Candlelight Vigil Tonight In Memory Of Alana Hester – Please pray!

28 August 2009 10 Comments

…the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:  to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8

My heart is broken. This morning I saw a short post on Facebook by Pastor GW Dameron about the death from an accident of a 17 year old senior at Culpeper County High School. I commented on GW’s post that I wondered if she died in the serious car accident on Route 15 near the entrance of Pearl Sample School that Julia and I came across yesterday around 6:10 during our 30 mile bike ride.

After seeing GW’s post on Facebook, I saw an email update from Liz Danielsen to the Culpeper Ministerial Association members asking us ot pray for the family of the CCHS senior who died in the car accident.

Then about 15 mintues ago, I received an email from Mountain View Community Church titled “Power Team Schedule Changes.” That email stated

“Power Team Will NOT Be Performing Tonight!
CCHS will be hosting a candlelight vigil in memory of Alana Hester beginning at 6:30 PM.

Alana Hester was a beautiful, vibrant 17 year-old Senior at CCHS.  Her life ended tragically last evening in a car accident in front of Pearl Sample Elementary School.  Please join with our community to support the family and friends of Alana Hester tonight.

Power Team Returns on Saturday
These amazing athletes will return to the CCHS stage at 7 PM on Saturday and Sunday.  Please invite your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.  Bricks are breaking, phone books are tearing, steel bars are bending… It’s an unforgettable experience.”

As I read that message from Pastor Mark Jenkins, I began crying. I felt the pain of Alana’s family and friends. God does too. Yet, somehow, God will bring something good, something great, out of this tragedy. We are living is days of tremendous trials. Yet, this is a time for our entire community to draw close to God.

It’s interesting that yesterday morning, before Alana died, I was instructed by the LORD to write one of the most profound blog posts of my life titled, “Prayer Revival In America.” In that I announced that we are beginning weekly community prayer gatherings on Wednesdays at noon at the Reformation Lutheran Church in downtown Culpeper starting Sept 2. If you live locally, I hope you will join us.

Alana’s death reminds me of the tragic death of 17 year old Kelsey Orndorff last year around this same time. I know Pastor Randy and his wife Lee Anne are still grieving over that loss.

Jack Stagman, a dear friend and missionary from South Africa to Virginia and America, also lost his daughter in a tragic car accident a few years ago. During the past year, Jack has been igniting community prayer groups through northern and central Virginia.

Prayer Power
Heavenly Father, my heart is deeply grieved over the tragic death of Alana Hester. Yet, I know I am feeling such a small fraction of the grief that Alana’s family and close friends are feeling. I ask You to bless tonight’s prayer vigil. I pray that tonight’s prayer vigil will not only bless Alana’s love ones, but that it will serve a springboard for daily and weekly community-wide prayer.

Blessings for our entire community to rally together in prayer, not just today, but every week and every day!

Randy Peck, M.D.
“Blessed to be a blessing”
THE CONNECTOR & The Journal Guy

P.S. If you have comments to share, please post them publicly on my blog rather than sending me emails. Thank you.

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  • rod stone said:

    Thanks for this post Randy,
    We will be praying for the family of Alana Hester. Such a tragedy for a family to go through. We also got news that my nephew Nathanial in Delaware got his legs caught in an auger at work today and was life-flighted to Baltimore’s trauma center. We don’t know all of the details yet but please keep him in your prayers.

  • David Bean said:

    Randy you are so right that our hearts are broken. But to make it even harder on Randy and Lee Anne at the one year anniversary of Kelsey’s death, is that Lee Anne was Alana’s coach in the past. This will be hard on her adn the Orndorff family.

  • Ed Lyons said:

    Our prayers at Persecution Project Foundation are going up for Alana’s family and friends, as well as for Randy & Lee Anne. May God wrap His arms around us all and grant us comfort and peace.

  • Dr. Randy Peck said:

    Thank you Ed for your personal and touching reply, as well as your short prayer at the end. Blessings, Randy

  • Dr. Randy Peck said:

    Hi Rod, Thank you for your prayers. I’m so sorry to hear about Nathaniel’s accident today. May the LORD send his angels to watch over him. Keep me abreast of what happens with him. Blessings, Randy

  • Deborah said:

    I feel compelled to write and send prayers of comfort and mercy to both families of the children that were lost, let us never take one day for granted and remember that it is in Him alone that we find rest and peace, when we experience tribulations, that serve to draw us closer to Him.

  • Dr. Randy Peck said:

    Hi David, Thank you for your comment and prayers. I didn’t realize Lee Anne had been a coach for Alana. I expect a lot of people to come to tonight’s prayer vigil. Blessings, Randy

  • Burt Swardstrom said:

    We’ll be praying! Our hearts go out to the Hester family in this tragic event, to all the students who will be affected by this untimely death,and to the entire community of Culpeper. God can use the vigil even tonight to bring triumph out of tragedy. We’re also praying for Rod’s nephew.
    God is going to give you a special opportunity to be used of him during this tender time in your community. God bless!

  • Dr. Randy Peck said:

    Hi Burt, Thank you for your kinds and wise comments and prayers. I believe the decision to start weekly community prayer gatherings on the morning before Alana died is confirmation from God about what you share. Blessings, Randy

  • Dr. Randy Peck said:

    Thank you Deborah for your comments. I agree about never taking a day for granted. Each day is a gift. None of us have the promise tomorrow. Blessings, Randy

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