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Prayers of hope: gifts of life

SOUTH POINT – Some prayed, some gave blood and some did both; but on Wednesday, Lawrence County residents gave to those that are affected by the tragedy rocked the nation.

Thursday, September 13, 2001

SOUTH POINT – Some prayed, some gave blood and some did both; but on Wednesday, Lawrence County residents gave to those that are affected by the tragedy rocked the nation.

Wednesday’s service at South Point United Methodist Church wasn’t the typical church service. The church was open Tuesday night for a few hours so people could come and pray. Wednesday, the Rev. Pete Shaffer was at the church at 10 a.m. so people could come to the sanctuary and find peace from God.

Rev. Shaffer read from Psalms 121: "I will lift my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help…The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul." Shaffer told the congregation, "no matter what happens, God will see us through."

The congregation not only prayed for the families and friends of those who died in the tragedy, but for the country’s leaders.

The thoughts of the church members were not only on what happened Tuesday, but what the future holds. One churchgoer said he hoped the leaders of the nation will take time and consider all of the alternatives before the U.S. starts "slinging missiles" at the enemy.

"People are hurt, angry, and are asking questions," Shaffer said. The minister added he hoped this disaster could be turned into a positive note and a call for people to turn to God. "I hope this drives everyone to their knees," Shaffer said.

Students, faculty and community members at Collins Career Center also turned their focus to the disaster.

The school had a blood drive already scheduled for Wednesday, but in light of Tuesday’s attack on America, there was an increased sense of urgency. A line to give blood stretched down a long hallway as people came to lend aide one pint of blood at a time.

Osha Billups, a surgical technology student in the Adult Education program said, although she normally donates blood, this time, she recognized the need for blood. "I feel it’s the least I can do," she said.

An American Red Cross worker said the agency normally collects 65 pints of blood at off site drives and the students who were working during the event had set a goal of 70 pints.

The Red Cross stopped taking collections at the school when collection totals reached 125 pints due to storage reasons.