The Rapid Response Team Helps Highland Park Face Grief

By Nathan Bingle   •   July 8, 2022

After a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, ended with a deadly shooting, Robert and Frieda Roulds, chaplain coordinators with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT), deployed to offer emotional and spiritual care to the devastated families and community.
Seven people lost their lives in the sudden attack, ranging in ages from 35 to 78 years old. Those killed include the parents of a 2-year-old child. More than 30 others were injured.
Many times people don't understand why evil like this happens, but chaplains help point people to a loving heavenly Father.
Highland Park is located just 27 miles from Chicago, but is known for being a safe area. In fact, that's why Anna* told chaplains that she'd moved to the small town. The July 4th parade was the first one she had ever attended—and she was heartbroken to see such a fun event turn tragic. The chaplain prayed with her, asking God to restore her joy and that she would feel His love. *Name changed for privacy.
Prayers can mean so much in difficult times.
"How are you holding up?" Frieda Roulds asked a woman sitting on a park bench. Isla* (not pictured) told her the shooting was a trigger for her, as she suffers from PTSD after witnessing a murder as a teenager. For her, every crisis just brings back all the pain, fear and hurt of that teenage tragedy and heightens her depression. Still, Isla said, "I know the Lord to be my Savior, and even though I battle with deep depression, He’s still my Lord." Freida took a few minutes to encourage and pray with Isla. *Name changed for privacy.
A grieving man sits under caution tape along the streets of Highland Park.
A makeshift memorial site honors the lives of lost loved ones.
After shootings, every community member is affected—including law enforcement.
The Roulds noticed Macey* crying almost uncontrollably at the memorial site. Macey and her boyfriend were attending the parade when they heard gunfire. They fled into a nearby alley with their two dogs and hid in a dumpster. Soon, they heard who they thought was the shooter walking towards them, cursing America. Tears streamed down her face as Macey explained she threw off her red, white and blue decor because of what he was saying. The chaplains offered empathy for what they went through—and prayer. The couple ended the conversation hugging the chaplains and thanking them for listening. *Name changed for privacy.
chaplains praying
Will you continue to pray for those grieving in Highland Park?