Saturday, November 19, 2005

11/19/05 Introducing "Sundays of Hope"

About a year ago, an online friend of mine, Susan H., suggested a campaign which would entail having a church community pray for a specific missing person. Persons who wanted to get involved in this way would see if they could get their church or other place of worship to allow this. Volunteers would take it upon themselves to print posters of a specific missing person to disseminate at the Sunday (or any other designated day) service. Interested persons belonging to that church community could take the poster home with them, and pray for that missing person and their family during the course of that week.

I'm not sure what happened with this idea at that time, but it never came to pass. Along came Mary. This is the same "Mary" from the story of "Angels and Miracles", posted here .

Mary suggested it, too. She even received permission from her pastor to do it. The time is right to do it, and so I am.

Some readers and some of the families we work for may not have the same belief system, and maybe some may have none at all, but the majority do, plus they believe in the power of prayer. Recent scientific studies have shown remarkable differences in surgery/illness recovery rates for patients who were prayed for, versus those who were not. (Readers who do not share these philosophies may certainly choose to disregard posts with the subject line "Sundays of Hope".) Even if it is not Divine Will for that person to come home, prayers for the family can give them strength to get through this difficult time. Countless family members have told me that just knowing that prayers were being said for their missing loved one and for their family, gave them a mental boost. It's knowing that people truly care that makes a difference.

Starting today and on each Saturday, I will post a missing person for this campaign. I will include some basic case information, photo, and a link where a printable poster can be found. The universal week of prayer for this missing person (and their family) will be Sunday through Saturday. And in a spiritual bonus for me, I will no longer post on Sundays unless it is something that must be posted because it is time sensitive. This gives me some extra time to keep Sunday as I should.

I am moved to choose James Farrence, Jr, as the first of many for Sundays of Hope.

(James was found deceased.)

Here is the basic information:

Name: James Farrence Jr.
DOB: 11/18/78
Date Missing: 3/31/05
Missing From: Carbondale, PA
Age: 27
Weight: 5'6"
Weight: 125 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel

Tattoos: The name 'Shannon' on right shoulder, the grim reaper with the name 'Jim' on right side of chest, 'Jim' on fingers of right hand

Scars: Severe scarring on face from assault (steel plates were used for reconstruction)

Last seen wearing: jeans, a black South Pole winter coat, brown boots, and a ball cap- no knowledge of jewelry or other items, wallet, ID, etc, not found in personal belongings.

Carbondale PA Police Dept. Det. Sgt. Jesse Van Deusen (570) 282-6211
Case Number: 05-03-0508

This is a brief synopsis of his story as written by the family:

"James Farrence Jr. has been missing from Carbondale, Pennsylvania since March 31, 2005. There has been no trace of James despite two searches in the Carbondale area, on-going local police investigation, coverage by local media, and continued family efforts.

My family is desperate is find James- desperate for any answers explaining his disappearance. James suffers from muscular dystrophy and has a learning disability; though he is an independent, capable adult, his one weakness is being overly friendly and trusting of others.

James was the victim of a brutal beating that nearly killed him in 2003. Beaten repeatedly with a tire iron, his face had to be reconstructed with steel plates and resulting in severe scarring. Two Carbondale brothers were convicted for the crime- both are now free.

James’ cell phone records indicate that his last phone call was placed on March 31 at 9:39 p.m. He spoke with several family members and Carbondale Police from his cell phone just hours before his last call was placed at 9:39 p.m. James used his cell phone quite frequently- calling family (parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins) and friends several times a day.

Police report that he was last seen on North Main Street in Carbondale late the night of March 31. According to the police, a U.S. postal worker reported seeing James at a truck stop around Pennsylvania State College on April 10. Though police believe the witness to be credible, it is not like James to leave without contacting family or friends for such a long period of time. He would call if he were able. At this point and time police have no suspects in James’ disappearance.

Thank you."

Two photos of James are shown, one before his beating, and one after.

A printable poster of James can be found here:

Right now, James' family is facing a difficult period of waiting. A body was found on September 20th that could be his. A DNA test came back inconclusive, so now a second one is being done. Tomorrow will be 2 months of waiting for an answer for this family as to whether James has been found. They need your prayers.

If your place of worship has given permission for you to facilate Sundays of Hope there, please send me an email, as I will be tracking it informally. Include the name of the church, city, and state. Send the email to (We can also include bible study or other groups.)

If you are the family member of a missing person, and want your missing loved one to be featured on Sundays of Hope, please send an email to the address above. Include similar data such as was presented for James, and if there is anything specific you would like prayers for.

For James' family, I will pray for several things:

A fast answer for them in regards to the body found.
If it is not James, then an answer to his whereabouts.
Strength for them in the journey, no matter the direction
prayers for the persons who hurt James the first time, and for whomever may have hurt him this time, if that is the case.

Have a blessed Sunday, full of hope, and thank you for caring about the missing.


Blogger Michelle said...

This is a beautiful idea. I do not attend a church, and my prayers are better called meditations, but I intend to fully participate in this lovely and hopeful new tradition.

5:47 PM  

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