Hurricane Idalia slammed the Gulf Coast last week in what news reports called a “once-in-a-lifetime” storm for parts of Florida, flooding over 6,000 homes in one county.
It made landfall as a powerful Category 3 hurricane, coming ashore in Florida’s Big Bend area—where the panhandle meets the peninsula—sustaining up to 125 mph winds before crossing into southern Georgia.
Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) are serving in Florida and Georgia in response to the storm’s widespread destruction. Eight chaplains are in Taylor County near Perry, one of the hardest hit areas. Eight more are in Pasco County—where over 500 homes flooded.
A team of six chaplains will arrive in Valdosta, Georgia, by tomorrow. According to weather reports, the day the hurricane hit marked the wettest day for Valdosta since 1984. The combination of winds and torrential tropical rains led to life-threatening flooding, impacting close to 500 homes.
“We want to remind residents that when the storms of life come, Jesus is our anchor and strength,” said Josh Holland, international director of the BG-RRT. “It’s through these difficulties that God can bring us closer to Him.”
A Mobile Ministry Center (MMC) in Perry is available as a safe space for people affected by this historic catastrophe to talk and pray. Another MMC will be in Valdosta. BG-RRT chaplains are serving alongside disaster relief organization Samaritan’s Purse to help meet residents’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Please pray for those affected by this hurricane and all who have a long road ahead as they rebuild.