Two communities pray for missing boaters

SAVANNAH, Tenn. — Community members in Hardin County gathered to pray after a week of searching for three missing boaters on Pickwick Lake.

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At least a hundred and fifty people prayed by the river for the three missing boaters.

“Tragedy and difficulty does not separate us from God’s love, and that’s the one thing we have in the midst of times like this. It’s to know that God loves us and he cares for us and to know that other people do as well,” Minister at Grace Point Church David Baker said.

Baker preached at a riverside prayer vigil for three missing boaters from Obion County.

Hardin County High fishing coach, Dana Stricklin, and a volunteer for missing persons’ cases, Rickey Alexander, organized the vigil.

Community members from both Hardin County and Obion County prayed together to bring them home.

“Whenever you work these tragedies, it’s hard to not take that home. It’s hard to leave it right here on the river bank,” Alexander said.

Stricklin says it’s been hard on her, and her students, but she’s grateful for all of the community’s support during this rough time.

“Thank you. Thank you for coming together, thank you for helping. We’ve had people offer to do any and everything,” Stricklin said.

Officials and volunteers have been searching for two fifteen year old students and their chaperone who went missing on Pickwick Lake a week ago.

Hardin County Sheriff Johnny Alexander says the week long search turning up empty handed is hard.

“Especially these children, we hate it for the families to lose a child,” Sheriff Alexander said.

He says they will keep searching everyday, until they find them.

In the meantime, community members will keep praying for their recovery.

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“We just want them to understand, as a faith community, that we surround them with our prayers,” Baker said, “we want to be hopeful, we want to be helpful. We want this family to know they’re supported by the love of the members of this community.”

“For the community to come out in such a mass of numbers like we had, it’s incredibly uplifting to everyone of them, and we hope they felt it,” Alexander said.

Michael Davis, director of Hardin County Schools, says this challenging time brought together two communities.

“We’re not doing anything they wouldn’t do for us if the tables were turned,” Davis said, “we’ve got to look at the good of what comes out of tough challenges and we’re still going to continue praying for hope and a good ending.”

“If Christ can be for us, who can be against us?” Baker said.

Officials say the search resumes Monday morning, and they’re reducing the workforce in the search.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says that the reduction is in anticipation of heavy rains and rising waters.

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