BGEA Chaplains Ministering After Deadly Tornadoes

By   •   April 30, 2014

Just picking up the debris and belongings strewn out in people's yards seemed insurmountable in Winston County, which has suffered great damage and at least nine confirmed deaths. Some residents talked about "finally starting to regroup."

In response to an outbreak of tornadoes over the past few days, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is deploying to some of the hardest hit areas, with teams responding in Arkansas, Mississippi and Kansas.

“Lives have been turned upside down,” said Jack Munday, director of the BGEA Rapid Response Team. “They’re in shock and that impales people in all areas of their life—physically, emotionally and spiritually.”

Dozens of fatalities have already been reported, with Arkansas experiencing 15 deaths, as a half-mile wide tornado tore through Sunday night, leaving a 30-mile trail of destruction.

Experienced, crisis-trained chaplain teams will be ministering in nearby Mayflower, Ark., as well as Louisville, Miss., and Baxter Springs, Kan.

“The results of shock sometimes is confusion,” Munday said, “and the inability to bounce back without the assistance and support of a community who can show hope in the midst of their despair.”

And that’s why the Rapid Response Team was formed in the aftermath of 9/11—to help people work through the emotional grief and spiritual questions that happen when total chaos intervenes.

The BGEA has formed a network of chaplains from 48 states, always on standby, to deploy and help provide the emotional and spiritual support needed in times of crisis. Chaplains have deployed to more than 175 disasters.

“Our response is to supply crisis-trained chaplains with extensive experience working with first responders and residents in the community,” Munday said.

The chaplains will meet with emergency management and work alongside Samaritan’s Purse to help communities rebuild, both physically and spiritually in the coming weeks.

“It’s like it says in Hebrews 11:1, ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,’” Munday said. “As the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, we believe the only way to find hope and peace is through Jesus Christ. Without hope, there’s despair.

“But when people experience the reality of Christ in their life, it makes all the difference. It doesn’t take the tears away. It doesn’t take the sting away. But it turns despair into hope. This isn’t the end.”

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  1. Pamela Henry says:

    “…and weep with them that weep.” I am thankful for those serving in this sympathetic way, who also bring hope through His unfailing Word.

  2. Margareta Cronholm says:

    LORD out Redeemer. My prayer in Your Name Jesus goes out to the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, when the tornadoes hit the country. Thank You God, You knows everything and Your LOVE covers the team and people there.

  3. sharon cato says:

    I will pray for everyone to

  4. David Hammock says:

    I will be remembering you in prayer.

  5. Debbie Drissell says:

    My husband and I are chaplains with RRT and have deployed a couple times already to offer care when a tornado has devastated communities and the lives of the people living there. It is heart wrenching, but much needed work. My prayers are with those being deployed at this time. Interestingly enough we are hosting a Sharing Hope in Crisis seminar this very weekend at our church in the St. Louis area. Perhaps God is raising up more chaplains right in the midst of these present storms.

  6. Jennifer Foster says:

    The world appreciates your good works. Thank you.

  7. Jim Lance says:

    In the process of training for RRT. It is a much needed service. God Bless and be with those that are already helping

  8. Chrissy says:

    My prayers are going up to everyone and evreywhere that are afflicted by the stormes or what ever it may be God have mercy on us all in these pearls times. My help is lemmited right now but I know Gods hear’s my prayers Jesus is I the mist of the stormes.

  9. Mark A. Johnson says:

    As a current BGEA SFJ volunteer, I have also started the training as a responder and look forward to joining the BGEA RRT team. My prayers go out to everyone responding on the RRT and for those people who will be seeking Christ thru their storms.

  10. makokha henry says:

    Thank u lord Jesus 4 hope which is our faith. while in western kenya it has not rained in ark there deadly strong winds.Grant that your people may faith

    1. sharon cato says:

      I know that jesus is coming soon there is alot going on.