Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Praying for Virginia Tech

I've been sitting here reading news reports and blog accounts of yesterday's shootings at Virginia Tech, and like after Columbine or 9/11, I've been rather immobilized. It's just bizarre that we can read blogs by students who were there, or victims' MySpace pages. I just read a post from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship that includes some prayer requests that come directly from the IV chapter at Virginia Tech:

After the campus was opened up and declared safe, Wes and fellow staff members Lindsey Jones and Robert Howe concentrated on being available to the students who were still in shock from the events. “We walked around campus all afternoon, comforting people.”

Facing the inevitable “Where is God?” questions that are posed after tragedies like this, Wes says, “God is comforting those who mourn. There’s a lot of love on the campus right now.”

He’s mobilizing a group of students to get out and minister to other students. “We want to go around and offer our ear and our comfort to anyone who’s still left on campus,” he says. “I am deeply encouraged by the love and comfort that our students give to each other and their friends. The Body of Christ is truly at work here.” Wes says the InterVarsity chapter has some specific prayer requests:

  • Pray for the body of Christ, through the churches and campus ministries, to be united in expressing the hope we have in God.
  • One freshman involved in the fellowship lost a roommate who was killed in the shooting.
  • One student in the fellowship overslept and missed his class in Norris Hall during the shootings. He lost his professor, and four of his classmates were wounded.
  • One senior in the fellowship was in a classroom in Norris Hall during the shootings. With the help of some classmates, he set up a barricade to prevent the shooter from entering the room. The shooter fired shots at the door, but failed to enter.
  • One junior in the fellowship is a resident advisor in West Ambler Johnston Hall. She was a good friend to one of the victims who was murdered in the residence hall. The victim was a fellow resident advisor.

Many students left campus right after the shootings, but others remain. Wes and the staff of other campus ministries are preparing for a Wednesday mid-day memorial service. “After an intense and painful day, we are in mourning,” he says. “Thank you for your prayers and for sharing in our pain.

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