Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 3, 2013

Community gathers for National Day of Prayer

Pastors, leaders pray for victims of record-setting flood.

By Carson Gerber
Tribune staff writer

— More than 100 people gathered on the courthouse lawn Thursday afternoon to pray for the community and the nation as part of the 62nd annual National Day of Prayer.

Pastors and local officials offered supplications for government leaders, law enforcement, schools, churches, families and media outlets in Howard County.

People sat in the grass, underneath trees and in folding chairs in front of a large stage set up on the east side of the courthouse as musicians from Great Faith Christian Center led the crowd in hymns and praise songs.

Dick Sanburn, director of adult ministries at Crossroads Community Church, prayed for families and couples in Kokomo, but also prayed for those affected by April’s flooding.

“There are so many people hurting in this city because of the recent storm and flood,” he said. “Please restore them and draw them close Lord.”

Dean Hockney, publisher of the Sports Journal of Central Indiana, also prayed for the flood victims. He said the hordes of volunteers who helped during the disaster demonstrated people’s love for each other in Kokomo.

“Thank you for the many positive stories that came out of the most historic flooding in this city’s history,” he prayed.

Ashley Ausbrook, a stay-at-home mom who brought her kids to the event, said those prayers were particularly meaningful for her.

“I think it really says a lot about this community,” she said. “It says that we’re willing to come together to lift up our city, regardless of someone’s creed or denomination. The more people that get together to lift up our community, the stronger we will be and that rang true with the recent flood.”

Jim Hancock, who had to day off from work and decided to attend, said the event demonstrated how unified the churches are in Kokomo.

“This shows Kokomo is a praying community, and the love of God is evident here,” he said.

That was a theme in the message delivered by Brad Swain, pastor at In His Image Church. He said the city is a special place to live thanks to the prayers of its residents.

“We need to make this city the best it can be, because we’re blessed to live here,” he said.

Carson Gerber is a Kokomo Tribune reporter. He may be reached at 765-854-6739, or by email at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.