(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) In a time of crisis, people search for hope.
And hope is exactly what one local chaplain is giving.
Every night, David Hugger goes to a healthcare facility and holds an outdoor service where people stay in their cars and pray for those fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines.
“Every night at 8 p.m. I go to a different nursing home, medical facility and pray. What happens is people have been joining me,”said David Hugger, Chaplain for Aseracare Hospice.
Medical professionals said the parking lots full of people praying for them provide hope in times of trouble.
“Down deep, we’re scared. I’m not afraid to say it. It’s very concerning,”said Rhonda Martin, registered nurse for Diversicare.
And rather than people sitting in pews to pray, they're sitting in their cars, staying safe.
Tha chaplain said in times of crisis, the community unites for the greater good.
“I think the big reason people are gravitating towards this is everyone feels like they want to do something,”said Hugger.
Local leaders said the outdoor services gives people a chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
“It’s very powerful when we come together like a team and say ‘hey, we’re out on this battlefield together,”said Kimberly Warren, CEO of MidCity Excellence.
After posting the outdoor services live on his Facebook, Hugger said more and more cars came until Sunday, when Hugger was met with a full parking lot of flashing lights.
An emotional sight Hugger called humbling.
“I was utterly shocked, went home and cried myself to sleep. I did. I cried myself to sleep because when I saw the nurses crying and the people out front, the people at Mosaic crying and I was getting these messages from people ‘I’m on the third floor watching you.’ It’s been a very emotional rollercoaster for me,”said Hugger.
The chaplain has held these parking lots of prayer at every medical facility in Andrew and Buchanan county and said he will continue to do so.
Hugger is hosting a parking lot prayer at the Mosaic in Maryville on Friday at 8 p.m.