As the devastating news of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, spread across the nation last week, NCF staff and givers at our South Florida office gathered with their community to help organize a prayer vigil, an assistance fund, and grief counseling for the victims and their families.
Stephan N. Tchividjian, President of NCF South Florida, explains, “We are the instruments of true peace … the peace and hope of Jesus. In times of crisis, we must run into the fire, not away from it. We must leave our cocoons and move into the face of tragedy to be the hands and feet of Jesus.”
Over the past several years, Tchividjian and other NCF givers have been instrumental in helping a group of local pastors and ministry leaders across denominations break down walls to serve the communities of Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami/Dade County together under the name Church United.
On the day after the shooting, Church United organized a prayer vigil at a local church near Parkland high school, which is part of the Broward County school system. Over 1,000 mourners gathered to pray in several different languages including Haitian and Spanish. Florida state governor Rick Scott was in attendance along with several Congressmen, local mayors, and Dr. Rosalind Osgood, a member of the Broward County School System, who is also a pastor.
The giving community in South Florida is also working with the Billy Graham Evangelist Association to provide counseling and care to the victims’ families, students, faculty, and others through the ministry’s mobile care unit.
For those who would like to contribute to charities that will address the needs of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Church United has set up an assistance fund through the National Christian Foundation.
While these immediate measures are helpful, Laurie Farquhar, Chief Strategy Officer of NCF South Florida, sums it up this way: “We’ll be here long after this tragic story has faded from the headlines. As always, our goal is to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our community to ensure that love is greater than evil and that peace is found, even in the midst of violence.”
Please join us in praying for everyone affected by this tragedy.