Americans are reeling from a tragic weekend. Two mass shootings, one in Dayton, Ohio and another in El Paso, Texas, killed at least 31 people in total. The gunman in El Paso opened fire in a Walmart when many families were back-to-school shopping. In Dayton, victims were gunned down in a popular nightlife district.
Another mass shooting over the weekend at a food festival in Northern California left three people dead, two of them children.
This horrifying string of events has stolen loved ones, broken hearts, and scarred communities.
While various parties clamor for action, Greg Yoder with Keys for Kids Ministries says as believers, we should always pair our responses with the healing and mercy of Christ.
“If you’re right in the middle of this — let’s say you’re in Dayton or you’re in Texas — obviously, there are a lot of hurting people that probably need to know the truth [and] need some hope. So my suggestion is pray that God opens doors for you to share some hope with people who are desperately searching, who are wounded, who are grieving today.
“The reality is we need Christ. And that’s kind of the point.”
Christian parents may wonder how to talk to their kids about the shootings and help them process. Yoder offers some insight:
“As parents, I think it’s important, first of all, that we identify the fact that there is evil in the world and who that founder is — but secondly, that there is rescue from that evil and the rescue is Jesus Christ.
“Real life kinds of stories like school shootings, when we talk about these with little children, [do so] in a way that is going to remind them that they don’t have to be afraid because God is there. God is in control. He always has His hands on us.”
It may be difficult, but Yoder emphasizes parents need to be bold in addressing these hard topics of death, evil, and tragedy.
“If we’re not talking to our kids about stuff like this, their friends are talking to our kids about it. So I would just encourage you to talk to your kids about things that are happening in the news so they can be relevant within the culture, so they know how to pray, and…they can find Scripture to help them in their walk with this horrible tragedy.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh