Billy Graham Chaplains Ministering in the Face of Italian Crisis

By BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse   •   March 24, 2020

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) is ministering to Samaritan's Purse medical staff and patients in Cremona, Italy—nearly 50 miles from Milan—due to COVID-19. “As Italy has now surpassed China in the number of deaths from COVID-19, we are blessed that two RRT chaplains are joining the Samaritan’s Purse team at the field hospital in northern Italy to provide emotional care for patients, as well as the doctors and nurses who are tirelessly caring for the sick during this global pandemic,” said Josh Holland, assistant director of the RRT (not pictured).
As case numbers soar in the nation with the highest elderly population in Europe, it's now the epicenter of the virus. Crisis-trained chaplains are serving in a variety of ways—through offering a listening ear, prayer and words of encouragement.
A look inside the Samaritan's Purse Emergency Field Hospital, where medical staff are working around the clock.
Crisis-trained RRT chaplains Jason and Damaris Scalzi, from Vineland, New Jersey, traveled to Cremona to help the hard-hit region. The couple is in Italy for 30 days and will spend 14 days in isolation upon return to the United States. “It sounds long but it is a short time for us to help. Especially when we’ve got medical people in all countries right now fighting this 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Damaris.
A fence can't block hope—a chaplain encourages a local while taking safety precautions. While some people are fearful of contracting COVID-19, chaplain Damaris Scalzi shared her perspective. “That’s where your faith has to come in,” she said. “If you feel called to help someone—to help the sick—you can’t shrink away.” >> Do you have the hope of God in your heart? Start a relationship with Him.
Before medical staff, technicians and Billy Graham chaplains headed to Italy, RRT International Director Jack Munday requested, "Pray for them I ask, that God would protect them, God would watch over them and use them to save lives." Would you continue to lift them up while they're serving on the ground? >> If you would like to pray with someone in regards to the pandemic, please call the BGEA Prayer Line at 1-888-388-2683.