When one of the most tragic shootings in American history happens less than an hour from your home, you’re shocked. Then word comes that someone you knew personally took a bullet to the head. It is almost too much.
You heard the big news, I’m sure. A mad gunman entered a packed Colorado theater and opened fire. Ten people died on the scene, two at local hospitals, and 58 were injured. Police responded within 1.5 minutes, and apprehended the shooter within 2 minutes. He was armed with an assault rifle, two pistols and a shotgun. Authorities spent the night attending to casualties.
And one was a friend, Petra Anderson. She was shot four times, once directly into the face. An emergency operation was ordered. They removed the lead from the back of her head and did reconstruction to her face. My family and I stayed glued to Facebook (we’re “FB friends” with virtually all her family, even cousins), eagerly waiting for bits of information, praying in between, trying to piece together the story.
Petra Anderson is a native of Aurora, Colo., whose family and extended family has been involved in homeschool speech and debate since 2000. Petra was at the national tournament I ran in June, judging quite a few rounds including Lydia’s semi-final Persuasive round. She was an alumni of Training Minds Ministry, a coach of many students here in Colorado (including the current title winner in Lincoln-Douglas debate), and a most beautiful and talented 22-year-old.
Petra’s mom, Kim, is a close friend who – for severals years – has joined me in my ministry and business. She was the first Lincoln-Douglas debate coach for Training Minds Ministry. She authored (and Petra was a student contributor) one of my bestselling debate sourcebooks, Red Book, as well as a coaching textbook that still sells, Coaching a Club. Kim and her family were popular advocates for speech and debate across the western region. Before a few years ago, there wasn’t anyone in this community who did not know Kim and Petra.
Kim had to pull back from debate since being diagnosed with cancer, which she originally overcame. The most recent news, unfortunately, was that the cancer returned. The family was in process of seeing her through a rigorous treatment, scheduled to go to Texas for treatment this week. Then the shooting happened. I’m not sure what the plans are now, but Chloe (Kim’s oldest daughter) has specifically requested prayer for both Petra and her mom, Kim.
The Anderson family has been no stranger to tragedy, but also no light apologist for Jesus Christ. Their faith is incredible, they are beautiful people, and it hurts to have friends suffer so much.
There is an online donation website that is taking donations for the Anderson family. Their need right now is daunting. Please take the time to visit this website and consider giving to these fine people. With Kim’s cancer and now Petra’s recovery, this time is an unbelievable hardship. They would certainly appreciate your prayers, support and encouragement.
We love Petra and Kim, and we’re praying for recovery and victory!