Chaplains Shine Light on NC’s Ocracoke Island Following Dorian

By Matt Rath   •   September 24, 2019

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) deployed to multiple areas after Hurricane Dorian swept through the Atlantic Ocean at the beginning of September. In addition to the team's deployments in the Bahamas (Nassau and Freeport), crisis-trained chaplains have been offering emotional and spiritual care to residents in Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.
While Dorian started off as a Category 5 in the Bahamas, it downgraded to a Category 1 before making landfall in North Carolina. Still, Dorian unleashed damaging winds and heavy flooding. "The entire island was just anywhere from three to six feet underwater as the storm surge came," said chaplain coordinator Ray Thompson, who deployed alongside his wife Suzanne from the West Coast to minister to the East Coast.
Billy Graham chaplains are working hand-in-hand with Samaritan's Purse to care for those facing the disheartening aftermath of the storm.
Many here are unfortunately familiar with the catastrophic damage hurricanes can bring. This collection of signs marks the damage from past storms on the island. However, residents said that Dorian's storm surge was far worse than what they'd ever experienced.
Chaplain Ray Thompson took time from ministering to share a touching moment about a gentleman called Big Daddy, whose entire countenance changed upon hearing the Gospel. "It was so amazing that this guy would turn his whole—it chokes me up thinking about it—life around by the love of Jesus Christ." >> Have you given your life to the Lord? Receive His peace today.
Ocracoke Island is full of history that's kept alive through the locals. "People have been here for 15, 20 generations. There's a lot of roots down here," Thompson said, adding that many irreplaceable antiques and relics were lost in the storm.
A family smiles after receiving a Billy Graham Training Center Bible—a special Bible given to those whose homes have been visited by chaplains and repaired by Samaritan's Purse.
"You can’t put a level on the loss," Thompson said, looking at a lighthouse in the distance. "Even though the loss here isn’t as significant from a human perspective, loss is still loss. I just hope in the recovery, the Lord continues to shine His light and these people will understand where their strength comes from."
Please continue to pray for the communities affected by Hurricane Dorian.