As the Sutherland Springs community tries to cope with the unimaginable loss, local pastors hosted a vigil on Monday night outside the local baseball field. At least 100 people prayed together and sang songs loud enough for the whole town to hear.
It wasn’t just the people of Sutherland Springs that attended. Communities in Floresville, Stockdale, La Vernia joined in as well.
“I’m very close with a lot of the churches around here and they’re like family to me. When you hurt somebody from my family, it hurts me,” said Andy Yaklin, a youth pastor at River of Life Christian Fellowship.
Pastors gave residents a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold.
“The support’s been overwhelming since word of this happened,” Sutherland Springs resident Chris Sonnier said.
The news is still hard to fathom for some locals as they know Sutherland Springs as a peaceful, friendly town.
“Ride my bikes along all these streets, spend some time with my cousins, friends I would meet from different houses, we'd all meet up and go ride bikes and go play at the baseball field, at the community building, right around by the church especially,” resident Kevin Morales said. “You wouldn't think anything would happen over here.”
“We're an old, sleepy little town. Nobody knows where we are,” resident Donna Muth said. “When we say we're from Sutherland Springs, we have to explain where we're at. Still, people don't know where we are from.”
Locals say to never underestimate the power of prayer and the power of their community.
“We need to hold each other tight and let each other know that we love them,” Yaklin said. “You never know when that time comes that the Lord calls you home.”