It has been a month since the tragic,deadly shooting at the college in Roseburg which claimed the lives of 9 Christians who made a stand for their faith in Jesus. There were also 9 additional who were shot and lived. Of these, only 1 remains in the hospital in Springfield. Julie Woodworth, age 19, was shot 5 times.
The Roseburg community rallied immediately following the shooting providing counseling and pastoral care all over the county. Counselors and pastors worked side by side to aid the frightened and devastated families through the initial hours and days of the shooting. One week before the shooting, local law enforcement and mental health personnel had just finished a course in Crisis Intervention and Team Training. In the days after the initial shock, benefits and fundraisers for the victims were held by businesses, groups and individuals, while at the same time funerals were held for those who died. President Obama, was here for a few hours to offer support for the families of the victims. Signage is still up all over the city declaring love, support, and prayers for the community and UCC, the college. Conversations are still heard in town regarding the loss we suffered and our determination to stay knit as a community, and become stronger and closer as a result. Pastors and churches are still offering counseling and support.
On October 18, our ministers fellowship held a county-wide memorial service, complete with a choir made up of members from many area churches, at the fairgrounds for the victims. Billy Graham’s Rapid Response Team was in Roseburg for two weeks providing invaluable training and support for those reaching out to the hurting, as well as being on campus for the students upon their return to class. In the third week since the shooting, the First Responders were encouraged to attend area counseling spots for comfort, support and a healing. October 30 Pastor Wayne Cordeiro from Hawaii, will be at UCC with a team from Hawaii bringing a message of hope and healing. On November 5 and 6th, Norman Wright will be in town offering further healing and understanding of the grief, crisis, and trauma healing process.
As we move toward healing, please continue to pray that we would go through the process of grieving as a community. Pray for those who were closest to the incident and are having traumatic nightmares; including the First Responders and students on campus that day. Pray that when the shock wears away and the depth of loss settles in deeper, that we would remain tender, compassionate, generous, and loving to each other. Especially as the holidays come, pray that the families who had their loved ones taken from them would find strength and comfort in the Lord and the community. What the enemy intended for evil, may it be turned to goodness and salvation, glorifying the name of the Lord Jesus.