‘Intense Grief’ Ministry Lingers in Aurora

By   •   August 7, 2012

It’s been 18 days since the unthinkable shooting happened at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado.

But in many ways, the brutal killings are still fresh in the hearts and minds of the wounded Aurora community.  

This is the Rapid Response Team’s specialty. Trained to handle crisis situations like natural disasters and random shootings, 33 chaplains have ministered to those looking for answers. To those still questioning “why?” And “what now?”

“The grief and the suffering is so intense among the victim’s families, those directly affected and the community that we’ve experienced a tremendous openness for a ministry of presence and prayer,” said Jack Munday, director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. 

These chaplains trained by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association have had the privilege to pray with more than 1,500 hurting people in this community. Through “emotional and spiritual care” dozens searching for hope have made decisions for Christ.

Beginning at 7:45 a.m. on July 20, the Holy Spirit has opened the door for a variety of ministry in the wake of the tragedy.  After the intense counseling on the day of the shooting, chaplains have also helped comfort people at two memorial sites, hospitals, the shopping mall near the theatre as well as many memorial services. 

“We found the entire community extremely grateful and open to talking with the chaplains,” Munday said. “It’s in times like this when those who are experiencing intense grief need someone to talk to.”

The chaplains have also ministered at a firefighter graduation ceremony — invited by the Fire Chief. They also visited many fire stations, including station #2 when the initial responders returned to work for the first time. 

They’ve loved on many law enforcement officers and security guards, prayed with mortuary staff who had cared for the deceased family and friends, and ministered to several of the victim’s military co-workers and family members.

Other ministry opportunity developed as residents of the Columbine community came to the memorial services to search again for answers to yet another Colorado tragedy.

Then, there was the random opportunity to pray with the hurting, including one chaplain who was getting ready to cross the street when a car pulled up, rolled down the window and asked if he was a Billy Graham chaplain and “would he pray her along with two kids in the car?”

“It’s an example of the need and openness for prayer,” Munday said. “And also the appreciation that we were there.”

Ministry will continue through this week, tentatively set to wrap up this Saturday.

Be the Hands and Feet of Christ

As the RRT ministers to people in crisis, we need your help with this and other outreach efforts. Please  give today to help hurting people at home and around the world.

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  1. bonny says:

    thank you BGEA for spreading the Gospel of jesus christ around the world and may God continue to bless you more.

  2. Nancy says:

    Thank you Billy Graham Ministry for your great love of Jesus Christ. Your team has been blessed thru your ministry. I to feel compassion and love for these wonderful people.And I pray that the Lord comforts and brings peace and rest in their lives.

  3. John says:

    May Gold bless these wonderful people. I think it would be great if they do the same with the victims of Wisconsin Gurudwara shootings. They need hope!

  4. Bea says:

    To all the families. I hurt too. I send my Love and condolences. But God and the precious Blood of Jesus cover all. Heal!

  5. Saundra says:

    I just want to say,I think your Ministry is wonderful. One of the true lights of Christ,in an otherwise bleak and dark world. You don't pack up and leave before the reality and serious pain sets in. I thank God for people like you.

  6. Chris says:

    Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus. God used this horrific tragedy to bring many to him and I am grateful that the hurting families had you to turn to for prayer and support.