The Bulletin asked Brownwood Middle School principal Bryan Allen for his thoughts on the events that stemmed from the Sept. 7, 2011 shooting of his son, Jacob, in Abilene. Allen responded with the following email:
First of all, we feel very blessed that God used Josh to save Jacob's life, and that God spared him and healed him. Words can't describe how grateful we are to God and to Josh.
We know it doesn't always end with such a happy ending as we have seen, and we are certainly more sensitive to those who do not have the happy ending we have had. We completely believe God heard a chorus of prayers for Jacob throughout the ordeal, but especially the night of the shooting.
It was on a Wednesday evening, and many people have told me they got word of it through texts or calls while at Wednesday evening church services. Many stopped right there and prayed on the spot for Jacob. I have heard that people all over the state and beyond lifted him up in prayer that night.
We heard about people praying in England and in China that night for Jacob. There were also so many who came to the hospital that night and the critical days which followed. Many of those prayed with us at the hospital. We are so grateful to all of those who lifted him up that night and in the critical days that followed.
Of course we're also thankful for those who lifted our family and especially Jessica up during that time. Jessica was amazing through it all.
Personally, I prayed those first few days more than I ever have. I sat with him in the wee hours of the morning and prayed continually for him and Jessica. It sounds funny saying it, but I prayed for more than complete healing for Jacob. I prayed that he would come back even better than before.
Certainly I prayed for physical healing, but I also prayed that he would come back more prepared to be used by God. I believe God has answered my prayers. Jacob is healed, and I believe he is more ready for God's use than ever.
God has blessed him with opportunities to share since the shooting, and Jacob has been faithful. I also prayed that God would strengthen Jacob's and Jessica's marriage. I am amazed at what they have been through, and I have no doubt they are stronger than ever.
Besides healing and restoring Jacob and their marriage, I believe He has changed our family for the better. My prayer life and relationship with the Lord is much stronger than before, and I know Kathy's is as well. I have seen God's faithfulness in a mighty way, and I think God has made me more prepared for HIs service.
Through all of this we wanted and still want God to be glorified. He showed up big and showed off for us, and we are grateful beyond words.