Columbine shooting survivors travel to Virginia Tech

We have all been through a storm.

April 24, 2007 – Post

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Four former Columbine students arrived last week to offer help and to worship at Virginia Tech’s New Life Christian Fellowship (NLCF) Sunday. It was the church’s first Sunday worship gathering since the April 16 massacre that claimed 33 lives, including gunman Seung-Hui Cho.

The four survivors of the shootings at Columbine High School almost eight years ago traveled to the southwestern Virginia campus to help church leaders and minister to students processing grief, anger, and sorrow.

Wendy Chinn, a counseling graduate student who leads NLCF’s women’s ministry, acknowledged that everyone is weary of the question, “How are you doing?”

“Some lost someone extremely close. Others lost an acquaintance,” Chinn said to the almost 400 people attending the service in the full auditorium, including media. “We all grieve very differently. We’re all going through it together. We know this is hard, know it’s going to take time.”

Chris Backert, one of three NLCF pastors, referred to Mark chapter four, in which it is written how Christ’s disciples were caught in a boat during a storm. “We have all been through a storm. Why was it her? Why was it him? It could have been me.” Backert said that Jesus did not cause the storm. All the world’s evil, he said, is sin that results when people choose to rebel against God. “When that tragedy strikes us, it also strikes God.”

Co-pastor Jim Pace referred to the story of Job, who responded at first with praise and then with anger to the calamity that befell him. So, where was God when the Virginia Tech massacre happened? Pace answered, “God was in us, being heroic in the face of incredible fear.”

Edited from post by Deann Alford in Blacksburg, Virginia – posted April 23, 2007.

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