Crisis-Trained Chaplains Pray With Residents Affected by South Dakota Severe Weather

By Jim Mone   •   May 20, 2022

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) chaplains Sharon Folsom (left) and Laurie Bowers pray with a resident on her family's farm in Castlewood, South Dakota. Crisis-trained chaplains deployed to the area after the recent derecho, a large-scale thunderstorm with straight-line winds.
Residents are now cleaning and picking up the pieces of what they lost in the storm. Here, BG-RRT chaplain Charlie Clark visits with a local homeowner.
When disasters happen, both natural and man-made, BG-RRT chaplains often deploy to work alongside sister organization Samaritan's Purse, providing a ministry of presence as people face, possibly, one of their most difficult times in life.
Chaplains had a chance to meet 4-year-old Ollie during a visit with his family.
The recent severe weather caused damage in more than two dozen counties in South Dakota, prompting Gov. Kristi Noem to issue a state of emergency. With downed power lines, damaged buildings and ample fallen trees, many residents have a long road ahead before getting back to life "as usual." Oftentimes, this recovery isn't just due to physical damage, but also emotional.
Samaritan's Purse team members enjoy lunch while conversing with BG-RRT chaplains who have been on site with them.
Stan Greenfield (left), his son Evan (right) and grandson Ollie take in the moment. If residents are up for it, chaplains take time to pray with the people they encounter, sharing much-needed hope in times of crisis.
Conversation and a listening ear can go a long way.
A BG-RRT Mobile Ministry Center is set up at a local church as another way for residents, first responders and others to find safe haven for conversations and prayer.