On the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the people of New Orleans are preparing for another devastating storm. Tropical Storm Gustav is swirling in the Atlantic and its predicted trajectory suggests that New Orleans will be hit early next week with the strongest storm since that fateful day three years ago.
According to the Associated Press, about 200 people attended an anniversary ceremony Friday in New Orleans. “I think God is reminding us that on the eve of Katrina, God can bring nature back,” says Russell Honore, the retired Army General who led rescue efforts three years ago. Preparations for Gustav forced cancellation of other Katrina memorials.
Based on current weather projections, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) plans to leave Tuesday morning to return to the “Big Easy” to support victims, emergency management and first responders.
When Katrina made landfall in New Orleans three years ago, causing unthinkable death and destruction, the RRT deployed immediately.
Over the next two-and-a-half years, thousands of crisis-trained chaplains spread across the region to bring hope and comfort in the midst of one of the greatest natural disasters in the history of the country.
More than 2,000 people made decisions for Christ, and tens of thousands more were encouraged in their faith. The work of the Rapid Response Team and the relief efforts of Samaritan’s Purse prepared the way for a two-day Celebration of Hope at the New Orleans Arena in March 2006, where more than 30,000 people came to hear the Gospel.
“When a disaster like Katrina strikes,” says Franklin Graham, president of BGEA, “we go in the Name of Jesus Christ, put our arms around those who are suffering, and tell them of God’s grace and strength to see them through their trials.”
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is calling on Christians across the country to pray over the coming days. “This storm has already resulted in deaths in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and is approaching Jamaica before moving to the Gulf Coast,” notes Munday.
How to Pray
- Pray that the people of New Orleans will be spared, that Gustav will dissipate over the weekend.
- Please pray for those whose lives have already been affected by this storm, and pray for those who are currently in its path as they seek shelter and safety.
- Pray for the emergency workers, police and first responders, who will be concerned for their own families while also sacrificing to protect others.
- Finally, pray for the leaders in these areas, that they will have wisdom, compassion and courage as they prepare to deal with Gustav.
Statement by Billy Graham on Hurricane Katrina
Where was God in Hurricane Katrina?
Caring in Christ’s Name
Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Chaplains Reach Out to Hurricane Survivors
Something to Celebrate
Ministering Christ’s Presence
Celebrating Hope in New Orleans