EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story was first published by the staff of the texan, information journal for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

UVALDE, Texas (BP) – The South Texas Baptist Convention (SBTC) has dispatched ministers to South Texas to care for the community and assist with relief efforts following a shooting at an older elementary school. early Tuesday.

At the time of this report, The Associated Press reports that 18 school children and three adults have been killed at Robb Elementary School. Uvalde is a town of about 16,000 located about 85 miles west of San Antonio.

“Please stop and pray for those in Uvalde, Texas,” SBTC Executive Director Nathan Lorick tweeted Tuesday night. “We have been in contact with SBTC pastors on the ground. It is tragic and this community needs our prayers.

“My heart is broken today,” Uvalde Superintendent Hal Harrell said. “We are a small community and we are going to need your prayers to get through this.” Harrell told the AP that all school activities have been canceled until further notice.

Although details are hazy as the investigation into the tragedy continues, SBTC Associate Executive Director Tony Wolfe offered three ways to pray in the wake of the shooting:

  1. Pray that the God of all consolation heals broken hearts and heals their wounds. The tragedy is unspeakable. The pain is unbearable. God have mercy.
  2. Pray for the emotional and physical endurance of first responders and crisis volunteers on the ground. May their hands be firm, their minds quick and their hearts soft.
  3. Pray for heavenly wisdom among local, state and national policy makers. This tragedy should be unprecedented; instead, it has become all too common. We must do better for our children. God, help us to do better for our children.

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