We're in a haze today at the news that two Cincinnati Christian University students were assaulted late last night on the Purple People Bridge. The woman was then kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and later dropped off at campus. This afternoon they have the suspect in custody. This is an incredibly unfortunate situation. I can't imagine what effect this will have on the students there, as well as what it will mean to the future of students being out in the community.

Just last week I talked to David Faust, President of CCU, about how encouraging it was that many students are now out and about in the city. Instead of sequestering themselves on campus, they are active in ministries throughout urban Cincinnati. Instead of being afraid of the city, they desired to be out in it.

And then this. When something as horrible as this happens, it can change everything.

I'm praying for this couple, the students at CCU, and the faculty and staff during this time and ask you to do the same. I pray that despite this tragedy, that the view of the mission won't be sacrificed.

Just yesterday I wrote a profile about Echo that is supposed to be featured in a future CCU publication. I made sure to emphasize that we desperately need to focus some church planting efforts toward the city. If anything, this confirms how desperately our city needs Jesus. Incidents like this can make people fearful of the city and drive us further towards suburbia or rural areas to feel safe.

But we're never going to truly be safe, are we? It's a daily reality I face with bringing my family here. I will admit that each night I pray that God watches over my wife and my child. But we can't let the fear of what could happen keep us doing God's work here. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10:14,

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"