Chaplain’s Corner: Presence When it Was Needed Most

Trucks at a truck stop

By: Craig Maart

I have written about the real-life situations our chaplains face, but two recent situations really shine the light on why the need for chaplains is so great. 

At the Flying J truck stop in Sioux Falls, SD, where our chaplain Ryan Albrecht ministers, there was a shooting inside the truck stop. According to KELO local news, “Police say a man was arrested early Wednesday morning after shooting a man at the Flying J in northwestern Sioux Falls. A man parked his vehicle in the lot and entered the store with a dog. He made a comment that he was going to leave the dog there, then walked outside. The clerk got ahold of her boss, who was the victim. The boss grabbed the dog, found the man outside and told the man they weren’t able to have the dog inside. About 20 minutes later or so, the man with the dog walked into the store, placed a bullet on the counter and essentially made a threat that this was going to be for the victim,” SFPD Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said. The victim grabbed the bullet and walked to a back room to call 911. He turned and saw the suspect pointing a gun at him. The suspect fired the gun twice, hitting the victim in the arm twice. The suspect then left. The manager received non-life-threatening injuries. Ryan was able to jump in as chaplain to care for the employees of the truck stop and follow up with the manager who was shot. 

In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a truck from the trucking company where our chaplain Derek Thompson serves was involved in an accident with a train. The driver was thrown from the cab of the truck and miraculously survived. It was only because of the hand of God that the driver walked out of the hospital three days later. Derek was not only present to minister to this driver but also to the upper management of the company. One part of this story that sticks out is one manager telling Derek, the hospital waiting room was the exact same waiting room he was in eight years ago when the family of his best friend was with doctors deciding whether or not to take him off of life support. Therefore, this manager was not only dealing with the accident situation involving one of their drivers, but was also dealing with the stirring up of trauma from the past. Derek was able to have conversations with these men from the trucking company and continues to be in contact with them as well as be present every Monday for the people of that company. 

These two specific situations in which our chaplains were present and ready to minister are only two of many. Anything can happen anywhere. Where people live in fear our chaplains are a calming presence that keeps pointing people to the Prince of Peace – Jesus Christ. 

Please continue in prayer for TFC Global chaplains and for more people, called of God to step into the chaplain’s pipeline to be trained and out there ministering to the trucking community.

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