Chaplains Responding as Fires Rage in Southern California

By   •   December 6, 2017

Paul and Erica Mattesich lost their house when the Thomas fire tore through their neighborhood in Ventura, California. Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are in the area to offer emotional and spiritual care to those who have lost homes, pets or possessions because of the massive wildfires burning throughout Southern California.

Chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team are responding to wildfires in California for the second time in two months, as flames and smoke engulf large parts of multiple cities including Ventura and Los Angeles.

The largest fire broke out December 4th in Ventura (about an hour northwest of L.A.) and has spread with devastating speed, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee as hundreds of homes have burned to the ground.

“This wildfire season has already been so heartbreaking for the many who have been affected, and now California is dealing with yet another deadly and destructive inferno,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Rapid Response Team.

“Many will be in evacuation shelters, looking for some small shred of hope but fearing the worst. Others will find that everything they’ve worked for has been reduced to ash. In the midst of it all, our chaplains will share the comfort and peace of Jesus to those who are hurting.”

As the fires continue to burn, a team of chaplains from Southern California will initially focus on ministering to evacuees in shelters. The chaplains arrived in Ventura on December 7th and are working alongside local churches, and in cooperation with local authorities.

“We ask for your prayers as the ministry needs are growing at an alarming rate every day,” Munday said.

Over the past four months, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has ministered after tragedies in six states from coast to coast, most recently in Sutherland Springs, Texas, following the horrific church shooting last month. They also deployed after the truck attack in New York City (October), the Las Vegas concert massacre (October), the deadly wildfires in Santa Rosa, California (October), and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma (August and September).

Please join the chaplains in praying for so many people who are suffering during this Christmas season.

California wildfire December 2017

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  1. WendySmith says:

    My heart breaks for all the loss in the hurricanes.

  2. Odaudu Michael says:

    I was overjoyed when I saw your team using a Christian-based approach on how to resolve disputes in times of conflict. I love the idea, so I will take part of such a vision by offering my time and body through working as a chaplain.
    Thanks, Michael Odaudu