Restoring Hearts, Renewing Faith
Stories of God’s Work in Nashville
June 3, 2010 - Floodwaters from the swollen Cumberland River spilled into Nashville during a record rainstorm during the first weekend of May. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) deployed chaplains to the scene of the flood. These crisis-trained chaplains are ministering to the emotional and spiritual needs of the survivors.
They now have a renewed reassurance that God is watching over them in all circumstances.
Tyler is a young man that attends a Christian high school and was volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse. During a share time at a dinner gathering, another young man spoke of his relationship with Jesus. Tyler fell under conviction for the remainder of the evening.
At midnight Tyler went to find the chaplains. For fear of getting locked out of the church, he did not go out to the chaplain's trailer. He returned to his friend Josiah. They prayed and Josiah asked Tyler where he thinks he will spend eternity. He answered "hell."
At that moment Tyler fell on his face and accepted Christ as his personal Savior. The chaplains followed through with Tyler and prayed with him in the morning.
Standing on a Firm Foundation
The RRT chaplains visited Bill, a 73-year-old retired building contractor who suffered flood damage to his property. Initially, Bill was a little hesitant to talk to the chaplains. As they visited he began to see that they were really interested in his story.
Bill explained how he and his wife Judy barely escaped from their house before a three-foot wall of water came suddenly from a very small creek in his back yard. He said he called 911 and asked for the fire department to respond – his wife has terminal Pulmonary Fibrosis and is on high concentrations of oxygen.
He feared that the fire department wouldn't arrive in time, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. He said that it took all the strength he had to get his invalid wife out of bed and to the truck.
Bill was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery two weeks prior to the storm. Judy has been back in the hospital for the past week because of a decline in her health.
When the chaplains asked Bill if he knew Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, he enthusiastically said “yes” as he began to cry. He said he and his wife have encountered a great deal stress over the past year, and that his faith in Christ has sustained him.
The chaplains prayed for Bill and Judy: For health, for home restoration, and for a peace that passes all understanding. They now have a renewed reassurance that God is watching over them in all circumstances.
In Word and in Deed
Mike has had many issues with the church and hasn't attended in eight years. This is mostly due to the hypocrisy he says he witnessed in Christians over time.
His two-story home was almost completely engulfed by the flood. In three days, the home was gutted and stripped of all wet items and wallboard. The RRT chaplain explained to Mike that Jesus was in the midst of his storm, and that He sent people to come alongside him to help restore his home.
The chaplain also pointed out how Jesus was restoring his faith through the actions of the people who call themselves Christians. When Mike was presented with a new Bible, he wept.
Help Us Change a Life...Today
You can help us minister to millions, just like Mike and Bill, who are desperate to have the assurance of salvation and to know the hope and comfort found in Christ alone. It is our calling to do this through every available means and in every nation. Donate online today to support the Rapid Response Team or other ministries.
Ministry of Presence
Carl was a veteran pilot who flew during the Korean War and was very proud of his collection of Navy hats. In fact, that is mostly what he was able to salvage after the floods emptied his home.
His wife of 37 years died six months prior to the flood and he was questioning God as to why he was still alive to deal with this disaster. The chaplains prayed and talked for almost two hours with Carl sharing his stories and just being present with him.
Finally, he stated that he needed God’s forgiveness for doubting. He rededicated his life to make certain he was right with God. He so desperately wants to be reunited with his wife in Heaven.