Rapid Response Team Chaplains Ministering in Barcelona

By   •   August 17, 2017

chaplains praying in Barcelona
Crisis-trained Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains pray with people on Barcelona's Las Ramblas, where a terrorist attack killed 13 people from age 3 to 80 and left more than 100 others injured.

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is ministering in Barcelona, Spain, after two terrorist attacks left 15 people dead, including children, and more than 100 injured.

The first attack happened on Thursday, Aug. 17, when a van plowed through a crowd on the busy, tourist-filled pedestrian street, Las Ramblas. Another deadly attack happened the following morning, about 60 miles away.

Crisis-trained chaplains experienced in international response arrived on Friday to connect with local officials and church leaders, with the help of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s U.K. office.

“Once again we see terror bringing death and suffering in Europe,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Reponse Team, which has deployed to nine terrorism incidents in Europe in the last few years.

A Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplain stands among the crowd at a makeshift memorial in Barcelona.

Jeff Naber is one of the chaplains ministering in Barcelona. Several days into the deployment he said chaplains were “starting to see more emotion on the faces of those out on the streets. Shock is now giving way to fear and anxiousness.”

The international team of chaplains has been talking and praying with Barcelona residents and visitors who are grieved and shaken up by last week’s events.

“It’s all about a ministry of presence,” Naber said. “Jesus taught in Matthew 22 about loving others. We want to love and care for them, demonstrating how God loves and cares for us.”

The Rapid Response Team has provided a ministry of presence after similar crises, including the attacks in Brussels, Nice, London and Paris. As the world’s attention turns to Spain, the chaplains are asking believers to keep praying.

“Pray for the people in Barcelona—those that have lost loved ones and those that are injured and in some cases, frightened for their lives,” Munday said. “Pray for the local law enforcement officials and for God’s wisdom and direction for our chaplains.”

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is an international ministry of crisis-trained chaplains ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to natural and man-made disasters. Since its start after 9/11, hundreds of chaplains have shared hope in the midst of crisis, all in the name of Jesus. Support the ministry of the RRT.