America is reeling from yet another tragedy. On Sunday morning, in the deadliest mass shooting to ever take place in a U.S. house of worship, a gunman opened fire inside First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. At least 26 are dead and more than 20 injured, which accounts for almost every single person who was inside the sanctuary.
As the gunman left the church, two brave citizens sprung into action. Stephen Willeford ran out of his house with his own gun and began to fire at the gunman, who escaped in an SUV. Johnnie Langendorff, another local hero, who was driving by as the scene was unfolding, went after the gunman in an 11-mile, high-speed chase. Eventually, the gunman lost control, and the police arrived to take over.
Although the gunman has died, he has left a trail of devastation in the town of Sutherland Springs, located 40 minutes outside San Antonio with a population of approximately 600. In a place where everybody knows everybody, the effects of this massacre have been unthinkable.
This morning, I was brought to tears when I came across a Washington Post article about the Holcombe family. Joe and Claryce Holcombe, who attend a different church in the area, lost nine family members in the shooting. I can’t even begin to imagine the anguish they are feeling as they mourn the loss of nine children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. As you keep the people of Sutherland Springs in your thoughts and prayers, remember the Holcombe family.
Even in the midst of his immense pain, Joe Holcombe shared a quote that really encouraged me, and I hope it does the same for you: “We are Christians. We have read the book. We know the ending, and it’s good.”