In light of recent tragedy in Highlands Ranch, a small group of people is meeting regularly to walk around neighborhoods and pray.
“We thought this community could use God’s joy and comfort,” said David Dyrud, a Highlands Ranch resident.
Dyrud and his wife, Tracy, along with two other couples, met at Northridge Elementary School on a recent Sunday afternoon. They stood in a circle and and prayed before splitting off into groups and walking around nearby neighborhoods in the area behind Northridge Recreation Center.
They chose that region because of the recent death of a child who attended the elementary school. Emma Benavides, 10, and her mother were found dead in the basement of a Highlands Ranch home in mid-February.
The tragedy came two months after a Highlands Ranch mother and her two young sons were found dead in a minivan in Lone Tree.
In both cases, the Douglas County Coroner ruled the mothers’ deaths as suicides and the childrens’ as homicides.
The prayer group, named Pray 4 Colorado, meets on the second Sunday of every month. Participants’ hope is to bring healing and restoration to a community that has experienced loss.
“It’s about the well-being of the community,” Trish Johnson said. “It’s been a hard winter for people.”
Though the group is based on prayer, it is open to anyone. Tracy Dyrud posts the location and time on a Facebook page for residents called Word of Mouth Highlands Ranch.
Chris Wynn, who attended the Sunday walk with his wife, Kara, said the meet-up goes far beyond the small group of people.
“We profoundly believe that God intervenes,” Wynn said. “We genuinely believe we are bringing good through him.”