Graham Family, Chaplains Encourage Florida Hurricane Survivors at Christmas

By   •   December 22, 2022

On Sept. 28, Hurricane Ian slammed into Southwest Florida as a Category 4, one of the strongest hurricanes to make landfall in U.S. history. It killed more than 100 Floridians, left millions across the state without power, and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses in Fort Myers. On Dec. 21, Citygate Ministries in Fort Myers hosted a Christmas dinner for residents still recovering from the storm. Will Graham and several Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) chaplains were there to encourage locals this holiday season.
Billy Graham chaplains deployed to Florida after the hurricane to offer emotional and spiritual care in the midst of crisis. They spoke and prayed with many at the dinner as residents continue facing change and uncertainty in coming months.
Cissie Graham Lynch holds her newborn as she and her husband, Corey (right), along with her brother, Will Graham (left), talk with a woman impacted by this fall's devastating storm. Cissie and Corey Lynch live in Fort Myers. At the time of the hurricane, Cissie had to evacuate with their two older children, but returned shortly after to minister alongside chaplains. "This is my town. This is my community," she said. “The spiritual need here is tremendous.”
Volunteers from Samaritan's Purse, a disaster relief organization and sister ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, helped serve a hot dinner to residents. Billy Graham chaplains and Samaritan's Purse volunteers have worked closely together to respond to both spiritual and physical needs when disaster strikes.
While some people in the Fort Myers area might not have the Christmas they had hoped for prior to the hurricane, Will Graham encouraged them that they are loved—not only by his family, chaplains, and Samaritan's Purse volunteers—but by God Himself. At Christmas, we celebrate God's gift of Jesus Christ, who offers you lasting hope and peace in your heart. Experience His love for yourself.
A chaplain prays with a group who came to the dinner. In times of crisis, it can mean a lot to know others care, particularly around the holidays when recent loss can be magnified.
Will Graham and Edward Graham spend a few moments with dinner guests.
Please remember all those who have lost homes, businesses, or family members this past year. Pray for God's comfort to envelope them and consider how you may extend His love to those around you.