“Everyone was just trying to have a good time.” These words spoken by a man outside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, who managed to run hard when he heard the first shots fire early Sunday morning.
With 50 dead and many more wounded, what took place in Orlando last Sunday has become the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
Will you join us in prayer?
2:02 AM — Omar Mateen, 29, a resident of Fort Pierce, enters the club with a legally purchased AR-15 style long gun, a hand gun, and plenty of ammo. Minutes before he parked his van outside and called 911 pledging his allegiance to ISIS. He was questioned twice in previous years by the FBI but not considered close enough to terrorists to warrant more investigation.
3:00 AM — Pulse posts to Facebook saying, “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running”.
5:00 AM — Police start a rescue attempt. Two stun explosives detonated to distract the gunman, a swat team of 11 moves in, new gunfire ensues. One officer shot in the head, but his kevlar helmet saves his life. Fifty already dead. Only then could triage begin for 53 others as medical beepers were lighting up across central Florida, awakening surgeons and nurses, summoning them to hurry in for the aftermath of the worst US massacre in history.
What were you thinking when you first heard the news?
It is a time to offer condolences, calls for prayer, concerns for all affected. But rather than stating our stance on issues like gay rights, gun control, and ISIS, I think Christians need to peel back more layers after this travesty.
Would you join me in praying with my friend and pastor Scotty Smith from Nashville:
“Dear Lord Jesus, we abandon ourselves to you … Some stories are too much for us to absorb; some evil just too great to conceive; some losses beyond measurability. We need your tears and your strength.
We turn our thoughts from ourselves to the families who’ve suffered an unconscionable violation of heart and all sensibilities. Bring your presence to bear, Lord Jesus, by your Spirit and through your people. May your servants weep with those who weep and wail with those who wail. Extend your tear wiping hand—reach into this great tragedy with an even greater grace.”
As the leader of the Haven Ministries, Charles Morris is always thinking of ways to lead Christians and non-Christians to Christ—hence the familiar slogan, “Telling the great story … it’s all about Jesus.” Charles is a former secular journalist, who has worked for United Press International, and as a press secretary for two former U.S. senators. He began working in the Christian world after seminary, becoming the fourth speaker of Haven in 2000. He and his wife, Janet, have written several books, including Missing Jesus.