In the Wake of a Tragedy

jayson Misc, Schools, Summer Project Leave a Comment

I was going to write this week about the conference that Carrie and I attended in West Virginia last week that was excellent, but after the events of yesterday I feel that it’s only right to share what is going on down at Virginia Tech.

As we all know by now, more than 30 members of the VT campus community were killed by a 23 year-old student. I first was made aware when I got an email from the regional Staffed Campus Director yesterday

Please pray for Virginia Tech – there is a shooter on campus – at least 20 dead.

The staff team was in staff meeting when they heard about it. Jeff and Lisa H. are opening their home for students to come and spend time together and process… to feel safe. Right now Jeff is in crisis management mode.

The RD team just talked to Jeff Highfield and prayed for him. We’ll continue to pray. He asked us to pray for these requests:

1. Students: to feel safe. To not be alone. They will most likely know someone shot/killed.
2. Specifically, Corey, a student who used to play in the band, is the only one who wasn’t shot in the classroom the shooter entered. He’ll need a lot of help to deal with this, as everyone else in the classroom was probably killed.
3. The Staff: to know how to support and minister to the campus
4. Jeff Highfield is trying to figure out what direction to take the Cru mtg, if the University is open on Thursday. It’s already been closed for tomorrow.

We don’t know the motive behind the attack. Please pray for the students, staff, and ministry at Virginia Tech.

Sincerely,
Sarah Gale

The staff team at Virginia Tech is full of people who Carrie and I have worked and learned beside over the past few years on staff. Including the former director of the ministry at Indiana University of PA, 3 of the people at the (small) conference last week and a couple who we’ll be working with in Ocean City this summer; among a few others. Also, one of the female students from last year in Ocean City.

The team there, as well as the regional directors were immediately in action. We got an email from Mark Gauthier, the National Campus Ministry Director, this afternoon.

I’m sure you all know, the tragic events and great losses that occurred at Virginia Tech yesterday have left us grieving and clinging to the Lord in this difficult time. Though our understanding is limited, it is in these desperate times that we are reminded that we have a great High Priest who has gone before us, who loves us, and prepares a place for us. And because He stands at the right hand of the Father even now, we pray…

As you can imagine, the confusion and chaos has made obtaining detailed and accurate information difficult at best. The staff team at Virginia Tech is involved in a number of on-campus activities to help students and families process the loss. We are unable to confirm the loss of 4 of the students involved with Campus Crusade but it does appear that they were among the casualties. The Mid-Atlantic region has formed a crisis team headed by Dave Hyatt and they are coordinating as much as they can and helping the staff team at Virginia Tech.

Please be praying for this situation. Pray for strength and God’s abiding peace for staff and students as they seek to minister to those affected by this tragedy. Pray for healing to take place. Pray that God would be glorified and that many would come to Him as the Refuge and Rock…

As we have sought the Lord as to how He wants us to be salt and light in this moment, there are several things that have been done. EveryStudent.com and all myeverystudent.com home pages have been updated to now show “Where is God in the Midst of Tragedy?” The links are http://www.everystudent.com and http://www.gobbletalk.com. Tony Arnold is in Blacksburg helping our staff and students deal with the media rush… We will continue to do what we can to meet the needs of the moment…

Thank you on behalf of our team at Virginia Tech for concern and your prayers. As we know more, I will update you. As always, I am so grateful for the privilege to serve with you and to share the journey, whether smooth or difficult.

Mark Gauthier

US National Campus Director
Campus Crusade for Christ

As far as we know, everyone we know is safe, but there is guaranteed to be people they have know that are now injured or dead. We have been praying that our God of Comfort will be with them in this time and that they will know what to do to seek God’s glory in this situation.

Also, there are a number of students from Slippery Rock who will be heading down to Virginia Tech this weekend to be a part of helping to heal and reach out to that campus. Please be praying for safety overall.

One last thing I ask is that you would pray that our students on our campuses would realize the need of people to know Christ now because of how quickly this life can be over.

Edit: Also, visit this article on the Christian Broadcasting Network to see a video of the story of what has been going on.

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