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Trauma trained chaplains provide counseling, prayer to Kroger mass shooting victims

Nine chaplains are offering assistance and answering the call when the unthinkable happens.

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — The deadly Kroger mass shooting last week in Collierville has left the community in a state of disbelief.   

Chaplains with the Billy Graham Association are in the area to offer prayer and counseling.  

Many are stunned such a tragedy could happen in their area.

Nine chaplains are offering assistance and answering the call when the unthinkable happens.  

The trauma-trained chaplains are providing emotional and spiritual care.

It’s for victims who were inside the grocery store when a gunman fired multiple rounds and also for people who live in the area.  

“Those who were outside, those family members, first responders and the families of those first responders (who have) experienced a level and some different levels of emotional pain,” said James Kilgore, the chaplain coordinator with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.  

The team is set up at the Collierville First Baptist Church.   

They have helped communities around the country. Many of the questions people ask are the same.

“Why? Why did God allow this to happen?” are questions Kilgore gets asked often.  

Kilgore said he’s always honest, responding that he doesn’t know for sure, but shares what he knows to be true. 

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“I do know that God still loves us. I still know that he’s in control. I do know that he’s going to work all things for our good and his glory.”

The chaplain said while no two tragedies are the same, what many have in common is the hurt they cause.  

“You take the experiences that you have found in other places and what helps people there to get through that hurt and pain,” said Kilgore. “You bring that to people and say this is how to find that peace again.”

Kilgore shared that it’s important to take the time to restore calmness in your life so you’re ready to weather any storm. 

“Life is uncertain. No matter what comes into our life we can be prepared to do that, and one of the best ways to do that is have your faith in Jesus Christ.”

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