Since April 7th, community members and faith leaders have arrived at Flagstaff Medical Center nightly to show their support from the parking lot, lifting the spirits of patients and care givers.
“We just wanted to show our support in just a very practical, very easy way for our health care system and those specifically here in Northern Arizona,” says Daniel Williamson, lead pastor at Church for the Nations Flagstaff. “So cars come and join us and they turn their hazards on. Everybody stays inside of their car, and then they just join in in the time of prayer and in the time of support for FMC.”
The flashing lights and car horns have become a welcome distraction each evening for those inside the hospital.
“Our message that we wanted to send to them is that right now they might be by themselves, but they're not alone. And that's the message that we want to send to both the employees as well as the patients who are in isolation, who are tucked away all by themselves. That just because they're in a room by themselves, they're certainly not alone,” according to Williamson.
You Reap What You Sow
The effort began after Williamson and his family had conversations with friends who are local care givers, who were sharing how stressful recent weeks have been. He says they just wanted to help, but the demonstration of goodwill has had an unexpected effect on the participants.
“In moments like this, you always intend on going to be a voice of encouragement, to show your support; and it always seems to be flipped on you. You're the one that's encouraged. Hearing the response of nurses and so forth, just saying, ‘Man, we appreciate what you're doing.’ It encourages us to keep showing up and to keep going strong."
Community members are welcome to join the show of support. Participating individuals are asked to remain inside their vehicle at all times to maintain social distancing. Vehicles arrive nightly by 7pm with activities usually lasting a half hour.