“The news from Northern Illinois University last week was heartbreaking,” writes Marc Gauthier, Campus Crusade’s U.S. National Campus Director. “Once again, students and faculty members are dealing with the sort of violence that we prayed would never be seen on a campus again. I am reminded in a fresh way of the realities that the evil one seeks to kill and destroy and there is a battle that rages for the hearts and souls of people. Yet in all of this pain and tragedy our God is present and able to heal, comfort, restore and make new.
“Our leaders are working with the team at Northern Illinois to provide whatever help we can. I am amazed at the leadership our team at NIU is giving as they themselves deal with the difficulty of this event.”
Update from the NIU Team
Thank you for your prayers and support. We feel loved and embraced by you and praise God for the body of Christ.
• Six people have died, including the gunman (who actually went to high school with one of our staff). The building this happened in was our former room for our weekly student meeting.
• No students or staff wre injured in the shooting. Our staff are doing well and are safe. They are doing an awesome job of connecting with students as well as with the university.
• One of our students who was supposed to be in that class was taking a nap Thursday afternoon. Thankfully, she overslept for class.
• A student that used to be involved with us a year and half ago was shot in the head, we are awaiting the news of his condition.
• One of our staff (along with a couple of her disciples) was just 100 yards away from the building when students were fleeing from the gunman. They were not in any immediate danger though.
Through all of this God is opening up incredible doorways for conversing and reflecting the gospel both for our staff and our students.
• Our students have been amazing! They have organized prayer vigils and are seeking to engage in conversations with their peers about the shooting and the hope that is found in God.
• The university has asked us to be on call to counsel students.
• We are enlisting the help of churches to create care packages and notes of encouragement for university staff, police, and administration.
Thank you for your prayers for the students and the Crusade staff and their families at NIU.