Torontonians find peace in Christ following fatal attack

Crisis-trained BGEA chaplains brought a ministry of prayer and presence to a devastated community.

RRT chaplains were present at memorial sites in the area to offer a listening ear and compassion for people who came to pay their respects.

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.

You can be part of this Kingdom effort, through your donations and your prayers, to show hurting people Christ’s love and tenderness. Please join us.

In a world of darkness, find hope in the light of Christ.
One of the RRT chaplains walks a man through Steps to Peace with God, a simple booklet that outlines how to find eternal life.
Mourners in Toronto came together at a candlelit vigil on Monday evening near Yonge St., where the attack took place.
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Our chaplains joined a community prayer walk that emphasized faith and hope in the midst of this tragedy.