With so much negativity raging across America, some residents in Fresno, California, have set out on a mission to try and change things by encouraging people to turn to prayer.
It all started when Virginia La Salle, an ordained pastor, decided last spring to take to the streets of Fresno to encourage people in prayer — a mission that has only grown in size and scope in recent months, The Fresno Bee reported.
La Salle eventually came to call for people to launch prayer tents all over the city this past weekend.
But even before she called for 100 prayer tents, she and friend Linda Crowder were leading prayers on the streets, mainly coming together on Sundays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help encourage strangers.
Prayer tents reportedly began popping up in empty lots, with local Christians praying for people from all walks of life who happened to stop by to figure out what in the world these tents were for.
“If you find and treat people with value, they will rise up every time,” La Salle said. “When you treat them with respect and honor and value, everything changes.”
And Crowder added, “This is what Jesus would be doing. He’s not going to be sitting in a pew in church every Sunday.”
La Salle believes that the effort — teamed with the efforts of other local ministries in Fresno — could yield some major change throughout the city.
“There’s something that God is going to do in this city that’s going to change the identity of Fresno,” she told the Bee. “It’s not just people like me and Linda on the streets. There are a bunch of us doing stuff now. We’re connecting with a lot of ministries now.”
Over the weekend, the women called for 100 tents to pop up through Fresno. It’s unclear how many tents ended up emerging, but one thing is clear based on video taken during the efforts: prayer is making an impact in residents’ lives.