Saturday, September 23, 2006

local terror

students keep asking: why?

most of you have probably heard about the gunman who terrorized dawson college in montreal last week. his rampage killed one, and left several others fighting for their lives. thousands of frightened students poured out of dawson and into the surrounding downtown streets, with chaos reigning for what seemed like hours. to read more about it, click here.

our kids go to westmount high school, just a couple of blocks away from dawson, so it isn't a surprise that a number of dawson students came running to westmount in search of a safe haven on the day of the shooting. not knowing how many gunmen might still be at large (early reports had anywhere from 2-4 shooters) and hunting for students, the administration locked the students inside. it was an upsetting and sobering day for students and teachers, and n and b were no exception.

the city was visibly shaken for about a week, and will probably feel the effects of the shootings for months, even years to come. this isn't the first time that something like this has happened in montreal, which saw universities shot up by lone gunmen in 1989 (ecole polytechnique) and 1992 (concordia university), and the recent shootings have brought back all of that pain, angry, and confusion.

montreal's inter-varsity staff team convened to pray and sort out how we might respond to the tragedy with compassion and service, and decided to offer to be on campus every day for the first week back, to meet with students, offer a listening ear, give spiritual counsel, and pray. m and i were able to be out at dawson this past friday, and while it is clear that life is getting back to normal there, we were able to meet, befriend, and pray with a number of students. we're hoping to continue in friendship with several of them.someone asked me why God allows these things to happen. i think what they think they're looking for is an explanation, some wise words that will make such an event 'okay.' i told them that there is no such explanation. yes, God is in control, and He has purposes that we don't understand. but that doesn't satisfy the longing for a reason in most peoples' hearts, nor does it overcome their confusion and fear. the answer that satisfies and heals isn't an explanation, but a Person — and people need to know the Person.

please remember to pray for a, our staff partner at dawson, and for the loving, welcoming students of dawson christian fellowship. they not only have to get past their own dread as they walk the halls at school; they also feel a burden to love and serve their classmates into a relationship with the One who is the answer. that's going to take a hope and courage that will not fail.

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