Pray For Orlando

The Orlando shooting leaves us with a heavy heart and a sense of deep sadness. We woke up two days ago to shocking news of the attack at a nightclub in Orlando, USA, which left 50 people dead. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the US history and the nation’s worst terrorist attack since 9/11.

While details are still coming through, one thing is clear: It is undoubtedly a senseless and evil act perpetrated by a man filled with anger and hatred. The fact that this terrorist attack was carried out against partygoers at a gay nightclub is relevant because the perpetrator very likely singled out and specifically targeted a section of the community – LGBT people – to express his hatred.

However, it is unhelpful to focus on that fact alone. They were all precious individuals created in God’s image and cold-blooded murder of people is never acceptable. No right thinking person can condone the taking of human lives in such manner. Any suggestion that it is anything but an evil act is insensitive, unloving, unnecessarily divisive and, itself, morally reprehensible.

In the midst of this horrific attack, it is heartening to read the stories of people coming together to provide love and support to the victims. From volunteers who have come alongside the victims to provide counselling and supplies (food, drinks and toiletries) for the victims and their families to a charity group bringing in golden retrievers to serve victims as comfort dogs, these people offer pillars of hope and light.

One report that stands out tells of the number of people who have come forward to donate blood to victims of the shooting. Because there are strict laws in place restricting gay men from donating blood, many were frustrated that they could not give blood at a time of need. However, a spokesman for OneBlood (a network of blood bank clinics in Florida and other southern states) reported his joy seeing so many straight people turning up to donate blood. “On Sunday alone, it was 3,500 people across OneBlood’s network, compared to 1,000 on a regular day.” – Pat Michaels.

This reminds me of the love of Jesus who gave His life and shed His blood to rescue many!

“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son (Jesus) and forgave our sins.” – Ephesians 1:8

Our sincere prayers continue to go out to the families and friends of the victims, that they may find peace and comfort as they mourn their loss. We also pray that the Christian community will rise up and provide love and comfort in a time of grief.

Pray for America. Pray for Orlando.

Pastor Ian

 

Pastor Ian Toh
Ian Toh
ian.toh@316-church.com

Ian’s heart burns fiercely for the destiny of Singapore & her next generation. He loves doing life with young kingdom leaders & the top three people on that list are his three children, Elias, Jan & Isaias.