Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Anywhere tragedy strikes, it leaves behind pain and questions. Students at Tabor College say they are relying on their shared faith and the sense of family found on a college campus to help deal with the tragedy that struck their campus this week.
"Where people are hurt, where people are confused, we can be there for each other," said Becky Steketee, President of the Student Ministries Council at Tabor.
Students are making sure they are there, not only for each other, but especially for Brandon Brown, a member of the school's football team, who was found unconscious early Sunday morning outside of a McPherson home where police were sent to investigate a loud music complaint. Brown remained in critical condition and on life support Wednesday night.
"Because it's such a tight-knit school, because it's such a family kind of community, it still matters and he's still part of that family and he's part of us," Steketee said. "Where he's hurt, we're hurt and that's all there is to it. We're a family."
While the circumstances of what led to Brown's injuries remain under investigation by the McPherson Police Department, his fellow students on the Tabor campus in Hillsboro have held vigil in the historic campus church throughout the night twice this week, praying for Brandon and his family.
"There are students who may not even know him and they're dedicated to give up their sleep and pray for somebody that they don't even know and I think that is a real testimony to the people that are on our campus, said Student Body President Mike Klaassen.
Counselors and student leaders are also available for those who just need to talk or even discuss tough questions that often come up during times of tragedy, even for those with the strongest faith.
"People are asking questions like, 'Why is He so good, but yet horrible things are happening,'" said Tabor student Jasmine Gilkey. "It's cool people are asking those questions."
Students at the small, tight-knit college say as tragic as this week's events have been, they have brought the campus even closer together.
"We might be college students, but this school's home," said resident assistant Zachary Trostolopes. "This school is one family, one voice, one heart and that's one thing that has definitely been apparent in this past week."