Jasper woman organizes prayer walk to support people affected by COVID-19

Community encouraged to participate

Jasper woman organizes prayer walk to support people affected by COVID-19

JASPER, Ind. (WFIE) - A woman in Dubois County had a vision to help those affected by the coronavirus through the outlet of prayer.

Stacy Gutgsell’s vision fully came to life this weekend.

When people come through Jasper Memorial Hospital, they may notice a prayer box. Once the box is opened, people will find directions and a map, which Gutgsell says will help volunteers complete a prayer walk for those impacted by COVID-19.

“I just spent some time praying and wrote what I believed he had put on my heart out, and prayed about it some more and shared it, and they agreed that this is something we could all use as a community,” Gutgsell said.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and all who have suffered throughout it, started to weigh heavy on Gutgsell’s heart. She says this is where God came in.

Gutgsell created a socially distanced way for people to meet, pray and extend their support to those in the hospital, or people who have lost a loved one due to the coronavirus.

“I believe we’re here for others, you’re not here for yourself,” Gutgsell said. “If you’re just here for yourself, what’s the point in living? If you can’t lift another person up, there’s just no purpose.”

Memorial Hospital allowed Gutgsell to set up a mailbox with a map of the route and scripture inside.

Volunteers can sign up for 30-minute walks leading up to Easter Sunday.

More than a dozen people came to kick off the first day of the prayer walk on Saturday.

Community members, health department officials, healthcare workers and religious leaders took the first lap around the hospital to pray.

“To know that it’s not just our prayers, but the community is supporting us,” Suzanne Burgess, the nursing director at Memorial Hospital said. “They’re walking around our physical building, but their prayers are really going between the walls and are reaching both our caregivers and our patients.”

Volunteers say this event is meant to give a little hope to those who need it the most, and to make sure that people know the community is supporting them.

“It’s still all about community,” volunteer Larry Kluenper said. “Every Christian faith that’s out there needs to stand up in this sense in prayer. Not only against the evils of the world, but against something like COVID. Something that really messes with our lives, our society and community. So I think everyone who sees this or hears this in any way, whether it’s through a walk at the hospital or other things in the community, get out there and try to help people when you can.”

For those who would like to participate, click here to sign up.

Organizers say if the half-mile walk is too much for people, they can just complete what they can and that will be more than enough.

Copyright 2021 WFIE. All rights reserved.