VENTURA (CBSLA) — For 23 years, Heaven’s Gallery in Ventura has been drawing people from near and far because of the angels.
But as KCAL9’s Rachel Kim reports, the store could use a little heavenly help of its own.
“The Muslims have angels, the Buddhists have angels, the Hindus have angels, the Christians have angels. Everyone who comes in here can identify with the angels we have,” says store owner Keith Richardson.
The store took on another divine role after a woman with terminal cancer came in and taped a prayer to a display cabinet.
“We didn’t have the heart to take the prayer off,” Richardson says.
So over time, the written prayers kept going up. Thousands. Many thousands. And many of them emotional and heartfelt: “Dear God, please help my grandma overcome her lung cancer.”
Prayers for protection, healing, and peace.
“Dear God, I pray for my mom and I to start getting along,” says another note.
The prayers on the wall come from people from all faiths and all walks of life. And many claim their written prayers have been answered. The Richardsons say the most commonly answered prayer has been for women who were told they couldn’t have children.
“Look at what you received, a beautiful angel, I told them angels are from heaven, it’s a gift they get from God,” says Francesca Richardson.
For so many years, the Richardsons found joy in this wall.
But now, they have to find another home for the 34,000 prayers. They’re closing their store on September because of declining sales and they can no longer afford their rent.
“We’d like another church to take them over, we’d love for someone to come in the store to take them over, we’d love something to happen to save them,” Keith says.
“I hope that this store gave people hope and kindness and I hope it will go with them forever,” says Francesca.