'Pray for those who can no longer pray'
June 11, 2008 · Updated 11:19 AM
Sunday evening is a day to enjoy the last moments of the weekend before diving into a new week.About 4,000 Kitsap County residents decided Sunday evening was a good time to join in prayer for the victims of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, as well as for the nation, its leaders, and themselves.People crowded into Thunderbird Stadium at the county Fairgrounds Sept. 16 to hear speakers lead them in prayers of mourning, repentance and guidance during the Prayer for America vigil.We need God, we need his word. Hear the word of the Lord, said Rev. Gordon Hanstad.Hanstad began with a reading of Psalm 46:'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.Hanstad, former pastor of Sylvan Way Baptist Church of Bremerton, moderated the service.We come together not as partisan, or as citizens of any one group, but as as citizens of the United States, people who are angry, hurt, Hanstad said, leading the audience in a prayer for mourning for the victims. We remind ourselves we are one nation under God. Pray for those who can no longer pray for themselves, and all the children left without fathers and mothers.Only hours before, the stadium had been filled with gasoline fumes and the roaring of huge-tired pickups for a monster truck show. Those keeping vigil Sunday night looked out on arena dirt still imprinted with the Godzilla-sized herringbone tire patterns. Even the fresh cloud of fumes rolling over the stadium from a transport hauling some of the trucks away didn't distract the gathering.People might think (the service) would be some old dull stuff. But with this group, it's like J.C. Penney and Sears getting together to help each other. There's no competition, no one-upmanship ... it's truly ecumenical, said Rev. David Snapper, pastor of Anchor of Hope Church in Silverdale.Snapper and members of an affiliation of pastors that meets Wednesdays to pray for their communities pulled together the prayer vigil fairly quickly.We began Wednesday evening, pulling resources together, Snapper said.Bill Robinson, former pastor of Peninsula Bible Fellowship, thanked the county Parks and Recreation Department and the County Commissioners for making Thunderbird Stadium available. He also thanked the Kitsap County Sheriff's Department for the deputies who helped direct the steady stream of cars into parking areas around the Fairgrounds.Other ministry leaders who participated were Marc Pearson, pastor of Christ Memorial Church in Poulsbo, who lead the prayer for repentance; Larry Robertson, pastor of Emmanuel Apostolic Church in Bremerton, who lead the prayers for guidance; and David Martinez, pastor of Bremerton's Sylvan Way Baptist Church, who lead the singing of hymns and God Bless America.The military was represented by Army chaplain Maj. Ken Hegtvegt, who reminded the young people of the annual Meet ME at the Pole prayer meeting for high school students; and Navy chaplain Cmdr. George Ridgeway. Kelsy Davis of Bremerton felt the service met many needs.I came to support our country, the people in New York and for some resolution, Davis said. Our country needs prayer.It was a good service, it helped to pray for the specific needs, the anger of these people, said John McKie of Silverdale.Said Mike Wilson, one of the volunteers who staffed the donation buckets for Red Cross rescue efforts in New York after the service, I think the Lord was here, and He had His way. I'm pleased with the number of people who came out on short notice.