Hope in the Midst of Tragedy
ODESSA, TEX. – On Aug. 31, 2019, less than a month after a mass shooting in El Paso, Tex., the town of Odessa, Tex. experienced heartbreak and fear like never before. Seven lives were lost and dozens more were injured as a gunman opened fire while driving through the streets of Midland and Odessa.
On Sept. 8, local community members planned a city walk towards a memorial where crosses had been placed. The Odessa English Seventh-day Adventist Church quickly sprang into action and reached out to the coordinators of the walk. As a result, the church’s Community Service ministry along with the Odessa Lightbearers Pathfinder Club worked to provide refreshments for those who walked the two miles from a park to the memorial. Once participants arrived at the memorial, Daniel Morales was asked to lead the opening prayer. With solemn spirits and broken hearts, attendees bowed their heads as he prayed for God’s strength, peace and hope.
The Pathfinders were proud to participate. “This is about being helpful, supporting and caring r, and loving one another,” said Nayeli Rivas. Neveah Morales said, “It makes me want to cry seeing everyone work together. Happy tears and sad tears at the same time.”
As West Texas continues to heal from this tragedy, the church is grateful to the first responders, hospital staff and city leaders for their service during this tragedy. The Odessa church is also happy to have had the opportunity to come together with the community during a difficult time. We look forward to God’s promises and the glorious day that is described in Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” We can’t wait!
By Natalie Baeza