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Bethel Church takes prayer on the road to area hospitals

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (April 6, 2020) – More than 90 cars filled the east parking lot at Bethel Church Sunday afternoon, rolling in and lining up with gentle direction from three traffic control volunteers. In observance of Illinois’ social distancing guidelines, the drivers and passengers did not leave their vehicles or even roll down their windows. The church doors remained locked—church members were there to take their service on the road.

Bethel member and traffic volunteer Dave Schurman helps fill up the east parking lot on Sunday afternoon. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Bethel’s leaders had no idea what the participation rate might be in the church’s first “Unite Prayer Drive.” Only last Sunday the drive was still just an idea. Plans were solidified by Friday, and during the April 5 Sunday morning YouTube service, Pastor Jason Nelson revealed the specifics to viewers. Church members then received a follow-up email outlining the details.

“We will circle the three hospitals in our region in prayer in a continuous drive in our cars,” explained the email. “This is a way to care for burdened first-responders and healthcare workers and pray healing for people who are sick.” The email provided specific instructions about which exit to leave the parking lot from and what route to take to Community Health in Munster, Franciscan Health in Munster, and Franciscan Health in Dyer, Indiana.

Deb and Dave DeJong decorated their back window with a message about the purpose of the drive. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

The email also included some specific prayer prompts for pray-ers to use, listing personnel such as doctors, police, and first responders, but also others directly affected, such as hospital patients and families unable to visit them. At least 30 members of Bethel Church are first responders, and their names were listed in the email as well. “Pray for the health and safety of these individuals and their families,” were the instructions.

The procession began exiting east onto Wentworth at 4:00pm, turning north and heading to Ridge Road. By 4:15pm, the Bethel parking lot was empty.

At 4:00pm, Bethel cars began caravanning out the east drive onto Wentworth Avenue. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Mike Sitter of Traffic Management Company is also a Bethel member. He helped manage Wentworth traffic so the prayer drivers could remain together as they left the parking lot. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Around 5:30pm, Bethel’s east lot was full again as cars returned from the prayer drive. Upon arriving back at the church building, participants spent 10 minutes praying for Bethel ministries and people, particularly during the current time of adjustments and stress.

Bethel Church is located at 3500 Glenwood-Lansing Road in Lansing, Illinois. The church’s online worship service is released every Sunday and can be watched on the church’s YouTube channel (Bethel Church Online), website (, or Facebook page (

Bethel Church is located at 3500 Glenwood-Lansing Road in Lansing, Illinois. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

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Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Excellent idea!! I would hope the other Lansing churches would also do this mobile prayer meeting!!!!

  2. This is so Wonderful and Heart Warming! What a Blessing to live in such a caring community! Thank You Bethel Church for being a beacon!

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