In the aftermath of a devastating high-speed attack on pedestrians by a man driving a van, a team of crisis-trained Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) chaplains spent a week in Toronto ministering to shocked and grieving residents.
The chaplains attended a candlelit vigil near the intersection of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue, where 10 people were killed and 16 injured in the April 23 attack. They also participated in a prayer walk to honor the victims and walk alongside local churches in solidarity.
“With so many witnesses to the event and its aftermath, it will take time for healing and there will be ‘walking wounded’ for quite some time,” reported one of our chaplains.
Because the area is made up of so many faiths and cultures, chaplains were sometimes challenged to find opportunities to pray with people or explain the hope offered by Jesus Christ, who “gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2, ESV).
Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit opened the door to conversations such as when a chaplain encountered a man at a vigil site who didn’t know the victims, but was still in distress from the attack. The chaplain reminded him that although we live in a broken world with hurting people, we have a God who can heal. The man welcomed prayer, said he was glad he came, and mentioned the need to resume attending church services.
In total, chaplains prayed with almost 60 people during the deployment, and we rejoice for five of them who dedicated their lives to the Lord.
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In a world of darkness, find hope in the light of Christ.
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Your gift will provide for the training and deployment of our Rapid Response Team chaplains, who are deployed when natural or man made disasters strike in Canada and abroad. RRT chaplains serve and support hurting people affected by crisis, and share the message of hope found in Jesus.