Monday’s Chapel continued the Abilene community’s response to the tragedy that struck 16 ACU representatives on Friday. The gathering offered members of ACU as well as family of the victims a chance to mourn – especially for the life of Anabel Reid.
Moody Coliseum was nearly filled with students, faculty, staff and visitors who came to show support for those affected by the bus crash. Carolina White, sophomore communications from Lago Vista, said she was amazed at the quiet respect that the huge audience maintained throughout Chapel.
“It was like the first day of Chapel,” White said. “It’s an encouragement to me that I’m in a community like this where everyone is supportive and encouraging.”
Mark Lewis, assistant dean for spiritual life and Chapel programs, said the Chapel was planned to give ACU a chance to grieve over the tragic events of Friday through group prayer and worship. Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, was the main speaker of the event.
Schubert encouraged the ACU community to remember and mourn for Reid but to also look to God for comfort during this time.
“We can search for all the answers in times like this, yet we may never find them,” Schubert said. “In times like this we can search for God, and we will always find him.”
He also encouraged students and faculty to support the victims of the accident, their family and their friends. Schubert called for the campus to pray for, encourage and financially support those affected by the crash.
One of the opportunities the campus has to show its support is through giving. Donations were collected after Chapel and are still being collected online at blog.acu.edu/iwanttohelp. Lewis said the funds would support the victims of the crash and their families.
The blog also allows people to post their prayers and volunteer to support the affected families with encouragement, meals or other ministries. It provides updated information on each ACU representative involved in the accident to inform prayers and ministry.
The campus can also show its support at a benefit concert to be held at Old Hamby Gym on Friday, 6 p.m. to midnight, Lewis said. Attendees will pay $10 at the door to hear members of ACU as well as representatives from Hardin-Simmons University play in honor of the bus accident victims.
White said she was pleased with how ACU is responding to the tragedy. She said it is important to allow students to grieve together as well as show their support for the victims. But white also said she hopes ACU students will gain the same peace and trust in God that she has seen in her friends who were involved in the crash.
“My experience through this whole thing is that most of the students who were affected are now at peace with the whole situation,” White said. “I hope that the ACU community can react in the same way.”
White said what happened over the weekend was heartbreaking, but while students should recognize the tragedy that occurred, they must remember that God is still at work.
“God is bringing this community together in a way I’ve never seen before,” White said. “We need to change our mindset in all this and see God’s glory is shining through.”