A ministry of presence amongst fear and anxiousness


UK Chaplains have joined US team members who arrived less than 24 hours after the tragic events of Thursday 17th August in the Las Ramblas boulevard in central Barcelona.

The British chaplains bring their recent experiences of the terrorist attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge with them.

Jeff Naber, RRT manager reflected on this latest terrorism-related deployment, “We are starting to see more emotion on the faces of those out on the streets. Shock is now giving way to fear and anxiousness.” Commenting on how the chaplains would be supporting those caught up in the attack and those affected by it, Jeff observed “It’s all about a ministry of presence, Jesus taught in Matthew 22, about loving others. We want to love and care for them, demonstrating how God loves and cares for us.”

The ‘ministry of presence’ is a key concept of our response to those who are in trauma. The response practically shows that those affected by the tragedy don’t face it alone, that there is someone standing with them who can, with gentleness and respect, offer a reason for the hope that we have in the gospel message.

An RRT Chaplain stands amongst those mourning

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. “Matthew 22:37-39 NIV

It was just two years ago that Franklin Graham, President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, held a ‘Festival of Hope’ within the city. Reflecting on the terrorist atrocity on Facebook, he urged Christians to pray for the city. “I’d like to ask you to pray with me for those who were injured and the family members of those killed. I don’t know if they are Catholics, Protestants, or Muslims, but these victims were just out enjoying a beautiful day before they were so brutally attacked.”

We invite you to pray for those who are injured and mourning the loss of loved ones. Pray for strength, courage, and wisdom for all those affected, including local law enforcement. Ask God to prevent any further attacks and pray for protection over Europe and RRT chaplains as they offer the hope of Jesus in this time of darkness.