13 Oct October 13, 2017 – Wounded Spirits
Revelation 3:8 – “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
Dear Praying Friends,
The tragedy in Las Vegas made a severe impact on our military veterans, first responders, their families and the local population in Las Vegas. My wife and I were in New Hampshire, teaching a PTSD Camp when we received word about the horrific murders. Like many of you, we were in disbelief and praying for these dear people. Almost immediately, we started receiving emails and text messages about reaching those affected by this terrible incident. Over the course of this week, I heard from fourteen different people about assisting our veterans, first responders, and local churches as they reach those affected. One of these contacts was a police chaplain explaining he had read my book and thought I should speak with his officers.
The day after the attack, I heard from a veteran who had taken the “Wounded Spirits” Course online for help with his PTSD. He mentioned that the VA doctor canceled his appointment. Our Wounded Spirits student explained that the hospital was dealing with an influx of Veterans who were fighting chronic PTSD Symptoms. The shooting triggered memories for those who faced combat and abuse. He asked if AFBM could help.
Debbie and I began to pray for the Lord to show us how we can make a difference and bring glory to Him. The next day Missionaries Paul and Sarah Phelps called with the same concerns and wanted to help. It became clear to all of us that the Lord was opening a rare door of opportunity for us. I called Pastor Mike Ascher, my pastor a volunteer Police Chaplain himself and sought advice. I leaned on his experience with victims and his knowledge of Police operations. He shared our burden and volunteered to come.
We spent the next couple of days contacting local churches and seeking their help. We looked for those with a vision to help. We explored churches where we can send those we assist. Several churches shared our burden and offered to help. It was clear the Lord was clearing a path and calling for us to go.
Next, we focused on the operation and how we could accomplish this task while maximizing our exposure to those hurt. We came up with the following plan:
- Advertise on Media sites for Veterans, First Responders, or anyone else who feels like they can use biblical truths to help them. Set up a location and times to train them.
- Make appointments to visit police, fire, VA, rescue, and anyone else involved to offer DVD classes and briefings on how the Lord’s word can help.
- Stay at the hotel where the incident occurred passing out Bibles, PTSD books, tracts and setup times to be available for them. (While making the reservation, I could not help but cry with a manager named Sharon. She told me the story of laying face down on the floor while the world went crazy. The conversation ended with her saying she could not believe some churches will volunteer to work with her and her people.)
- Conduct introduction classes to dealing with the effects of PTSD. Connect those we teach with local churches and introduce them to their pastors for discipleship and classes.
Ultimately, our team consists of two missionary families (Debbie and me and Paul and Sarah Phelps), Pastor Ascher, and Las Vegas pastors. For security and privacy reasons we have been asked not to publicize our dates. The trip will occur within a month.
I prayerfully seek your prayers and financial support. Good News Baptist Church will cover Pastor Ascher’s expenses. The Phelps, Debbie, and I are raising our travel funds and funds needed for materials. AFBM will divide your donations between the missionary families. When the Lord meets the need, the account will close.
If you or your church is willing to make a donation or take an offering, we will be glad to go to Nevada for you. We do covet your prayers and help with these last-minute expenses.
If you would like to give, press “Click to Donate”, then select “Operation Las Vegas” and fill in the page. You will receive a tax-deductible donation receipt and a daily update after our arrival with the prayer requests.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this need prayerfully. We cannot serve without you.
May the Lord bless your faithfulness!
Doug Carragher, General Director