Praying God Will Comfort Oregon Residents ‘When No One Else Can’

By   •   October 1, 2015

After a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on Thursday, Oct. 1, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has sent crisis-trained chaplains to the community.

As the people of Roseburg, Oregon, face shock and grief over Thursday’s deadly campus shooting at Umpqua Community College, crisis-trained chaplains are on the ground to offer emotional and spiritual care.

“We anticipate the trauma to be just tremendous throughout the whole community,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, a nationwide network of chaplains that ministers to people in the wake of disasters from shootings to hurricanes.

“It’s only a community of 21,000 people,” Munday said. “Being a community college, I would anticipate a lot of the students are local to the area. So its overwhelming to say the least, and we’re there to support and help any way we can.”

The Rapid Response Team sent two chaplains within hours of the shooting—one from Denver and one from Charlotte. Both have law enforcement backgrounds and planned to meet with local authorities on Friday. More crisis-trained chaplains arrived over the weekend.

Munday and the entire chaplain network are praying for the people of Roseburg and everyone who is suffering in the wake of the shooting.

“Our prayer is certainly for the immediate families who are experiencing this loss,” Munday said. “And when we have something like 20 injured, we pray for their families as well. We assume there’s potentially surgery happening, and they’re attempting to save those lives that survived the initial shooting.

“We’re praying for the entire community … including the faculty and students of the school and the first responders.”

Munday acknowledged tragedies like the one in Roseburg tend to bring spiritual questions to the forefront. If God is real, why doesn’t He stop shootings before they happen? And if He is good, why does He allow people to suffer?

“We serve a God who is loving and compassionate and caring, but He has also given us free will,” Munday said. “Individually, we have choices we can make. He didn’t create robots; he created people with a free will. And we live in a fallen world, and unfortunately bad things happen.”

But while some may use their free will to harm others, Munday said, God is always there for those who seek Him.

“We’re thankful that this loving God we’re talking about is the one who comes alongside and brings that peace, compassion and that hope and comfort people are desperately looking for,” he continued.

“And that’s the hope that we have through prayer, that He’ll answer those prayers and be a source for them when no one else can meet that need.”

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  1. Pam Baker says:

    I saw your van this morning on the way to church…thank you for coming to Roseburg.

  2. Jeanne Morrison says:

    I pray for peace and comfort to those who lost loved ones in Oregon this past week!

  3. Jeanne Morrison says:

    Please include me on your mailing list!

  4. Wandajoywhite says:

    I pray for your ministries often and would like to have a personal discipleship coach. I am a born again Christian, Believer in Jesus Christ

    1. Tiffany Jothen says:

      Wanda, if you’d like to take our free online course called Know Jesus, we can pair you with a personal discipleship coach:

      – BGEA staff

  5. Donna says:

    Please join in prayer for peace & repose of all who were effected by this tragedy. Treat others as you would like to be treated– There by the grace of God go I!