Rapid Response Team Extends the Arms of Mercy
July 1, 2008 - “When the flood waters came, they washed away much more than possessions,” says Jack Munday, director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. "They flooded peace with anguish, hope with despair and dreams with nightmares."
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Following historic floods that have left large swaths of devastation and despair across the Midwest, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team of crisis-trained chaplains has deployed to Terra Haute, Ind., Baraboo, Wis., and Cedar Falls, Iowa. They will also deploy to Cedar Rapids, Iowa later this week.
Chaplains began working in Terra Haute early last week, on the heels of a similar deployment to Columbus, Ind. Teams arrived in Iowa and Wisconsin on Saturday. The chaplains currently ministering in the cities are talking and praying with victims of the floods and making contact with local church and civic leaders.
"It’s our mission to bring a light and a hope to those who have seen nothing but darkness since the rain first began to fall," says Munday.
The Rapid Response Team chaplains are working in cooperation with local government officials and disaster relief organizations, including Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Blessing.
The deployments in Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa bring the total number of Rapid Response Team chaplain deployments to 20 in the first half of 2008. Comparatively, the entire year of 2007 saw 11 deployments in what was previously the busiest year in the history of the disaster response ministry.
“The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has never seen a year like 2008,” says Munday. “Week after week, people across this country are being bombarded with natural disasters and literally losing everything they own. We grieve with those who grieve, and pray that we are able to offer a glimmer of hope and comfort as in the midst of the storm.”