It Beggars Belief

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“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalm 34:18 NLT).

“When I looked into the teacher’s eyes, I could see her sorrow and grief. I strongly felt that I needed to do something, so I asked her if I could give her a hug. As I embraced her, we both began to cry, and I spoke softly to her. I told her, ‘Please, don’t blame yourself. You did the best that you could.’”

On October 6, 2022, for reasons that beggar belief, an ex-police officer in northeast Thailand who had been suspended on drug charges entered the classroom of a daycare facility and brutally murdered several adult staff and students; the students had been peacefully napping. Returning home, killing several more innocent bystanders along the way, the man murdered his wife and child before taking his own life. By the end, he killed 24 preschool-age children and 13 adults.

Just days after the massacre, we traveled to the community of Nong Bua Lamphu. Along with our AFM colleagues from the Peace Music Academy, we laid wreathes and placed poster boards adorned with condolence cards from the students at our learning center.
We talked with relatives who lost loved ones and several teachers who survived the attack. We listened as they opened their hearts to us, weeping, wrestling with guilt, trying to make sense of something so senseless.

Teacher Ming reflected afterward:

“When I looked into that teacher’s eyes, I could sense the weight of the guilt she was feeling. I knew who she was because the media had vilified her for seeming to have abandoned her students to save herself when, in reality, she had been running to try and get help. She and the other teachers just don’t know how they can ever be teachers in the future or ask the parents in the community to trust them with their children again.”

Before we left the daycare center, we prayed with those teachers and let them know that we have many family members and friends around the world who are praying for them day and night. They expressed to us how much they appreciated knowing that so many people care about what happened to their community.

Please continue to pray for healing for the community of Nong Bua Lamphu and for Thai society as they are trying to cope with this tragedy and find a path forward.