To meet the critical need for emotional and spiritual care following disasters, the Rapid Response Team (RRT) currently has chaplains in the United States, the US Territory of Puerto Rico, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. These approved volunteer chaplains are carefully selected and prepared to demonstrate the compassion of Jesus Christ, and appropriately share God’s hope through the One who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”, Psalm 147:3.
With the BGEA-RRT headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, the RRT has three international offices, and has responded to disasters in Australia, Brazil, British West Indies, Canada, England, Grenada, Haiti, Italy, Japan, Kenya and Myanmar.
How you can participate
- Begin by praying about becoming a volunteer chaplain to serve with the Rapid Response Team.
- Complete a Chaplain Application Packet.
- Plan to attend a Sharing Hope in Crisis seminar and two Critical Incident Stress Management courses. These courses are available at our RRT national training conference and elsewhere.
As a Rapid Response Team chaplain, you will be invited to deploy according to your availability, as needed by RRT for disaster response.
What you can expect on deployment
WHEN YOU FIRST ARRIVE you will be greeted by a seasoned Chaplain Coordinator who will get you settled and oriented to that specific site and deployment.
CHAPLAIN COORDINATORS are the RRT on-the-ground-leadership that the RRT office coordinates all things through. Each of them have vast experience in disaster response and ministry. They will make sure that your week deployed is full of ministry, that you are doing well and will coordinate all logistics and ministry.
THE “CAMP” is where you will live and work out of. As stated in the Chaplain Application Packet, when a group of people live together in a ministry situation, things like cleaning, washing and such have to happen. Some places have cook crews, sometimes we help; each location is different and no two deployments are the same!
WATCH A VIDEO on A Day in the Life of a Chaplain to gain a glimpse of what you can expect.
THINGS TO DO and not to do:
- Deploy ready to minister.
- Be in the Word so you are spiritually strong.
- Be in prayer and have a prayer covering in place by those who know what you are doing.
- Be ready to walk! You can expect to walk 2-3 miles a day while ministering.
- Have a plan in place to contact your family back home so relationships stay strong.
- Don’t deploy if there are stressful activities or decisions in your life that need dealt with.