Earlier this month, a tragic collision near Carberry, Manitoba killed 16 people and injured nine others. The collision was between a bus travelling from Dauphin to the Sand Hills Casino near Carberry, and a semi-truck at an intersection with the Trans-Canada Highway.
Shortly after the accident, Weyburn’s Tim MacKinnon received a call from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. MacKinnon, the pastor at Cavalry Baptist Church, was being called on to help with their rapid response team.
“This is a group of chaplains that are called out to deploy to areas that are going through disaster or trauma,” MacKinnon explained. They were there to be available to anyone who needed to talk, have prayer with, or any other kind of emotional or spiritual support after the accident.
Dauphin is a city of nearly 9,000. It is a tight-knit community, and nearly everyone in the city knew one of those who were killed or injured in the crash. Even if they didn’t know someone personally, they likely knew someone affected by the crash.
“Just coming into the area, there was sort of a kind of a cloud over the whole community, if I can say that,” MacKinnon said. “Just a cloud of trauma and grief. A lot of confusion.”
When the team arrived in Dauphin, they met up with the local ministerial group and explained what they would be doing there, and how they would be working alongside them. While there are benefits to having spiritual leaders local to a community, there are also some benefits to having those who aren’t from the community there to provide support.
“Sometimes, having someone from outside the people actually just don’t know, they’ll bare their soul in a different way,” MacKinnon shared. “And so, we found that a lot, that away from family, away from other people that they know, they would basically share a lot of stuff, so we did a lot of listening. That would be 90 percent of what we did.”
The team arrived on June 17th and would stay in the community until June 24th.
“We could have stayed a little longer if the need was there, but it seemed like, you know, it seemed like the local people could kind of take it from there,” MacKinnon said of when they left from Dauphin. The experience, though, left an impact on MacKinnon.
“I think the thought that came to my mind was just the importance of making the most of every day, you know, seize the day,” MacKinnon expressed. “I’ve had that kind of thought on my heart and mind ever since coming back, that I do want to make the most of every day and every opportunity that I have to make a difference in this world.”
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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.