There are no appropriate words to express what all of us felt when hearing of the senseless and tragic killings at a movie theater in Aurora (Denver), Colorado this past weekend. Like you, my heart was heavy as I heard the tragic news. In the midst of tragedy we can find a place of hope and healing. That is why Somebody Cares America is coming along side our long-time friends, community leaders and pastors in the Aurora and Denver, Colorado regions.
From this unfathomable loss and devastation, we want to serve the families impacted by the mass shooting as well as the community at-large. Ultimately this senseless act impacts us all. But there is a need for long-term intervention and healing for those affected by immediate loss of loved ones, physical limitations and the long-term emotional healing that follows.
I asked Michael Walker, Director, Somebody Cares Denver and Pastor of Church in the City in Denver, how we may best serve them. As you may be aware, members of their church were at the theatre that night. Through our collaboration and the Somebody Cares Network of ministry partners, Somebody Cares Denver is hosting two days of encouragement and intervention to undergird their communities.
August 9th and 10th, 2012, Somebody Cares America and ministry partner, Victim Relief Ministries & Chaplaincy (VRM) are bringing a ministry time of Healing and Hope: from Tragedy to Triumph to Denver, Colorado.
VRM has provided Grief & Trauma Counseling during the New Life Church shootings in Colorado Springs, CO, other US situations, as well as served with Somebody Cares Disaster Response in nations such as Haiti and Japan.
In addition, we are grateful to have Dr. H. Norman Wright joining us as well. Dr. Wright is a renowned counselor who focuses on grief and trauma counseling including community wide grief recovery.
Somebody Cares is known for community networking and addressing the importance of long-term follow up and care in the aftermath of tragic situations.
Thursday, August 9th will be a time to encourage and empower community leaders and pastors as they continue to reach out to their communities.
Friday, August 10th will be open to everyone and will be a time to encourage and equip attendees with coping and healing skills. Followed Friday evening with a corporate time of healing and hope through worship and sharing by Doug Stringer as well as others.
Because of the urgency of the situation, members of our SCA team will be joining as we assess how we may best serve, encourage and empower them in the journey ahead.
We are entering into Phase 2 of Disaster Recovery which is a time to regroup and assess the long-term healing process. Somebody Cares is coming alongside to serve the Colorado community to address the ongoing grief and trauma process. In the aftermath of crisis, things move fluidly. We hope to provide wide-spread communication regarding the needs of those directly affected as well as the community at-large. When the media coverage dissipates, the healing journey continues. As we would agree, we don’t want to see anyone fall through the cracks.
We purpose to sow into the Colorado community in strategic ways to help those impacted directly and indirectly by this tragedy. When day-to-day life moves on for many, some will be reeling from this for years to come.
In some way, each of us has been affected by this massacre. We think twice about going to a theater. We are a bit more observant – not given to fear but prudent wisdom. I believe we all hugged our loved ones extra tightly as we heard the news.
May we see a community and nation shaken, find compassion and hope through the love we have to share. May they experience a tangible expression of God’s heart for them. In the midst of it all, may everyone know that God has not forgotten them!
Your prayers and support are much appreciated. Please be in agreement with us for an increase of resources to facilitate the immediate crisis intervention above and beyond our ongoing ministry operations. We want to be a blessing to them and not a burden.
If you would like to help us to continue to reach out at this critical juncture, you may give online at www.somebodycares.org; by calling 713-621-1498 with a credit card donation; or mailing a donation to Somebody Cares, PO Box 925308, Houston TX 77292.
Please continue to lift the families, community, Somebody Cares Denver and this ministry up to the Lord as we reach out to those that hurting now and in the days ahead.
Thank you for caring,
J. Doug Stringer
Founder and President
P.S. You may go to the front page of our website to view the Tragedy to Triumph TV special that is being re-aired on various networks. “This inspiring episode shares true stories of people who have pressed through tragic situations due to natural and personal disaster. They recognize God’s intervention in their lives and are moving forward with new joy and hope.”