Historic Floods in North Dakota Lead to Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Deployment
Ministry in North Dakota Follows Outreaches to North Carolina, California
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team of crisis-trained chaplains will arrive today in North Dakota in response to the devastating floods that have crippled much of the state. The initial base of ministry is Linton, N.D., where the swelling of Beaver Creek and Spring Creek resulted in significant flooding and property damage. According to news reports, 70 homes were evacuated and the National Guard was called in as the creeks overflowed. Linton is a town of approximately 1,400, located southeast of Bismarck, N.D. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has deployed in coordination with Samaritan’s Purse, the international relief organization headed by Franklin Graham, who is also president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Together, the two groups will meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who have been affected by the floods. “As the flood waters recede, the flood of despair and painful memories rise,” said Jack Munday, director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “In a tight-knit community like this, everybody is affected. We will be there to help them as they work through this very difficult time.” As the ministries complete their mission in Linton, they will assess the needs in areas along the Red River and be ready to offer assistance to additional communities where people may need help in the coming weeks. “We’re so thankful that the Red River’s crest brought less damage and flooding than anticipated,” said Munday. “We will, however, continue to monitor the coming storms and the potential for a second crest.” This deployment is the third in the past week for the crisis-chaplain ministry. Last week chaplains responded to the killing of four police officers in Oakland, Calif., and most recently chaplains deployed to Carthage, N.C., following the murder of seven residents and a nurse at Pinelake Health and Rehab nursing home on Sunday. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, a ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that was developed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, is a nationwide network of more than 3,000 chaplains who are specially trained to appropriately offer emotional and spiritual care during crisis situations.