Christians Continue to Pray for Missing Miners

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MONTCOAL, W. Va. -- Rescue crews began the day once again looking for survivors from Monday's mine disaster in Montcoal, W. Va.

However, Christians in the community are finding comfort in knowing that regardless of what happened, there is hope beyond this life.

Hope in the Face of Tragedy

In Montcoal, it is another night of waiting, hoping, and praying for a miracle that somehow, the four missing miners will be found alive. But even in the community's darkest hour, for Christians, there's comfort in knowing that this life is not the end.

"That's why the Easter message of Jesus coming out of the tomb is most appropriate here," Rev. Dennis Sparks, with the West Virginia Council of Churches, said. "Because those people that came out of that tomb - even the 25 that were found dead in that tomb - God has life on the other side of that. That is what faith is about."

Residents gathered at the Sundail Assembly of God church Wednesday night to pray for the miners and their families.

"In this world we'll have tribulation but in Heaven you won't have to worry about it. You'll be safe in Jesus arms, Praise God," Sundail Assembly of God Pastor Edward Beckner said.

A Candlelight Vigil

Meanwhile in nearby Cabin Creek, W. Va., home to four of the miners who died in Monday's explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine, hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil in their honor.

"He was the best dad in the world," said Timmy Davis, Jr., who lost his father in the explosion. Davis lost three family members in one day: his father and two cousins.

Others were just thanking God that their loved ones made it out alive.

"We had an 18-year-old cousin who was there and it was a shift change," Tonya Stanley, who attended the vigil, said. "He got out, but we knew three others who died."

West Virginians are known for being strong and resilient in times of tragedy, but Rev. Sparks said it is the Church that brings hope.

"The scripture says that no matter how dark it is, that God finds light in that darkness," Sparks said. "And when you have a situation like this where we're still waiting for a miracle for the four that are down in that darkness, that scripture becomes even more powerful."

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Wendy Griffith is a Co-host for the The 700 Club and an Anchor and Senior Reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In addition to The 700 Club, she co-anchors Christian World News, a weekly show that focuses on the triumphs and challenges of the global church. Follow Wendy on Twitter @WendygCBN and "like" her at Facebook.com/WendyGriffithCBN.