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Timmy and Tisha Hensel. Photo: video.

Raytown pastor says God prompted him and family to leave Super Bowl rally before shooting

Timmy Hensel, pastor of River Church Family in Raytown, said a prompting from God saved his family’s lives before the shooting at last week’s Super Bowl rally.

“We just get this prompting that it’s time to leave before our favorite players are about to speak,” he says. “We just felt that sense to go and so we started walking back. And all of a sudden, in a little bit, we’re getting texts, ‘Are you OK?’”

Just moments after Hensel, his wife Tisha, and two children left, the shooting unfolded in the exact spot where they were sitting. Hensel said he later looked at aerial shots and saw blood on the ground in the location where they had been. He said he is  grateful for the “promptings of the Holy Spirit” and the ability to “recognize his voice and tone.”

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In addition to his gratitude, though, he also feels pain as he continues to process what unfolded..

“I’m also feeling a lot of brokenness and sadness for those who are hurting,” Hensel said. “My city is hurting right now, they’re scared and angry, and wondering, ‘Why do things like this keep happening?’”

But it is gratitude that continues to stand out in his mind and heart as he now recalls how he had an internal battle in his head that led him to nearly stay in that location. For Hensel, the incident reinforced the need to trust God’s voice.

“It’s not just Sunday,” he said. “It’s every moment, and so he is speaking all the time and we need to train ourselves to know the tone of the shepherd’s voice, to know that he is speaking, he is guiding and I’m really grateful for that.”

The pastor said he is continuing to minister to others in his community during this difficult time while balancing his own emotional and spiritual needs.

“I would encourage others to practice listening,” he said. “We do a lot of talking. We do a lot of praying, which is good, but listening is just as important, because he has something to say.”

Police have charged two people and arrested a third in connection with the shooting.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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