“Pray for the people of Uvalde,” said Mark Roye, Director of SC San Antonio and SCA Relief Coordinator. “This is a hard thing to get your head around.”
Mark was in Uvalde, Texas, on May 25, the day after the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers. It was the worst mass shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. SCA partner Edward Smith joined Mark, from the Dallas D.A. Chaplaincy Office and Crisis Response Ministry. They met with local pastors and law enforcement to discuss the town’s long-term and ongoing needs.
“The community is broken hearted,” Edward commented. “Everyone it seems is related one way or another in this tight knit community. The churches and Christian leaders are working together in a spirit of unity as the recovery has begun from this devastating act of terror and evil.”
Somebody Cares is helping local faith leaders and churches coordinate a Night of Hope and Healing, where anyone in the community can come for worship and prayer, along with a day of training local leaders on dealing with long-term trauma.
Humberto Renovato is one of those church leaders. He grew up in the town and now pastors in San Antonio, about 85 miles away. His father still pastors in Uvalde.
“Our efforts have predominantly been to bring restoration and healing back to Uvalde,” he explained. “We know that once the media is gone and it’s not flooding with all this support that we have right now, the churches are going to be the strong spiritual leaders of the community. We are preparing in advance for not just tomorrow, but for what’s going to be taking place months from now.”
Mark Roye agrees. “We know, from experience, the toughest part is still to come. That is when what we call ‘the new reality’ sets in for that city. This is a long term thing, and we just want to come be the hands and feet of Jesus, helping empower the local church. We just want to do whatever we can do to serve.”