PHOTOS: Three Unforgettable Months of Ministry for Chaplains

By   •   December 20, 2017

Between August and November 2017, crisis-trained chaplains from the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) deployed to multiple tragedies throughout five states. Here they offer emotional and spiritual care in Texas after Hurricane Harvey's landfall in late August.
In Houston, Texas, the fourth-largest city in the the U.S., the damage after Harvey was extensive. The work of law enforcement officers in the city and nearby areas was key to recovery efforts.
Just two weeks after Hurricane Harvey, another storm—Hurricane Irma—hit Florida and more chaplains were deployed. Here they minister in Naples in September. Irma tied as the second-strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, according to news reports.
Chaplain praying with two men in uniform
U.S. Navy officers who assisted with efforts in Key West, Florida, stopped to pray after Hurricane Irma.
Chaplain holding person's hand and talking. Another chaplain standing beside them
From the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, a gunman rained down rapid gunfire on nearby concertgoers on Sunday, Oct. 1, leaving 59 people dead and over 500 injured. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. RRT chaplains offered comfort to locals, first responders, witnesses and victims' families.
Rapid Response Team chaplains circled up with large group of people, praying
Chaplains deployed to Las Vegas were onsite to listen to, pray with and simply be present with those coping in the aftermath. “It doesn’t dismiss the pain and it doesn’t answer all the questions, but it does bring comfort and hope in someone’s life after they experience great loss," said RRT's International Director Jack Munday. "And people need to know that God loves them and desires to be with them in such a time as this.”
Chaplains addressing first responders during a meal
Also in October, firefighters battled one of the most destructive wildfires in California's history. The northern California fires killed dozens of people, destroyed many homes and burned tens of thousands of acres. Billy Graham chaplains comforted those grieving loved ones, as well as the loss of homes and businesses. They also ministered to first responders.
Group picture of Billy Graham chaplains in Santa Rosa standing in front of Rapid Response Team's Mobile Ministry Center
The first RRT chaplains on the scene of the wildfires live in Santa Rosa and were able to quickly offer the hope of Christ to their own neighbors. Here the entire group gathered for a photo during a break in ministry.
Young people listening to a chaplain
Crisis-trained chaplains listened, talked and prayed with people in New York City after a deadly truck attack shook the area on Oct. 31, killing eight people. Here young people stop to talk with a chaplain.
Chaplains circled in prayer near temporary memorial for victims in NYC
As they huddled in prayer near a makeshift memorial for New York City victims, chaplains offered a good witness for Christ in the community.
Sutherland Spring's First Baptist Church with flags raised at half staff
Crisis-trained chaplains ministered in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in the aftermath of a deadly church shooting in early November. When the church reopened as a memorial, roses were placed on white chairs in memory of those slain.
Chaplain praying with man in front of crosses representing shooting victims
Each of the 26 lives lost in the Nov. 5 church shooting were represented by a wooden cross at this memorial. Many stopped by to pay their respects, some even taking a moment to share their stories and pray with the chaplains. If you were to die tomorrow, are you certain of your destiny? Find out more about the hope of heaven through faith in Jesus Christ.
Chaplains talk with first responder
California's second-largest fire on record—the deadly Thomas fire—erupted in early December and has destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres and more than a thousand homes. Chaplains deployed to Ventura County, California, to offer encouragement and fellowship to both displaced residents as well as firefighters and first responders.
Chaplains pray with residents wearing masks
A group gathers in prayer for a family that faced the Thomas fire. Please ask God to comfort and help those impacted by the fires in California and all of the tragic events this fall.