from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association February 9 newsletter
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) deployed to four new locations in January. The first two weeks of the New Year saw chaplains travel to Lenoir, North Carolina, and Lancaster, California, to serve at Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospitals that were set up to treat coronavirus patients as numbers increased and overwhelmed the local hospital systems.
“As the virus is spiking at the beginning of 2021, we consider it a privilege to offer emotional and spiritual support in our ministries’ home state of North Carolina, as well as in California where the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has such a long history of serving—primarily after devastating wildfires,” said Josh Holland, assistant director of the BG-RRT.
On Jan. 26, less than 12 hours after an EF-3 tornado swept through Jefferson County, Alabama, BG-RRT chaplains were already on the ground in the area to provide emotional and spiritual support to the community. The tornado damaged more than 400 homes and resulted in one death.
“As we learned of the devastation and loss of life in the aftermath of a tornado, our hearts were broken for those in central Alabama who have had great loss,” said Jack Munday, international director of the BG-RRT. “Our crisis-trained chaplains are there in the midst of this tragedy to provide emotional and spiritual care as the area grieves and begins the recovery process.”
In February, chaplains were continuing to serve in Louisiana where they have been since August 2020 when multiple hurricanes hit the area.
Since the beginning of 2021, more than 70 chaplains have deployed to disaster sites, praying with more than 2,600 people. The BG-RRT served at 50 locations in 2020, offering more than 44,000 prayers on behalf of those who were impacted by disasters.
For more information about the BG-RRT ministry, visit www.RRT.BillyGraham.org/.