At 2:30 today we began a prayer and encouraging and blessing service outside of a social hall where a young man had been murdered near midnight of Friday. He was dancing with friends. Jacquez, 21, had just been accepted at the Marines and was leaving next Thursday morning. Suddenly, someone came inside and began shooting, no one aimed at, but bullets hit 4 of them. A 14-year old girl is in critical condition, 2 men showed up at the local hospital with less-than-serious condition. But Jacquez died nearly immediately on the dance floor.
The First Responders time was filled with people from his family, his friends, and our ministry-caring people. One of our main spiritually intense ladies, Teela, was called at 1:30 AM by Jacquez's aunt to tell her.
Teela spoke loudly and prayerfully at the FR time. And she introduced the parents and others.
dad spoke for a few minutes about him and about the family and the
fatherhood and the caring.
He said Jacquez was not in drugs, not a
dealer, and not in a gang. That dads need to put 200% in raising their
mom didn't speak. Sounded like her throat was hurting. But we
were asked to lay a prayer shawl on her. She was hugged by a niece.
Touched by ladies surrounding her. I was blessed to help place the
shawl. Couldn't NOT not take a picture.
Had a wonderful time hugging
her later as I was leaving and told her I would be sharing their story in our town, our
nation, and around the world. She was rejoicing, thanking me.
It was a very large group of people.
One blessing? It wasn't nearly as cold as recently so we could breathe together. Another? Three police officers came. We almost always have officers nearby in a car, but this time these men got out of the cars to stand with us, to show true heart-filled caring for the families. It was a blessing for me to be able to thank them and touch them gratefully.
ANOTHER? Prayer topics are passed around by the leader, certain individuals asked to pray, fairly short prayer-times, not going on forever and ever. After a few, the next one was for all the kids that were there, that they be placed in the center to be prayed over. I saw him glancing around and then, the leader, Dave, said, "Joanne." So, I laid my hands on a young girl next to me, my heart so heavy, I nearly crying, and I prayed for a minute that they would be covered with the Lord's protection, that they would grow in Him and that His light would help them be in the right place, right time. I don't remember exactly what I said, but some of that; my emotions were pretty intense, to say the least.
Was only there for an hour, but my heart is still filled with this event. We prayed in front of the door where the murder had occurred. AND this happened right across the street from an elementary school. Lots has happened in that area many times in these past years; I'm not happy this happened, but I AM happy it didn't happen during the day and when kids were going to see it or hear the screaming, sorrowing.
[AND, just a moment ago, as I was finishing this, a bit of "us" were shown on the news. They showed dad holding his photo up and talking and then our leader speaking of our purpose to be there ... to always let the families, friends, and neighbors know that we -- F.R. -- are with them and they are not alone.]
So, now, going to spend a couple hours snuggling on the couch with my hubby watching one of our comedy movies.