But what do you do when the whole world is facing disaster? Or, when ministering to others puts your own life at stake?
You gear up and pray.
Over the course of 2020, that’s what the network of nearly 2,000 chaplains has done as they’ve banded together in times of crisis like never before. In addition to reoccurring hurricanes and tornadoes, a raging pandemic and civil unrest compounded the year’s battles.
Among 47 deployments, the team deployed hundreds of chaplains and lifted up over 38,000 prayers. Some chaplains donned personal protective equipment (PPE) and entered emergency field hospitals to minister to COVID-19 patients, while others showed compassion while standing in storm-ravaged homes. Much of the summer was characterized by violent protests—and chaplains were present to offer a listening ear and talk about God’s love and forgiveness.
The one common denominator that chaplains shared in an unprecedented year? An eternal hope—what everyone has always needed, but some have realized even more so during the challenges of 2020.
Moving forward into next year, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) plans to expand its ministry to law enforcement officers who have faced massive civil unrest in the nation’s larger cities. Through hosting retreats and dinners, the team will help address the emotional and spiritual needs that are unique to officers and their families.
The following is a summary of the BG-RRT’s 2020 deployments, along with some unforgettable moments of ministry.
Desoto County, Mississippi | Winter Storm Isaiah
Spartanburg County, South Carolina | Tornado
Ponce, Puerto Rico | Earthquake
Pendleton, Oregon | Flooding
Jackson, Mississippi | Flooding
Sumter, South Carolina | Shooting
Milwaukee, Wisconsin | Shooting
Nashville, Tennessee | Tornado
Mt. Juliet, Tennessee | Tornado
Cookeville, Tennessee | Tornado
Cremona, Lombardy, Italy | Pandemic
Jonesboro, Arkansas | Tornado
New York City, New York | Pandemic
Chattanooga, Tennessee | Storm
Monroe, Louisiana | Storm
Seneca, South Carolina | Storm
Laurel, Mississippi | Storm
Onalaska, Texas | Tornado
Midland County, Michigan | Flooding
Bowie, Texas | Tornado
Minneapolis, Minnesota | Civil Unrest
Charlotte, North Carolina | Community in Crisis
Greensboro, North Carolina | Community in Crisis
Locust, North Carolina | Law Enforcement Critical Response
Bertie County, North Carolina | Tornado
Charlotte, North Carolina | Pray on MLK Event
Cedar Rapids, Iowa | Derecho
Tama, Iowa | Derecho
Charlotte, North Carolina | Republican National Convention
Napa, California | Wildfire
Kenosha, Wisconsin | Shooting
Lake Charles, Louisiana | Hurricane
DeRidder, Louisiana | Hurricane
Jennings, Louisiana | Hurricane
DeQuincy, Louisiana | Hurricane
Birmingham, England | Stabbing Event
Jackson County, Oregon | Wildfire
Santa Cruz, California | Wildfire
Hendersonville, North Carolina | Shooting
Baldwin County, Alabama | Hurricane
Beachie Creek, Oregon | Wildfire
Levy County, Florida | Law Enforcement Critical Response
Nassau, Bahamas | Pandemic
Alexander County, North Carolina | Flooding
Mount Holly, North Carolina | Law Enforcement Critical Response
Concord, North Carolina | Law Enforcement Critical Response
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