Thank you for touching lives through the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) ministry. You are helping bring comfort, hope and spiritual guidance to people in the midst of devastation.
During the past year, we deployed 739 chaplains to 49 different areas around the world affected by natural and man-made disasters. These volunteers prayed with 40,558 people, and they saw 1,224 individuals pray to repent of their sins and invite Jesus Christ into their lives. To God be the glory!
The majority of BG-RRT deployments are for disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, but God also often calls the chaplains to minister to grieving residents in communities stunned by the killing of police officers or in response to a mass shooting. As you can imagine, the chaplains are never sure what they will encounter when they arrive at a disaster site, and they rely on your prayers as they stay alert for divine appointments that God has prepared for them. People find themselves hurting, scared and in need of hope. Our rapid response chaplains help them remember that God sees them in their brokenness. The Bible says, “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path” (Psalm 142:3, NKJV).
We can’t predict when or where the next major tragedy will happen or how long our chaplains may need to stay, but they remain ready when called to go and serve. Your prayers and gifts help make this possible, touching thousands with the hope and healing found in Jesus Christ. What you do makes an eternal difference.
May God richly bless you,
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” —PSALM 55:22, ESV
“I would like to do that!”
In late spring, heavy rains fell across Wayne County, Michigan The Detroit River rose, and creeks throughout the county overflowed, flooding many homes and causing widespread damage. Crisis-trained Billy Graham chaplains responded to the shattered area to bring emotional and spiritual care to devastated lives.
While walking near a flooded riverbank, chaplains encountered a young man staring at the water, trying to comprehend the devastation to his city. Steve’s young adult life was marked by bad decisions and falling in with the wrong crowd. He showed them some of his tattoos, explaining that one of them contrasted a lost sinner with a sinner that was saved. Steve and the chaplains discussed the idea, and the chaplains shared how lost sinners can be saved and experience genuine salvation through Jesus Christ. After they shared the Gospel with Steve using the booklet “Steps to Peace With God,” he said he wanted to make Christ the Lord of his life. The chaplains prayed with him, and he repented of his sins and placed his trust in Jesus Christ.
He also accepted their invitation to join them for dinner the next night at a local church, where he publicly acknowledged his gratitude for his new faith and the ministry of the Billy Graham chaplains.
In another part of the county, chaplains visited one homeowner who was waiting for a team of volunteer relief workers to arrive for help. Susan opened her heart up to the chaplains, who listened to the stories of tragedy from her life, including divorce, poor health and the tragic death of a husband. During the conversation, one chaplain asked, “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Was there a time in your life when you asked Him to forgive you of your sins and be your Saviour?” Susan replied, “No, I have never done that. I would like to do that!” She listened intently to the Gospel and realised that though she was religious, she did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Susan prayed with the chaplains and surrendered her life to Christ. Please pray for each person the chaplains ministered to during the deployment.
“God’s Timing is Always Perfect”
For residents in Queensland and northern New South Wales, bushfire season started early this year as fires spread across 131 regions in early September. Stretching from Yamba to Cairns, the destruction has been widespread and severe.
Specially trained volunteer chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) were able to deploy to Stanthorpe in Queensland. They provided support to local churches and leaders, alongside Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Response volunteers, who responded to assist homeowners affected by the fires and severe drought.
Many people are still struggling with despair as their homes and property now smoulder in the aftermath.
One of our chaplains, Peter, shared about a home that the team accidentally visited after looking for another address, and a couple that they met there. Fred and Mary* lost everything in the fires when the wind changed direction, and their home, workshop, shed and multiple vehicles were destroyed. Samaritan’s Purse volunteers were able to remove roofing and metal from the workshop, and Peter was able to listen and encourage them.
Peter shares about this instance being “God’s perfect timing,” as both Fred and Mary grew up in the church but have been distant for many years. As a child, Mary’s parents played Billy Graham sermons on the radio, and to see a BG-RRT chaplain was a profound connection.
Fred and Mary were very thankful to have Samaritan’s Purse and BG-RRT helping them, and they shared how it was a “beautiful and uplifting experience.” Fred was able to help clear the property with the Disaster Relief Volunteers, and Mary made meals that they could share together.
Peter had the opportunity to pray with Fred and Mary and share that it was God’s timing for the teams to be there. He reminded them
that God loves them and can give them lasting hope through Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray for Fred and Mary and all the people affected by these fires, that they will find new life in
Christ in the midst of disaster.
Chaplains have the opportunity to demonstrate God’s love and care to those that are hurting in a crisis. Peter shares
that he is a chaplain because, “I love people, love working alongside other Christians and to be able to talk about God
and pray for people. To offer hope is a privilege.”
Please pray for our chaplains as they listen, support and share God’s hope with those in the midst of crisis.
*Names changed for privacy
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