Having grown up in Cape May, N.J., Rapid Response Team Director Jack Munday has seen his share of hurricanes and fierce storms. “You learn to deal with it when you live near the eastern seaboard,” he explained.
Now living in North Carolina, Munday directs teams of volunteer chaplains who respond with the love of Christ in the aftermath of all kinds of natural disasters, often traveling with the teams to offer direction and encouragement.
But he never anticipated he would be returning to his former home town this week in his role with the Rapid Response Team. Cape May is one of countless areas hit hard when Hurricane Sandy made landfall, and one of three areas that will serve as starting points for the Rapid Response Team as they prepare to minister in the wake of the storm.
Three mobile units departed from BGEA headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, with destinations of northern and southern New Jersey. The teams will caravan together and meet with the Samaritan’s Purse units en route. They anticipate making it to their destinations on Wednesday.
“We will be there when people ask the ‘why’ question,” said Munday. “We are going to encourage people who are facing trauma, and to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ.”
In some of the poverty-stricken areas around Atlantic City, for example, elderly people and single-parent families will need special care, said Munday. “There are a number of vulnerable people who live there.”
Chaplain Judy Tefft is ready to provide that care. As she prepared to deploy this morning with her husband, Bob, Judy said she plans to share “a pair of arms and a loving heart.
“It is very humbling to serve the hurting,” said Judy. “God put a calling on our hearts to show empathy, but we couldn’t do it without prayer.
“Prayer is our lifeline,” she added.
Her husband, Bob, couldn’t agree more: “We anticipate walking in faith. Right now, we don’t know our final destination or where we will sleep tonight, but we are resting on God’s plan.”
Bob knows that the Lord will provide divine appointments for ministry. “If we give them a glimmer of hope, it is the best thing we can do.”
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is a ministry of crisis-trained volunteer chaplains who deploy in the aftermath of a disaster to respond to the emotional and spiritual needs of people in crisis. RRT spent months ministering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 – and most recently deployed to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Issac earlier this year.
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