Sarah Deese, executive assistant at Bethel Church said. “We want them to know we are praying for all those who are on the front line.”

While practicing social distance by staying in their vehicles, the church members filled the parking lot and flashed their lights, honked and waved their hands to show support and love to the staff, many who have been putting in long hours.

“We felt the need to minister to the people who are on the front lines and let them know we are concerned about them,” Deese said.

Rachel Julian, the pastor’s wife, led the group in prayer. “Waymaker” was also played over the loud speaker for everyone to hear both inside and outside of the hospital, she said.

“It was very emotional and people cried,” Deese said. “Jennings is a small town, but we are like a big family and we support what our doctors, nurses and medical staff have done for us and what they are dealing with with COVIC-19.”

Many hospital staff watched and waved from windows. Others joined the group in the parking lot.

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