Vigil held for Courtney Hayes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds gather for Courtney Hayes vigil

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Hundreds of people gathered in Courtney Hayes' hometown of Douglas tonight to lift up her and her family up in prayer.

Courtney went to Haiti last week on a college mission trip. She was in a hotel that collapsed, and she's still missing tonight.

Her loved ones are still holding on to hope that she'll be found safe. Hundreds of friends, family, and community members came together at First United Methodist Church in Douglas to pray for Courtney's survival.

Courtney Hayes' friends say she was a shinning light in their eyes. As they come together to pray for her survival, they say she would do the same. They remember her as a peacemaker who traveled to Haiti with classmates on a mission to feed the hungry.

"No one disliked her, she was a friend to everyone," said her friend Kelly Strickland.

They say just before her trek, she even mended Kelly and Elizabeth's friendship which had hit a bumpy road.

Strickland who has children of her own sympathizes dearly with the Hayes family.

" I'm a mother of two and I can't imagine my baby not coming home," Strickland said.

 "I hope and pray that she'll come home and every night I pray that God will please bring her home," said her friend Elizabeth Floyd.

Dozens of candles inside and outside stood for the love, and selflessness burning in Courtney's heart for others.

"I hope to God they call tonight and say she's fine," Strickland said. "So what if she has scratches or bruises. I just want her to be alive and okay."

So does her uncle who's been keeping touch with her dad in the Dominican Republic.

"We're asking for the Almighty Lord to intervene and bring Courtney home," Dewey Hayes said.

Friends and family hope God will answer the hundreds of prayers for Courtney's return.

Courtney's friends say this trying situation has actually strengthened their faith and they say they will continue to pray for a miracle.

A couple of day's after the quake, rescue crews told Courtney's family she was fine. Hours later they found out that was not true.


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