None of us will ever forget the morning of September 11, 2001. The devastation brought upon our nation that day will forever be etched in our collective memory. As we mark the ninth anniversary of that tragic day, we also mark the anniversary of the beginning of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.
Immediately following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York City, Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, felt a burden to bring hope and peace into our country’s darkest days.
A call went out, and soon volunteers from around the country were traveling to Manhattan to staff the Billy Graham Prayer Center and offer comfort to the rescue workers, survivors and friends and families of the victims, many of whom were carrying around pictures of their loved ones hoping that they may still be found alive.
It became apparent that many churches were ready to respond to the physical needs of people. There was plenty of food, bottled water and shelter being provided. Very few, however, were prepared to appropriately respond to the emotional and spiritual wounds that were ripped open that day.
Soon after, the idea of a Rapid Response Team was conceived: a well-organized database of chaplains who could deploy all across the country—and now the world. Chaplains are specially trained in crisis intervention to share God’s hope and comfort to those affected by natural or man-made disasters.
Over the past nine years, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has deployed to more than 108 disaster sites across the U.S. and 11 other countries, and opened offices in Canada and England. We’ve brought hope in the wake of fires, shootings, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and most recently, the earthquake in Haiti. With your support and prayers, we’ve had the opportunity to comfort hundreds of thousands of people.
I would encourage you to remember in prayer those who lost their loved ones on September 11, 2001, as today will once again bring a flood of memories and emotions. Please pray also for victims – from Haiti to Virginia Tech, places large and small – that have faced their own disasters and tragedies over the past nine years.
Thank you for your love, prayers and support for the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. You are very much a part of this ministry, and we are grateful for you.
Be the Hands and Feet of Christ
As the RRT continues to minister in Haiti, we appreciate your help with this and other outreach efforts. Please give today to help hurting people at home and around the world.