On Monday, a van veered off a busy Toronto street and plowed into pedestrians, killing 10 people and injuring 15 in this southeastern Canadian metropolis. News reports say the rental van weaved in and out of traffic for nearly a mile, knocking down civilians and barriers along the way.
Six Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) chaplains from Canada have deployed to Toronto to provide prayer and support as needed.
When given the opportunity, the chaplains have prayed with people struggling with the loss of friends, co-workers and neighbors. Some of these people were witnesses in the street when the van attack took place.
For many, the trauma is too fresh to talk about it, but they expressed thanks to the chaplains for their compassion and sincerity. Other people have opened up about how the tragedy is affecting them. The chaplains practice a “ministry of presence,” often simply listening.
In addition, the RRT has attended both a candlelight vigil near the intersection where the tragedy occurred and a prayer walk in honor of the victims.
Although the situation in Toronto is heartbreaking, the chaplains have been encouraged by the work God is doing in the hearts of the people there as He brings light into the darkness. The RRT has been welcomed by local churches, and will remain in the area to provide emotional and spiritual care to all who are grieving in the aftermath of this devastating event.
Just a few weeks ago, the RRT comforted those in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, after 16 people were killed in a junior hockey team bus crash.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the terrible incident. Please join us in praying for the people of Toronto, for those recovering from injuries and for the families of those who lost their lives.