Rapid Response Team Covering the Map
How God is Using Chaplains Around the U.S. and Beyond
October 13, 2011 - From a tiny town in Alaska to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the Rapid Response chaplains are finding open doors to pray and share the love of Christ with hurting disaster victims.
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; He seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.
— Psalm 113: 7-8
By Trevor Freeze
The request was slightly unusual.
A Samaritan's Purse team leader had called one of the Billy Graham Rapid Response chaplains looking for a Japanese Bible.
A Japanese woman named Reiko, in Binghamton, N.Y., was in the midst of cleaning out her flooded home, caused by a combination of Hurricane Irene in late August and Tropical Storm Lee in September. A Samaritan's Purse team was helping clean out mud, power wash and do mold remediation.
The woman, married to a member of the U.S. Army, moved to New York after the war and taught herself English. She knew enough to get by, but a Japanese Bible would be very helpful to minister to her.
The Billy Graham chaplain found a number for a local Gideon, Charles Kark, who after checking through his supply, was surprised to find that indeed he had a Japanese-English Bible.
The chaplains drove to the farm where Mr. Kark lived, prayed over the Bible, and then gave the Bible to the Samaritan's Purse team leader.
They chaplains, along with Samaritan's Purse, later presented the Bible to the 76-year-old woman's home and shared about the love of Christ. Reiko accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and is one of nearly 200 Binghamton, N.Y., residents that Rapid Response chaplains have been blessed to pray with.
Here are updates from other Rapid Response deployments:
New Bern, N.C.: Chaplains deployed since Aug. 30 have prayed with over 1,000 New Bern-area residents following Hurricane Irene, including one resident named Adam. A team of Rapid Response chaplains noticed Adam working on a mobile home and asked if they could talk to him. "Yes, I'm bored," Adam replied. Adam's 28-year-old sister had been murdered two years ago in a domestic dispute and after hearing about "Steps to Peace with God," he decided to choose to live for eternity and invited Jesus into his heart.
Japan: Chaplains have prayed with over 800 people since July 5 and continue to encourage and help comfort the Samaritan's Purse staff working in Japan, following the March earthquake and tsunami.
Crooked Creek, AK: A team of two chaplains were deployed from Aug. 17-Sept. 30 in this remote Alaska town of about 140 people with two churches and very little indoor plumbing. There is no cell phone service and the only wireless can be found at the local school, but that didn't stop the Rapid Response chaplains from praying with over 260 people who were suffering from an ice jam flood in early May. Samaritan's Purse has an emergency rebuild projec in Crooked, Creek, which started Aug. 17 and will continue through Oct. 15.
Wayne, N.J.: From Sept. 5 to Sept. 15, six chaplains prayed with over 1,200 people in the Wayne, N.J., area who were suffering from Hurricane Irene flooding, the second deployment in this area in 2011.
Austin, Texas: Wildfires swept through Texas, just east of Austin, and one Rapid Response chaplain spent six days (Sept. 22-27) and was able to pray with 25 victims working at the Salvation Army distribution center.
Rutland, VT: A nearly-three week deployment ended Sept. 25 as six chaplains prayed with over 300 survivors from Hurricane Irene, including Cathy, whose home was damaged by the flooding. Struggling with poor health and the loss of her husband seven months ago, Cathy felt her faith had been wavering and the chaplains spent some time sharing with her, Cathy rededicated her life to Jesus.
Do You Need God's Love in Your Life?
Visit PeaceWithGod.net to learn about Jesus or recommit your life to Him.