BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A pastor from Washington D.C. is reaching out to those who feel worried and helpless about the spreading oil spill. He's relying on the strength of his legs and the power of prayer.
"Gracious God, we come today as we get ready to leave this town just to lift up again Biloxi, MS," prayed Rev. Mitchell Hescox. "Lord, we pray for the people here. We pray for the devastation."
His daily walks are filled with faith and sometimes, a few followers. This week, his thoughts and prayers are with South Mississippians who are feeling despair as they deal with an environmental disaster.
"I felt really the call to come and walk and pray through Mississippi and Louisiana. Just to pray for God's help in this oil spill, for the oil spill to stop," he said.
Reverend Hescox is president of the "Evangelical Environmental Network," a Christian ministry based in Washington D.C. This week, he's on a prayer walk across Mississippi and Louisiana. His march started Monday in Bay St. Louis an ended Wednesday in Ocean Springs. He then drove to Port Sulphur, Louisiana, to start his walk there.
"I felt specifically called to come to Mississippi, places that maybe weren't the hot spots first to say 'We care. We're here to lift you up, to be with you, to walk with you,'" Hescox said.
"We pray for those who are hurting, those without jobs, those whose livelihoods are going away," he prayed as he walked along Highway 90 in Biloxi Wednesday.
During his 80-mile journey, he recited the Lord's Prayer, chants and even sings. Along the way, he listens to the people's stories. The blistering heat and stifling humidity don't seem to bother him.
"It's worth it, because this is the way I can get out and touch the people. To show solidarity; you know? When I walk into the harbor with a sweaty T-shirt on and my hair dripping, you know I'm with you folks," said Rev. Hescox.
He stopped to talk briefly with a business owner and offered to pray with her.
"Lord, that you will be with her in this fear of the oil spill, that you will give her hope," he prayed.
His steps may have taken him out of Mississippi, but his heart and prayers will always remain with the people.
"You will keep them safe and watch over them, for we ask in Jesus' most precious name. Amen," he prayed.
Rev. Hescox said he understands what's happening in the Gulf. Before he became a pastor, he worked 14 years in the energy industry.
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