The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Rapid Response Team (RRT) chaplains responded to the June 2016 shopping centre shootings in Munich to offer the love and compassion of Jesus to grieving people.
The RRT team comprised of people from the USA, Canada and Australia – the team was present each day at the memorial site of flowers and candles where so many innocent people lost their lives on Friday 22nd June.
As the shock and disbelief wore off, people stood among the flowers and spoke of their fear and the search for hope and peace by gathering together. Chaplains shared words of encouragement, offered prayer and stood alongside people from every walk of life. Germanic reserve abated as anxious parents who worried for their children, and young adults considered how to respond with courage and resolve. At every opportunity, the chaplains found ways to invite mourners to find the hope we all see in Jesus Christ – the hope of the world.
This type of incident needed a different type of deployment compared to a natural disaster. Our ministry was mostly at the site that was blanketed with flowers, tributes for the many, innocent people that died only a
couple of days earlier. Stewart Beveridge \wrote, “The bystander and passers-by mingle with the grieving, so ministry is a gentle and spirit-led conversation. Our week of care and support connected us with local Christians and church leaders too. It’s been our first response to Germany – we are praying that God’s hope will blossom in Munich’s hearts and souls.”
Jack Munday, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association International Director of the RRT said, “As we, again, see the face of evil in the news, chaplains were in Munich to meet with churches to offer support and assistance, and provide the emotional and spiritual care for the many people that have been traumatised.”
We are very grateful that Jack Munday invited Australian participation in this ministry to the people of Munich.
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