Tragedy struck the city of Humboldt, Friday night. As the local hockey team, the Broncos, travelled to Nipawin for a SJHL playoff game against the Hawks, a semi-truck collided with the team bus. 29 people were in the bus, and the horrific crash left 15 dead and 14 injured. The majority of those in the bus were just 16-21 years old. The city of Humboldt, roughly 6,000 people, is reeling from this devastating loss.
All of Saskatchewan and all of the country has expressed how our hearts are collectively broken over these young men who lost their lives so suddenly. As Humboldt mayor, Rob Muench, told CBC News, “This tragedy has hit a number of people, not just us, but I think everybody can relate to this experience.” Many have begun to ask good questions like “What can we do for those who are hurting?” and “How can we help?” The best and perhaps the most simple response is to pray, just pray.
Pray for Grieving
Saskatchewan is filled with small cities like Humboldt. They are close-knit communities of neighbours who care for one another. Their families all know each other. Consequently, the entire community is and will continue to be mourning from this disaster. Families in Humboldt have lost their young sons who just wanted to play the game they loved. Team members are left weeping over their brothers and asking questions of why they were spared. Staff members are aching over the loss of their friends. Pastors, especially the team chaplain, are weeping and wondering how they are going to be able to preach and lead people through this grief. Pray for those who are grieving and that God will sustain them.
Pray for Healing
All of us in Saskatchewan are filled with sorrow tonight. The whole country is grieving as Prime Minister Trudeau tweeted his condolences Friday, “I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond.” One of the saddest aspects of our culture today is that what is a tragedy today will be forgotten tomorrow by many. As the news cycle turns its attention to other stories, let’s not forget those suffering in Humboldt. This community will not be healed tomorrow or next week. This is a tragedy that will stay with Humboldt for years to come. Pray for healing not just today, but in the coming weeks, months, and even years.
Pray for Glory
One of the most incredible attributes of God is that He can somehow take the worst of circumstances and transform them into something that can be used for His glory. We just celebrated the brutal death of His Son which led to our redemption and His exaltation. God is going to use this situation somehow to show His kindness, His goodness, and His love to the people in Humboldt and beyond. Perhaps it will be Gospel-preaching churches that help the community through this incredibly difficult time, churches like Humboldt Bible Church and Humboldt Alliance Church among others. Perhaps, God will use this catastrophe to draw some to Himself so that He may be glorified. Pray for God to receive glory through this tragedy.