The Duncan Banner

August 23, 2013

Youth ministers help kids cope with feelings of fear

Rebeka Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — The murder of Chris Lane, an Australian, who was shot while running on Country Club Road, has rocked Duncan residents to their core. Lane was here visiting his girlfriend Sarah Harper and the community quickly adopted the young man as one of their own.

James Mitchell, youth minister for Tanglewood Bible Fellowship, said a wide range of emotions were represented as the group visited during its regular Wednesday night gathering.

“We talked about the whole situation,” said Mitchell. “Not the details but more emotionally, where it left them.”

While there were a few who still felt completely safe to go about their lives and go to school, others had various worries. There were youth experiencing big worries from their parents and some who were closer to the situation causing them to feel fear themselves.

“There was one student who lives on Country Club, near where it all happened,” he said. “She’s experiencing concerns from her parents about being outside right now.”

Those concerns were evidenced by the high absentee numbers on the second day of school — only 230 of the high school’s 984 students attended on that day. Threats had been made to the school district and extra security was in place.

Mitchell said he listened to what the young people had to say and then addressed those expressions. He said he felt it was good they got to get everything out.

“I approached it with different Bible verses and what (the Bible) says about fear,” Mitchell said. “There are a couple of instances where people were afraid and they were reassured with God’s comfort.”

After the meeting, Mitchell said he believed many of the youth felt better. There were still emotions present but he said it was a chance for them to express their faith.

“I’m proud of them,” he said. “They showed strength and maturity in face of everything that happened.”